Hydropower and Innovation: 360° Sustainability

Published on Monday, 26 March 2018

“As required by law, the dam guarantees s0-called ecological flow, a constant release of quantities of water to protect the biodiversity and balance of river life.”

To eliminate the noise generated by the water from the dam, the EGP team created a rapid feasibility study, identifying two possible solutions.

The choice for the best option to use in San Giovanni Bianco was dictated by a simple criterion: to guarantee our usual sustainability standards while respecting the environment, the territory and people.

A Shared Victory

The most immediate and common expedient to combat sound pollution might have been the construction of an anti-noise barrier: a quick solution that can everywhere: motorways, railways and places with similar problems.

The EGP team discarded the barrier idea for two simple reasons. The infrastructure, with high visual impact and unsuitable for eliminating the noise completely, did not fully respect our levels of sustainability, nor did it guarantee results on the standards of the CSV model.

The solution that transformed the problem into an opportunity came from working with open minds. We designed a mini 80-KW hydropower plant able to use the ecological flow to activate the turbines.

The result? The mini hydropower system is a “win-win” solution: it allowed EGP to optimise the production made available to the Italian electrical system by reducing costs and it got rid of the sound pollution for the residents of San Giovanni Bianco.

“The use of the San Giovanni Bianco dam’s ecological flow is an example of our commitment to the sustainable growth of renewable sources in Italy, a principle that will have to be applied now and in the future to all technologies.”

– Carlo Pignoloni, Head of Renewable Energy Italy

360° Sustainability

The winning solution designed in San Giovanni Bianco was also a way to mark the launch of the “Italy Sustainability 360° Project”, an initiative that aims to deliver a business model that is fully integrated with sustainability, promoting projects that create shared value between the company and the communities where it works.

This story, featuring EGP’s hydropower team in Lombardy and the residents of San Giovanni Bianco, is a confirmation of the value of our CSV model and also yet another success achieved in this corner of Italy, thanks to our sustainability approach.

“Between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia, where various hydropower plants belonging to EGP operate, sustainability projects in collaboration with local communities are a tradition.”

San Pietro d'Orzio (BG), San Pellegrino Terme (BG), Mura (Bs) and Ceto (Bs) are four towns united by their direct experience with projects created and developed following our CSV model.

In the mountain valleys between the lakes of Garda and Maggiore, the first pilot initiatives were put in place, that went on to inspire the launch of a systematic study that led to our Sustainable Worksite model, now widespread throughout the world.