Arrasate is a mid-size city located in Gipuzkoa, it is highly industrialized and most of the building are high buildings with lots of apartments, and those infrastructures are not easily feasible regarding their particular solar PV installations. To respond to this challenge, among others, was born Leintz Bailarako Ekiola.

But what is Leintz Bailarako Ekiola? LB EKIOLA is the result of a public-private collaboration, between the Basque Energy Agency, and the promoting engineering company KREAN, and its objective was to create a renewable energy consumption cooperative for 450 families from the Leintz Valley (Arrasate, Aretxabaleta, Eskoriatza and Leintz Gatzaga).

It is wide known that renewable energy installation processes, sometimes, generates distrust and doubts to the citizens; that is why the support of public institutions is necessary. Therefore, when “LB Ekiola” was launched, dissemination and socialization process were worked together with all project actors: the City Council, KREAN, BEA, other local interest groups, Fagor, etc., and clear explanations and criteria were developed. In that process, the participation of the council played an important role guaranteeing the project itself.

When all the pre-designing process was over and the economy of the project was closed too, the plant became a reality. Despite the city council will not build the plant, there were the citizens who made the financial contribution to build the solar park, and to create the renewable energy consumption cooperative. Currently the plant has started to being built.

The City of Mondragon, through SHREC project action plan, has been accompanying the engagement process in order to get at the minimum members for the cooperative, and together with that, it was also named as part of the stakeholder committee, so it still is taking part on the commitment process.

The inauguration of the installation is planned for September, and, then, the citizens would begin to consume the renewable energy that belongs to them. In the following months there will be followed up and their perception will be known through a satisfaction survey.

Likewise, all the agents involved in the socialization process would have to analyse the success of Leintz Bailarako Ekiola.

Cover photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash