The construction of the Enel Green Power photovoltaic plant in Totana opens a new season for renewable energy in Spain. The solar field is the first of 29 projects that Enel Green Power will build in the country over the next two years by applying a sustainable construction site model combining environmental protection, collaboration with the local civil society and creating shared value (CSV) initiatives together with local institutions.
The rebirth of renewables in Spain starts from Totana, in the autonomous community of Murcia. In the area of the small town at the foot of the Sierra Espuña the construction site of the first of the 29 solar photovoltaic fields that Enel Green Power Spain will start building in the country by the end of 2018 is about to open.
The figures for Totana speak of 248,000 photovoltaic panels, 84.9 MW of installed capacity and 59 million euros invested. But, as often happens, the figures are not enough to fully understand the value of a plant that represents the cornerstone of the new path taken by Spain towards the goal of producing more than 20% of the country's electricity with renewable sources by 2020.
The clean energy of Totana is the symbol of the new development of Enel Green Power's Spanish renewables, which takes place under the sign of sustainability in its most extensive and complete sense.
The cornerstone of sustainability
The first stone of the Totana solar field was placed even before the construction of the plant got underway. At the base of the whole process of realization in fact lies the concept of sustainability that finds one of its most complete and effective expressions in Enel Green Power's model of sustainable construction site.
On June 28 and 29 we held a workshop together with representatives of local institutions, communities and local associations, and suppliers involved in the construction of the plant, to share together the method and objectives of the sustainable EGP construction site.
The two days of Totana was a first for the entire Enel group for the innovative formula we implemented in the workshop. Among the participants, the mayor of Totana, Andrés García Cánovas, together with representatives of the municipal government and local civil society, who talked with the heads of EGP Spain and the Endesa about the project, security, technologies and the CSV initiatives scheduled.
People and the environment at the centre
Among the main solutions adopted by the Totana sustainable construction site those for the efficient use of energy, mitigating CO2 emissions and involving the local population right from the start of the works take pride of place.
We have planned to build a photovoltaic system to power the site and avoid the use of diesel generators, that will be donated to the town at the end of the works. The building will also be equipped with an efficient LED lighting system that will reduce the use of electricity and emissions.
In agreement with Soltec, the project contractor specialized in the production of photovoltaic panels equipped with tracker systems*, approximately 100 local people will also be trained for inclusion in the construction phase, and in collaboration with the Centro Público de Día Jose Moya, people with mental disability will be involved in the assembly of some tracker components.
Change of perspective
The approach chosen for Totana will also be replicated for the remaining 29 plants that will be built in Spain by EGP by the end of 2018.
By the end of 2019 our growth in the Spanish renewable energy sector envisages the construction of new solar and wind plants, for a total installed capacity of 879 MW, awarded to Endesa as part of the second tender phase promoted in 2017 by the Ministry of energy, tourism and the digital agenda.
The sustainable construction model that we will implement in this long sequence of new constructions, translates the logic of creating shared value into processes and actions and represents a fundamental change of perspective for the entire renewable energy sector: sustainability determines the entire production path of the plant and not just the final result of producing clean energy.
Thanks to the sustainable construction site model, the design of a plant opens up to the social and environmental context in all its phases, starting from the design phase and going right up to the operating phase, while sustainability integrates in a capillary fashion along the entire value chain.
* The trackers, commonly also known as "solar trackers", are mechanical-automatic devices applied to the panels that orient them in the direction giving the best exposure to the sun's rays.