The application was made in 7 wind farms built in the region during 2019 by Naturgy with a power of more than 250 MW and an investment of more than 260 million euros.
The jury of the prizes has valued that the Monte Torozos region has a great development of wind energy technology, which has meant a socioeconomic impact in terms of income and employment in the environment, thus avoiding depopulation.
The Montes Torozos Comarca, divided between the provinces of Valladolid and Palencia, has won the Eolo Prize for Rural Integration of Wind Power in its ninth edition as it is a model region in terms of wind development, granted by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE). The application is specified in the wind farm promoted by Naturgy that consists of seven wind farms with a total wind power of 256.50 MW and an investment of 263 million euros
The jury, meeting in Madrid on June 17, assessed that the Montes Torozos region has a great development of technology with different wind turbines projects, which has had a positive socio-economic impact in terms of income and employment, at the same time which has favored productive diversification without altering the cultural essence of the environment, thus helping to contain depopulation.
Specifically, the candidacy of the Montes Torozos Region presented for the Eolo Prize has been made up of 12 towns in the region located in the area of ??the province of Valladolid with an area of ??322.1 km2 and 1,753 inhabitants in total, corresponding to Barruelo del Valle, Berceruelo, Castrodeza, Castromonte, La Mudarra, La Santa Espina, Torrecilla de la Torre, Torrelobatón, Valdenebro de los Valles, Velilla, Villasexmir and Velliza.
These facilities reflect the important wind development in the area, which has always had the involvement and collaboration of municipal authorities and neighbors, defending and supporting the projects during their development and establishing a relationship of mutual trust with Naturgy.
Carlos González Samano, director of generation development for Naturgy, stated that “this award recognizes the very important collaboration of local administrations, in addition to the autonomous ones, and our company to make the wind projects we promote a reality with the aim of making the energy transition and that it redounds to the benefit of the rural environment ”, and added that“ the contribution of this type of projects to the regions is undoubted and immediate, fundamentally those related to economic and socio-labor revitalization ”.
Wind projects have favored the promotion and creation of employment in this depopulated region within the so-called ‘Spain emptied’, thanks to activities that, in addition to contributing to productive diversification, help to establish population in the territory, as well as the capitalization of local resources (catering, accommodation, tourism, etc.). Much of the employment generated around the construction and operation of these wind farms has benefited these towns. Specifically, the employment figure generated in the project of the seven Naturgy wind farms is 2,975 jobs (of them, 1,653 direct jobs).
Thanks to the 7 new wind farms, new income has been contributed to its inhabitants with 1 million euros a year in rental income for the owners, and in addition, it has managed to go from a situation of limited income to a notable boom in the municipal accounts, with ~ 65.8 million euros from ICIO, and in BICE and IAE taxes for ~ 1.2 million euros per year, facilitating the best coverage of the social needs of its inhabitants and reducing taxation.
The implementation of wind power in the region has meant an increase in resources to tackle projects that allow generating new income for its inhabitants and, in this way, provide future alternatives to its inhabitants. Such is the case, that in terms of promoting tourism in Montes Torozos, since this area has been developed as an area for rural and landscape tourism, as well as cultural and gastronomic tourism, it is being promoted in one of the municipalities of the region, Castromonte, the construction of a center for the interpretation of wind energy as a tourist attraction to explain the production and distribution process to the public in a didactic and informative way, through original pieces, models, videos, photographs and panels. An educational and tourist impact is expected from this project and in which a working group linked to the Chair of Foreign Trade of the University of Valladolid is collaborating, within the Timmis project of entrepreneurship with funds from the European Union.
The Eolo Prize for Rural Integration consists of the production of a video on life in the awarded municipalities and the integration of wind power in the region. This video, as well as the delivery of the award, will be made in the coming months due to the situation caused by the current pandemic of COVID-19 with the presence of authorities, representatives of AEE and companies, and open to all residents of the Montes Torozos region.
Naturgy bets on Sustainability
Naturgy is immersed in a transformation process to adapt its business towards a more sustainable model, as evidenced by its firm commitment to renewable generation, as shown by these projects recognized by PREPA.
The company has set new environmental targets for 2022 to reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by at least 21% in 2022 compared to 2017, reducing the generation CO2 intensity by 22% and that 34% of the generation capacity is of renewable origin.
To achieve this, the company is working on a series of measures that are in line with the global objective of halting the rise in the planet’s temperature to 1.5 degrees and with specific actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost renewables and the circular economy, also promoting rural environments and helping to alleviate, as far as possible, the depopulation of the interior of the peninsula.