The 690MW Fljótsdalur hydropower station in Iceland has become power company Landsvirkjun’s third project to be assessed under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) has announced.

The plant was assessed against 17 categories in September 2017, achieving proven best practice scores in eleven, including biodiversity and invasive species, communications and consultation, and reservoir management.

In a statement, the company said: “The results showed that operations at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station are largely considered to be of highest standard with regard to the sustainable utilisation of hydroelectric power.

“Many of the other working practices at the station were considered to be of the highest possible quality.”

Of the six remaining categories assessed, four were deemed to demonstrate international good practice and two were considered to be non-applicable.

Fljótsdalur follows the Hvammur hydropower station and the Blanda hydropower station, which were assessed under the Protocol in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with the latter being awarded the IHA Blue Planet Prize at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress.

A fourth Landsvirkjun plant, the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station, was also assessed in 2017, during the testing process of the Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which is being developed based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

The Protocol was launched in 2011 and has become a leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects, having been applied in more than 25 countries. It offers a way to assess the performance of a hydropower project across more than 20 sustainability topics.

Protocol assessments are based on objective evidence and the results are presented in a standardised way, making it easy to see how existing facilities are performing and how well new projects are being developed.

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