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IHA Welcomes Two New Members Under New Sustainability Criteria

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The International Hydropower Association (IHA)has welcomed Bechtel and Sunshine Hydro as its newest members. The companies are the first to join IHA following the introduction of new admission criteria, which include a commitment to sustainable hydropower.
IHA Welcomes Two New Members Under New Sustainability Criteria
Courtesy of Bechtel

“New and current members will now be required to confirm their alignment with our mission to support and promote sustainable hydropower,” says Pablo Valverde, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IHA. “Sustainability needs to be at the core of everything we do. By demonstrating their alignment with our values, these companies and future members will strengthen our collective voice”.

The only acceptable form of hydropower is sustainable hydropower

The new membership requirements are part of a drive by IHA to assess, monitor and increase the sector’s sustainability as it ramps up to play a crucial role in the clean energy transition. This follows the launch of a new Hydropower Sustainability Standard and a sector-wide declaration - the San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower – at the 2021 World Hydropower Congress.

“The San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower is clear”, added Mr Valverde. “Going forward, the only acceptable hydropower is sustainable hydropower. From now on, we will only welcome as members, companies that wish to help us promote sustainable hydropower through their support and their actions”.

A commitment from our new members

“A sustainable future is today’s global goal. Clean, renewable, and reliable hydropower has a significant role to play in us achieving it,” says Claire Rose, Water and Heavy Civils Sector Lead at Bechtel. “We’re delighted to join IHA and work together with its members to highlight hydropower’s contribution to the energy transition and climate change solutions.”

Rick McElhinney, CEO at Sunshine Hydro, says: “We need to decarbonise our planet in the fastest possible way, and we need to do so in a manner that is sustainable. Technology and leading-edge innovations have an important role to play, and this is where Sunshine Hydro’s solutions can help. We look forward to working with IHA and fellow members to bring about quick change”.

Both companies were required to express their support for the San José Declaration and to submit a sustainability disclosure form to help track the sustainability of their projects over time. They also confirmed that they have not been disbarred or placed on the exclusion list of any international institution or major institutional investor with a global mandate.

In addition, both companies confirmed their agreement with IHA’s no-go commitment on any future hydropower development in UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites. This is accompanied by a duty of care requirement for hydropower companies seeking to build new projects in legally designated Protected Areas.

A global community addressing a global problem

With close to 100 members around the world, representing over one third of total installed hydropower capacity, IHA is the global voice for sustainable hydropower. Bechtel and Sunshine Hydro join IHA at an important time as the association and its members have recently launched a new global campaign to highlight the essential role that hydropower has in achieving net zero and energy security.

Find out more about IHA’s #WithHydropower campaign.

About the new members

Bechtel is the largest construction company in the United States, with more than 80 years of hydroelectric experience reaching back to the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. It provides engineering, procurement, construction and project management solutions.

Operating from Queensland, Australia, Sunshine Hydro uses technological innovation to improve the production efficiencies of pumped storage hydropower assets. Building on proprietary software, their approach is to combine renewable energy production, pumped storage hydropower and green hydrogen production in “super hybrids”.

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