Environmental management strategy
Environmental protection has been treated as a priority for many years in the energy sector even though it has only recently become a popular topic in the media and a big fad.
Environmental aspects are particularly important in our power plants and combined heat and power plants as confirmed by our certificates of compliance with international environmental management standards: ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and PN-N-18001. Moreover, the Łagisza, Łaziska, Siersza and Jaworzno III power plants belonging to TAURON Wytwarzanie hold EMAS certification. At the same time, all the TAURON Group’s generation units – both power plants and combined heat and power plants in TAURON Ciepło – are undergoing graduał modernisation to fulfil stringent European Union emission requirements.
Environmental impact management is also an important aspect in the Group’s mines. The coal mines in TAURON Wydobycie give ample consideration to environmental issues at each coal production stage from mining, to coal processing, to waste management and reclamation. The Czatkowice limestone mine holds Quality Management System certification under the ISO 9001 standard and Environmental Management System certification under the ISO 14001 standard.
The TAURON Group’s distribution company invests to enhance the efficiency of energy distribution and pursue a sustainable management policy. Other Group companies that are not active in industrial activity including the “green” TAURON Ekoenergia strive to mitigate their environmental impact and focus on education related to improving energy efficiency.
Initiatives mitigating the environmental impact
The objective is to protect the most valuable plant settlements and mitigate the adverse impact exerted by mining the new deposit at the Czatkowice coal mine. Protected plant species were transferred from this area of approximately 8.5 ha to other habitat. More species will be transferred as other areas are planted with forests. At the same time, in 2015 the company completed the second stage of afforestation of a protective belt that will ultimately cover approximately 33 ha. Approximately 34 thousand trees were planted. The creation of this 200 m wide protective belt covering approximately 33 ha is to prevent and mitigate an adverse impact on Nature 2000 areas. In the future this belt will serve as a sound and pollution barrier and as habitat for many plant and animal species, and as a feeding ground and migration corridor for bats.
This initiative run by TAURON Dystrybucja consists in cleaning and moving stork nests to special pens above power lines. This enables young storks to grow in a safe nest while allowing the company to maintain its power grids in good technical condition. In addition, it runs employee training courses to teach them how to care for these birds best, how to prepare nests professionally and place them on the platform safely. Power engineers transport injured birds that fall out of their nest to expert centres. We cooperate with environmental protection organisations and engage in consultations with an ornithologist to run this project.
The Czatkowice limestime mine has given the Salmonid Fish Restocking Centre with two diffusers outfitted with oxygenating pumps to enable it to protect the facility against excessive concentrations of suspension. The restocking centre is located in Czatkowice next to the Krzeszówka stream used by the company for water supply, wastewater and rainwater discharge.
Monitoring aims to define the environmental impact on avifauna and chiropterofauna. In 2015 this project was completed at the Lipniki wind farm. The Wicko and Marszewo wind farms are still in the course of their three-year post-completion ornithological and chiropterological monitoring period in accordance with their environmental permits and the guidelines published by the Polish Wind Energy Association to assess their impact on birds.
In 2015 the TAURON Group’s total capital expenditures allocated to environmental protection exceeded PLN 1.3 billion.
|Type of expenditure||[PLN]|
|Kopalnia Wapienia Czatkowice||TAURON Wytwarzanie||TAURON
|TAURON Ekoenergia||TAURON Dystrybucja||TOTAL|
|Costs of waste utilisation, flue gas cleaning, cleaning and removal of generated pollutants||170 513||230 231 311||10 963 109||3 645 717||158 734||2 667||245 172 051|
|Costs of environmental management, including environmental fees||120 612||154 291 930||9 044 506||9 559 925||172 240||352||173 189 565|
|Capital expenditure for environmental protection||1 175 024||746 328 500||34 189 000||139 300 800||2 539||920 995 863|
|TOTAL EXPENDITURE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION||1 466 149||1 130 851 741||20 007 615||47 394 642||139 631 774||5 557||1 339 357 479|
* The item comprises: waste treatment and utilisation, costs of wastewater treatment and collection.
TAURON Ekoenergia is responsible for producing energy from renewable sources. In 2015, 35 hydroelectric power plants and 4 wind farms produced 1.59 TWh of electricity. At the same time, the goal determined in the Sustainability Strategy, assuming 10% use of RES in energy production, was accomplished. The completion of the second stage of Marszewo wind farm construction also contributed to higher renewable energy generation. By commissioning nine turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each in Q4 2015, TAURON’s capacity installed in wind exceeded 200 MW.
In 2015 the company also retrofitted hydroelectric power plants: Pilchowice I, Wrocław I, Bobrowice I and Głębinów and Wały Śląskie to sustain their availability and increase their installed capacity. At the same time, this work will contribute to gains in generation efficiency, automation of generation, reduction of equipment failure rate and fulfilment of the obligation imposed on Poland by signing the Climate Package calling for 15% of energy production from RES installations.
TAURON Ekoenergia also conducts educational activities to promote green energy as described in more detail in item 7.6 Environmental education and is building Poland’s first hybrid power plant.
This project is building a solar park with a capacity of 100 kW z using polycrystalline (50 kW) and thin-film (CiGS, 50 kW) photovoltaic panels, an energy storage system in lithium-ion technology and a control system for individual energy sources. The Opolnica power plant with a total capacity of 410 kW will operate as a hybrid system, the first one of its type in Poland. It will support research on solar park technologies, cooperation with other RES sources, the hybrid power plant’s impact on the electrical power grid in terms of stability, electricity quality and discharge.
Project documentation was prepared in H1 2015 based on a concept developed by the Wrocław University of Technology. The solar park and energy storage facilitated will be completed at the end of 2016. The electrical infrastructure in the Opolnica hydroelectric power plant will be adjusted and the control system will be built in 2018. All the components are slated for integration in 2020. The research stage and the entire project will be completed in 2023.