Endesa's future for Andorra will be renewable, industrial and social, with more than 6,300 jobs and local projects, with more than 30 entities, designed to be long-lasting

Vista general de la central de Andorra.
General view of the Andorra plant.

Through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power España, Endesa today presented its future plan for Andorra following the award of the tender called by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge and which has just been confirmed.

The plan presented by Endesa, which combines new renewable capacity with unique hybridisation of technologies, projects with green hydrogen and a synchronous compensator, also features a real social-economic development plan in the area that will create more than 6,300 jobs, 370 of which will be direct permanent jobs in the area for the operation of the installation.

"Endesa has historical links with Andorra, and with this plan our aim was to show that we wish to continue playing a leading role in its history," said Endesa's General Manager for Generation, Rafael González. "It is a real project that will continue to generate value in the area and which involves a commitment by Endesa to invest more than €1,500 million for the development of these projects."

For Endesa's General Manager for Sustainability, María Malaxechevarría, Endesa's project "goes beyond an industrial and technological project, it is a comprehensive social-economic development plan with initiatives that cover the three productive sectors and that aim to promote the training and employment of the local population in the area. She then went on to explain "it is a plan that took almost 3 years to design through a participatory process that involved immersion and active listening with the local community, and it was undertaken together with and on behalf of the people of Andorra".

 

Industrial development of the plan

The former energy production in a coal-fired thermal power plant will now be replaced by solar, wind, green hydrogen and storage projects, with a total installed capacity of more than 1,800 MW of new renewable capacity.

 

future Andorra.

Endesa will build a total of 14 renewable projects with 7 hybridisations, an approach that to date is unique in Spain, that makes the installation much more efficient and production is much greater than the capacity of the node itself. The new renewable plants will be located in Albalate del Arzobispo, Híjar, Samper de Calanda-Castelnou, Andorra, Calanda, Alcañiz, La Puebla de Híjar, Jatiel, and Alcorisa.

This hybridisation will also be accompanied by the development of two battery storage plants that aim to fully exploit renewable energy production, reducing energy loss and optimising its use. An electrolyser will also be installed that will enable the surplus renewable energy to be managed for the production of green hydrogen, and a synchronous compensator that will enable this renewable energy to be injected with greater quality and stability, contributing to the suitable operation of the electricity transmission network.

 

Industrial initiatives

This renewable development is accompanied by an ambitious industrial plan with companies with which agreements have been made for the development of their manufacturing activity. This is the case of Soltec, with whom Endesa has made a commitment to build a solar tracker factory. The new installation, which will use the warehouses and installations of the old thermal power plant, will create about 40 fixed jobs. An agreement has also been reached with Pretersa to extend the precast concrete factory located in La Puebla de Híjar that will generate another 80 jobs in the area.

Endesa is also working on the development of an electrolyser manufacturing centre and a second-life centre for wind turbines, in response to a need in the renewable sector and contributing to the circularity of these industrial elements.

In one of the thermal power plant's buildings it is planned to develop a chip processing plant for biomass heating, a project for which an agreement has already been reached with Maestrazgo Els Ports. The company will use the building as a logistics warehouse for material obtained from clearing the land and forest around Endesa's own renewable plants, an example of circular economy at kilometre zero.

Another of the industrial projects that Endesa will begin to develop in the area will be Smart Rural Andorra. This project is based on the development of a digital platform that will optimise the logistics chain for agrifood companies in Andorra and the surrounding region to connect production centres with urban consumption centres using zero CO2-emission transport solutions. This will involve the creation of a digital tool based on collaborative logistics that integrates agricultural producers' supply, connecting them with the existing demand in the large wholesale consumption points.

Together with all this, Endesa proposes to develop energy communities in 9 of the municipalities covered by the fair transition agreement where the renewable energy projects will be located. Self-consumption plants will be installed in a number of locations in these municipalities, increasing their independence and energy efficiency. Endesa is also committed to reaching a total of more than 3,000 self-consumption beneficiaries.

 

Primary and tertiary sector initiatives within the Plan

In addition to these industrial and technological projects, Endesa has also generated a social-economic development plan with initiatives framed in the primary and service sectors to promote training and employment through economic diversification by taking advantage of the territory's endogenous resources, which have been identified in this process of active listening with local agents.

Industry projects, local training and biodiversity protection for Andorra (Teruel).
Industry projects, local training and biodiversity protection for Andorra (Teruel).

