The number of wind and solar projects being built or in operation across Canada is evidence of the dramatic transformation of the energy sector towards less carbon intensive forms. While the transition to renewable energy may seem to have low environmental risks, energy projects are nonetheless required to evaluate their environmental, social and economic merit in a similar way to other infrastructure.

In this series of articles, Hemmera’s experts look at the challenges, opportunities and solutions to environmental approvals for clean and renewable energy projects they’ve been involved in over the last two decades. We’ll cover:

  • Understanding environmental risks early in a project and planning for successful operation 
  • Regional differences in environmental assessments for renewables 
  • Understanding your environmental assessment commitments and how they impact construction and operation  
  • Involving the host community in your project  
  • Solving renewable energy wildlife challenges 
  • Development of community-based diesel transition projects

Increasing renewable energy generation in Canada’s remote communities

There is an ongoing effort to transition remote communities from diesel power to a mix of more renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower or biomass.

Solving renewable energy wildlife challenges

A key consideration in developing a renewable energy project is understanding its potential impact on wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Involving the host community in your project

Working collaboratively with those affected by the development of a renewable energy project is key to its success and can add value to the planning, construction, and operation phases for the owner.

Understanding your EA commitments and how they impact construction and operation

A critical part of the EA process for renewable energy projects is providing commitments around protecting the environment through all phases of project development, and through to operation.

Regional Differences in Environmental Assessments for Renewables

Environmental assessment (EA) requirements typically vary by province, depending on the enforcement of provincial regulations, the location of sensitive habitats, and public sentiment.

Understanding environmental risks early in a project and planning for successful operation

Early environmental investigations and discussions with regulators and local stakeholders in advance of undertaking the formal approvals process are often critical to the success of a project. 

Featured Projects

Featured Experts


Mike Peckford

Business Leader, Atlantic Canada/National Lead Renewable Energy

Charlie Palmer

Practice Leader, Environmental Impact Assessment

Leslie Coe

Senior Lead, Renewable Energy

Tyler Reid

Environmental Planning and Ecology Team Manager /
Sr Project Manager