4 January 2018
Since its launch in 2011, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol has become the leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects.
It is used to assess both new projects and existing facilities according to a range of social, environmental, technical and economic criteria, and has so far been applied in more than 25 countries.
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“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is really a common language for the sector,” said Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), which has a role in supporting the Protocol’s multi-stakeholder governance committee and in managing assessments.
“It bases itself on two reference points: international good practice and proven best practice.”
The Reventazón Hydroelectric Project in Costa Rica’s Limón province became the first hydropower plant in Central America to be officially assessed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, in 2017.
It is the largest hydropower plant in the region, with an installed capacity of 305.5 MW, providing clean electricity to half a million homes. The project was designed, developed and built between 2012 and 2016 by Costa Rica’s national power company, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).
The project was classed as an example of international good practice overall, and also recognised for achieving proven best practice scores in communications and consultation, infrastructure safety, financial viability, resettlement and public health.
The results of the Protocol assessment were announced at an international workshop hosted by IHA, the World Bank Group and Costa Rica’s government in San José, Costa Rica, on 27 September 2017.
“Using the Protocol has helped confirm that we are doing things right, and also allows us to consider all aspects of sustainability together,” said Carlos Obregón, Executive President of ICE.