Enbridge a renewable energy leader

People who follow Enbridge know that the company’s bread and butter is moving energy products.

But did you know that Enbridge is also one of Canada’s foremost green energy leaders?

As of March of 2012, we had interests in seven wind projects, three solar farms, a geothermal installation, waste heat recovery stations, and Canada’s largest turbo-expander/fuel cell plant.

Together these projects produce almost 1,000 megawatts of clean electricity, or enough to meet the needs of about 365,000 homes. We’ve already invested about $2 billion in these technologies—three quarters of this amount just in the last several years—and we plan to continue this level of investment in the years to come.

“Although fossil fuels will continue to represent the major source of energy for our economies for some time, there is little doubt that we are transitioning to a lower carbon-intensive footprint,” said Al Monaco, Enbridge President.

“A few years ago,” he continued, “we set forth a strategy to establish a new green energy platform and we’re pleased with our progress so far.  The strategy is consistent with our objectives to provide clean sources of energy and to diversify our sources of earnings growth.  As well, our renewable investments fit very well with our existing business model that focuses on generating solid returns with stable and growing cash flows. “

For these reasons, Enbridge invests in renewable energy projects that provide attractive returns to investors along with environmental benefits, while exploring other alternative energy prospects.

Enbridge’s investments in renewable energy are also a key component of our commitment to stabilize our environmental footprint at January 2009 levels.

This commitment, which forms the basis of our Neutral Footprint program, states that we will:

  • plant a tree for every tree we remove to build our projects,
  • conserve an acre of natural habitat for every acre we permanently impact,
  • generate a kilowatt of renewable power for every kilowatt we use in our pipeline operations.

Enbridge’s move into renewable energy originated in our Alternative & Emerging Technology department. This department searches the world for new technologies that are strategically aligned with Enbridge’s business interests.

This department thoroughly screens the best of the ideas to ensure that they are technically sound. If it’s determined that a particular idea is, in fact, technically sound, then the next step is to try to find a way to commercially structure the investment in a way that makes sense for Enbridge.

Once Enbridge’s investment in a particular technology reaches a significant size, the group turns it over to one of Enbridge’s business units to grow and operate it as a new business platform.

“Through this process, we’ve had the opportunity to try out a lot of ideas and learn some lessons that we can apply as we progress,” said Chuck Szmurlo, Vice President, Alternative & Emerging Technology.

“We’ve had the good fortune to have seen two of our technologies—wind and solar energy—move from the incubation stage to the point where they have become meaningful and profitable new businesses for Enbridge, and we hope to add more green platforms to our portfolio.  Because these technologies benefit both the environment and our shareholders, that’s a great feeling.”

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  • Northern Gateway, Dec 17th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Hi Dave, thanks for your question.

    The permanent pipeline right-of-way is 25 meters wide by 1178 kilometers long for a total of around 3000 hectares. Add about 4 hectares for each of 9 pump stations plus about 220 hectares for Kitimat Terminal and you have a total of about 3250 hectares.

    Around 70 percent of the proposed route is on already disturbed land, which means we won't be creating a new footprint on previously untouched land over much of the pipeline route. As this post notes, we're committed to conserving an acre of land for each acre of wilderness we permanently impact. Our Neutral Footprint program notes we're well ahead of our enterprise-wide goal in this area with significantly more land conserved than impacted.

    In areas of sensitive habitat we have made commitments to ‘no net gain’ in linear feature density, which is a fancy way of saying forest service roads, mining access roads and powerline/pipeline RoWs. And in some areas we have committed to a ratio of 4 to 1 for linear feature density removal. This means removal/reclamation of other existing linear features to achieve these goals.

  • dave, Dec 13th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    how many acres do you intend to 'permanently impact' with the Northern Gateway?

  • Jeffrey, Oct 21st, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Okay, thank you. My hope is that Enbridge will help us move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources.

  • Northern Gateway, Oct 19th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Hi Jeffrey, Enbridge's core business is energy transportation. We're also making significant investments in renewable energy as this post discusses. There's a lot more to Enbridge's business than transportation of oil. You can learn more about Enbridge on our corporate website: http://enbridge.com

  • Jeffrey, Oct 19th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    I find this strangely ironic coming from an oil pipeline company. Don't get me wrong, I fully support renewable energy, but surely you must realize that as society moves towards alternative, renewable energy, that demand and need for oil will go down.

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