Pattern Energy’s commitment to the environment is integral to our mission to transition the world to renewable energy. Our facilities displace fossil-fuel generation, thereby reducing hazardous pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, and water use by the energy sector.
We strive to minimize negative environmental impacts during the development and construction of our projects and during the operation of our facilities. In some cases, we sponsor restoration and mitigation projects to benefit local ecologies around our facilities.
In keeping with our commitment to build a sustainable company, we make decisions with long-term impacts in mind. It is our belief that actions yielding the best outcomes for the environment also make the most business sense. Our multi-dimensional approach to safeguarding the environment has resulted in a sound record of performance with no significant issues of non-compliance, fines, or penalties.
Though our practices may shift slightly to address local contexts and working environments, our values remain rooted in our commitment to environmental stewardship and extend throughout our organization. Management of the company’s environmental impacts and carbon footprint is discussed at every meeting of the Board of Directors.
Our corporate offices with more than one Pattern Energy employee, and our wind facility sites, consumed approximately 35 GWh of electricity in 2018, which is less than half of one percent of the more than 11,000 GWh of clean energy our operating wind facilities in the U.S. and Canada generated the same year.
The electricity we consume at our sites is de minimis compared to our energy production. The energy generated by wind turbines regularly covers their own needs, as well as those of the substation. When this is not the case, a site purchases electricity to meet such demand.
The sites also purchase electricity to meet their lighting, cooling, and heating needs for the operations and maintenance buildings. On average, a site’s total consumption is less than four-tenths of one percent of its production.
Wind turbines do not use water to generate energy. They do not withdraw, consume, recycle, or discharge water like most other forms of energy generation. Our water consumption comes from meeting the needs of staff at corporate offices and site operations and maintenance buildings.
The water consumption at our corporate offices with more than one Pattern Energy employee in 2018 was approximately 3,000 gallons of water per employee. A sampling of water consumption at our operations and maintenance buildings the same year found an average of 33,000 gallons consumed per site throughout the year, resulting in an average of less than a tenth of a gallon of water consumed per MWh generated.
From identifying locations for potential renewable energy projects to managing our business and operating our facilities, concern for the environment is one of our core values. Take a closer look at how we execute environmental responsibility across our footprint.
All energy sources have some impact on wildlife, but wind energy facilities have a low impact when properly sited, because they produce pollution-free electricity that doesn’t depend on water to operate or resource extraction for fuel. Environmental non-governmental organizations consider responsibly-sited wind facilities an important tool to help fight global warming and reduce the impacts of a changing climate on plant and animal species.