Iberdrola Renovables’ Andévalo facility, already in operation in Huelva, has obtained this week the UNEF Certificate of Excellence for Sustainability and Biodiversity Conservation in photovoltaic plants, which recognizes the projects carried out under the best criteria of social and environmental integration.
The Andévalo facility in Huelva, in the municipality of Puebla de Guzmán, is the first project to obtain this certification. The Seal can be obtained preliminarily in the project development phase, based on the analysis of the project documentation provided, and in a second phase, after construction, and once the on-site evaluation of the plant is carried out and it is verified that the project has been developed on the basis of the documentation previously provided, the definitive certificate is issued. If the plant is already built, as is the case, the documentary analysis and the on-site evaluation are carried out at the same time.
Thus, Andévalo has passed the audit carried out by an independent certifier -SGS in this case- which confirms that it meets all the required criteria. These include socio-economic excellence requirements that take into account the positive impact on local employment, dialogue with local stakeholders or the tractor effect on the national/regional/local economy as well as the compatibility with existing economic activities or the benefit for the local community and biodiversity.
In this sense, the effort to generate local employment has been valued, promoting other sectors, such as livestock – by using herbicide-free land for sheep grazing – and extending sustainability to the citizen, as a consumer, thanks to the agreement signed with a well-known brewery manufacturer to supply clean energy to its factories and offices in Spain.
Iberdrola has also installed 162 beehives in Andévalo, with the aim of preserving the biodiversity of the environment and protecting a species as vital to nature as bees. It has also launched an initiative to study how the cultivation of aromatic plants increases the quality of honey in these facilities and on November 30 will give away jars to local associations and entities.
“This certification is another step forward in the sector’s commitment to biodiversity and to the local communities where its projects are located. UNEF’s wish is that all projects are built with these criteria of excellence. Photovoltaic plants are an opportunity for biodiversity and the socioeconomic improvement of the municipalities and the population of the places where they are installed,” said Rafael Benjumea, President of UNEF.
There are already more than 40 projects interested in the process of obtaining the Certificate. Falck Renewables’ ‘PSFV Campos de Levante’ project, located in the province of Valencia, was the first to obtain UNEF’s preliminary Certificate of Excellence for Sustainability and Biodiversity Conservation in photovoltaic plants last July, as it is still in the development phase.
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