Trailblazing projects and leaders celebrated for their roles in powering sustainable hydropower

Leading figures and projects within the hydropower industry have been celebrated today at the World Hydropower Congress for their commitment to sustainable hydropower. 

IHA Blue Planet Prize: 

This year, Hydro-Québec’s Eastmain-1 Development was the winner of IHA’s coveted Blue Planet Prize with particular merit for their work engaging indigenous groups. The facility was the first to receive the Gold-level certification under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. 

"Respect for Indigenous peoples is a fundamental requirement of the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, said Claudine Bouchard, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Infrastructure Officer, Hydro Québec. "We are honoured to receive the IHA's Blue Planet prize which is a tribute to how the Cree communities and Hydro-Québec teams were able to collaborate during the development of the Eastmain-1 installations.”

IHA President, Malcolm Turnbull commented on Eastmain’s win: “We are delighted to award the 2023 IHA Blue Planet Prize to Hydro-Québec’s Eastmain-1 Development. The project has demonstrated a real commitment to transparency and good practice. We welcome Hydro-Québec’s passion for sustainable development and encourage all our members to pursue certification under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard.” 

Of the eight projects that have published assessments since its launch in 2021, three were shortlisted based on their results against the eligibility criteria: Pamir Energy’s Sebzor project in Tajikistan, EPM’s HidroItuango project in Colombia and Hydro Québec’s Eastmain-1 project in Canada.   

The Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower: 

The Mosonyi Award is an opportunity to recognise individuals who have made a major contribution to the hydropower community.  

Roger Gill was one of the leaders chosen to receive the award this year, following his decades of service to IHA and his exceptional two terms as President of the Board.  

Roger has been a member of the IHA Board since 2001. In 2019, he was chosen by the 2019-21 Board to lead as President and was re-elected in 2021.  

During his two terms as President of IHA, Roger has overseen a transformation from a membership organisation that saw itself primarily as the knowledge-hub for the sector, to an external-facing evidence-based advocacy organisation that promotes sustainable hydropower with the support of its members.  

Underpinning and supporting this transformation has been a change to the membership model to one based on values and with clear expectations of the members.  

Thanks to Roger’s leadership and careful but ambitious steering, the transition has led to a growth of the membership base, both in terms of numbers and engagement. Roger’s outstanding contributions to the Association are translating into a stronger voice for sustainable hydropower and a better chance of meeting global net zero objectives.   

On receiving the Mosonyi Award Roger Gill commented: “It is a true honour to accept this prestigious award. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with IHA and connected with so many fabulous people.  

“I’m proud of what’s been achieved over the past 20+ years through the efforts of great people and committed organisations – we are no longer an industry in defensive retreat, but a strong, innovative and outward looking sector joined up with our friends and allies across the renewables.  

“There are still great opportunities ahead for hydropower as the world transitions to address the climate challenge. Thank you once again for all the support to IHA, to me personally and most importantly, to advancing sustainable hydropower.” Approved quote. 

Zhilin Wang, veteran hydropower engineer and former director of the Baihetan hydropower station construction department, was also selected to receive the award, acknowledging China Three Gorge’s unrivalled contribution to the growth of hydropower and sustainability in Asian markets during his time at the company. 

Mr Wang boasts a lifetime of work in some of the company’s most influential landmark projects, including the Three Gorges project.  

Having recently retired as a Board member of CTG Construction Engineering Corporation and Director of Baihetan Engineering Construction Department, he receives the award as a member of CTG’s leadership in promoting sustainable hydropower and as an individual in his own right. 

“I am honoured to accept the Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower on behalf of both myself and China Three Gorges. This prestigious award is testament to the dedication of everyone at CTG to advance sustainable hydropower and the hard work that has made projects such as Three Gorges and the Baihetan hydropower station a great success. Thank you to IHA and all my colleagues."

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