The Windpeshi wind farm in the La Guajira region is EGP’s first in Colombia: it’s an opportunity to show the local population all the advantages of renewable energies, both in environmental and social terms.
According to legend, the wind god Jepiresh is the progenitor of the Wayúu people, who settled in the extreme north of Colombia. And legends always have an element of truth: in this case, we’re talking about the importance of the wind for the local climate (and, therefore, for the economy).
Today, the wind god continues to blow, and in doing so offers new opportunities for sustainable development to the Wayúu and the Colombian population in general. One of these opportunities comes in the form of the Windpeshi wind farm, which we are building in the department of La Guajira, in order to take advantage of the area’s favorable wind conditions. With an installed capacity of 205 MW, it will be able to generate more than 1,000 GWh per year of clean, renewable electricity.
Sustainability for the local area
Our project brings social, as well as environmental, sustainability to the area, creating tangible benefits.
The first socially relevant aspect is employment: more than half of the jobs that have been created with this project have been filled by members of the local population.
We have also worked to ensure and improve access to water for everyone, with the construction of jagüeyes, or reservoirs, small aqueducts and public drinking fountains, as well as the supply of water by tanker trucks. In this way, water resources, which are indispensable but sometimes scarce, are now more readily available to some 11,000 people.
Another valuable asset in an area like La Guajira is quality education. For this reason, in collaboration with the National Learning Service (SENA) and Artesanías de Colombia, we have implemented several educational initiatives. These include the development of training spaces, the construction of classrooms and the delivery of educational kits, which have benefited more than 4,500 people.
Furthermore, the same infrastructure that was built for the project can benefit the local population. For example, we’ve repaired and maintained the 32-kilometer road linking our construction site with the neighboring town of Uribia, thereby improving mobility for both site workers and local residents. Until now the abandoned road was impassable.
“La Guajira, the heart of clean energy in Colombia”
We also organized an event in La Guajira in order to tell local journalists about our projects.
The event, “La Guajira, the heart of clean energy in Colombia,” was held in February with presentations by industry experts, representatives of the Enel Group in Colombia and local journalists. The aim was to present Enel Green Power, talk about the Windpeshi project and explain how it is contributing to the economic and social development of the area.
The local press welcomed the initiative as an important opportunity for discussion.
“It was an excellent workshop, because the topics were very interesting. It was a pity that there was not enough time. We hope that this will not be the only meeting: we would like to gain deeper knowledge, especially regarding the topics that were discussed in the pre-consultations,” said Ruth Mendoza, a journalist with Viva FM and president of the La Guajira Section of the National College of Journalists.
“It was excellent, I found the data interesting and I particularly liked the work that can be done in the pre-consultations. I also discovered the energy potential that exists in La Guajira and the development that renewable energies bring,” said Luis Ferrer, from the newspaper El Binacional.
Establishing the best possible relationship with the local population, allowing it to be actively involved in the project from the beginning, is crucial. And that is why we always apply our Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach, according to which the value of the company must be accompanied by a benefit for the area.