The municipality of Barásoain (Navarra) has been awarded the Eolo 2019 Prize for Rural Integration of Wind Power in Spain, granted by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE). The jury, which met in Madrid on 13 May, considered that Barásoain is an example of economic development, facilitated thanks to the exploitation of wind power. The locality has seen extensive development of this technology in the form of industrial facilities and wind farms, which has had positive socioeconomic repercussions in terms of revenue and employment. Furthermore, the many visits made to these facilities have raised the profile of the village and benefited service companies in the area.
The jury took into account that Barásoain has a wind turbine assembly plant, an experimental wind energy park and a wind power storage installation based on batteries -all owned by the ACCIONA Group- within its municipal boundaries. This reflects an industrial, experimental and innovative presence in the field of wind power that has always had the support of local residents and has had major economic and social repercussions on the village and the surrounding area.
Barásoain is also home to seven wind turbines of a wind farm that it shares with other municipalities. The village (population: 620) is located in an area -the Central Zone of Navarra- where wind farms with a capacity of over 300 MW are located.
The turbine assembly plant at Barásoain, owned by Nordex-ACCIONA Windpower, was set up in 2003 and currently produces 3-megawatt machines. The company employs 611 people in Navarra, plus another 535 direct jobs in the wind power blade manufacturing plant in Lumbier.
The 'Experimental Barásoain' wind farm, owned by ACCIONA, consists of five 3-MW wind turbines, three of them mounted on steel towers and two on concrete towers at different heights, with varying rotor diameters. It is used for the permanent testing of wind turbine components and other new ones with a view to continuously improving the different turbine models launched on the market. The facility was set up in 2013.
The hybrid plant for storing energy with batteries, which entered service in 2017 on the site of the experimental wind farm, was the first of its type to be grid connected in Spain. Owned by ACCIONA, it is designed to apply technological storage solutions that lead to greater penetration by renewable energy installations in the national electric power system.
To coincide with the award of the prize, on 13 June an event will be organized by the Spanish Wind Energy Association in Barásoain, including a visit to the facilities and a ceremony attended by the authorities, representatives of the AEE and sector companies. It will be open to the public.
The celebration of Global Wind Day, organized in Spain by AEE, is a worldwide event held every year in which the benefits of wind power and its possibilities for changing the world are disseminated.
On 20 June, the prize will be officially awarded to the Mayoress of Barásoain, Rita Roldán, during the Wind Power Meeting programmed for the evening on that date in Madrid. In the meeting the other categories of the Eolo 2019 Prizes will also be awarded: Photography, Innovation and Short Stories.
Barásoain is located in a region -Navarra- that currently has around 1,000 MW of operational wind power capacity, and a strong industrial sector in the field with 84 companies and around 13,000 jobs, according to data from the Wind Power Cluster of Navarra (Enercluster).
The region has leading companies in the wind power sector at world level, both in the development, construction and operation of wind farms and in the assembly of wind turbines, the manufacture of equipment and the provision of services. The National Renewable Energies Centre (CENER) is located in Navarra.
ACCIONA's Energy Division has a workforce of 549 people in Navarra, plus another 150 in the group company that carries out the operation and maintenance of its wind farms. For its part, ACCIONA Windpower has 1,146 employees in the region.
Caption1: Wind turbine in the Barasoain Experimental Wind Farm.
Caption2: Nordex-Acciona Windpower wind turbine assembly plant at Barasoain.
Caption3: Wind+storage plant.