In this regard, Endesa is committed to training as one of the vectors of our fair transition plan for Andorra. There will be over 300,000 hours of training related to the activity that renewable energy plants will generate and this will benefit the most vulnerable groups in rural areas such as young people, women, the unemployed and people with disabilities.

Endesa's training plan envisages benefitting 1,300 unemployed people in the region and with this in mind, agreements have been reached with leading organisations in the area such as AFAMMER (Association of Families and Mothers in Rural Areas), ASAJA (Association of Young Farmers), CFP San Blas and Fundación Juan XXIII and ATADI for people with disabilities. Under the name of Rural School for Sustainable Energy and in collaboration with all these entities, training will be offered in renewable energy and in primary sector activities, which will provide skills for the beneficiaries in activities with development potential in the area.

The company's social-economic plan, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power España, includes alliances with more than 30 entities in the area to develop different projects that aim to create employment and fix the local population through the development of economic activity. This is the case of the "Balneario de Ariño"(Ariño Spa), an important source of income in the area. Endesa would like to contribute to its development and for this purpose proposed an extension of this centre that will both add value to the municipality, as well as promoting the local economy. This measure will enable 27 permanent jobs to be created and will serve as a tourist attraction for the region.

Endesa is also committed to building an Avifauna Research and Dissemination Centre in the area. This centre will not only foster tourism activity but aim to become a support centre for the entire local and regional education community.

Another axis of action in the field of the primary sector is rural beekeeping tourism, installing solar beehives that will not only support beekeeping, because of the importance that bees have for the conservation of biodiversity, it will also contribute to the sustainable development of the local community. A sustainable tourism initiative through beekeeping that Endesa has already applied in its solar installation in Carmona (Seville) and that it wants to replicate in the solar plants that are built in the vicinity of the fair transition project in Andorra. Precisely in the photovoltaic sites where the solar beehives will be installed, beekeeping courses will be given aimed at entrepreneurs, and apitourism activities by local agents, providing an additional tourist attraction to the municipalities, promoting local social-economic development and fixing population in rural environments. Endesa has signed collaboration agreements with two local beekeepers: Luas Miel and La Cerrada.

Another initiative involves agrovoltaics, the cultivation of different species of plants under solar panels, which will be installed in the parks of Calanda, Santa María (in the municipality of Samper de Calanda) and San Macario (in the municipality of Andorra). This is an initiative that Enel Green Power España has been very successfully working on in some of its renewable installations. They are semi-natural installations, reservoirs of biodiversity, with shared use of the land with the local agents in this sector, integrating agricultural activities between the panels, including the cultivation of herbs and cereals, bio-cultivation, sheep pastures for natural clearing and beekeeping.

For the land adjacent to the Andorra plant, an agreement has already been reached with Natur Nature, for the cultivation of aromatic plants, whose fruits, under a circular economy approach, will be distilled for the production of essential oils and their future commercialisation by a local company generating a new economic activity in the area.

Endesa's renewable plants will not only have apiaries and agrovoltaics, but also shepherds from the area who will use their livestock to undertake natural clearing tasks in the installations in order to make industrial and rural activity compatible, a practice that the company's renewable subsidiary, Enel Green Power España, has been successfully applying in its installations for a number of years.

The sheep will coexist with a 20-hectare microreserve of protected flora, which aims to protect rare, endemic and threatened botanical species, through the reintroduction or proliferation of one or more of these species, including scientific intervention for data collection, field studies and with the participation of the local community. The project has been identified as an opportunity to contribute to the fight against the loss of biological diversity reflected in the Aragón Strategy for Biodiversity and the Natura 2000 network.

Endesa also proposes a specific action for the protection of 150 olive trees located in the vicinity of the Andorra thermal power plant. This involved signing an agreement with ATADI, a leading organisation in the area in the field of disability and a special employment centre, to develop the Inclusive Olive Grove and Nursery project, with the aim not only of preserving these species but planting quince trees on the adjacent cultivable land. The products obtained from both activities will be marketed by the association itself for its daily activity.

Together with this project to protect the olive tree in the area surrounding the plant, there is a further project with a much greater scope: From the Solar Garden to the Table, which will be undertaken in collaboration with the "Apadrina un Olivo" (Sponsor an Olive Tree) Association. This is the most significant initiative within the Social-Economic Plan in terms of job creation, with almost a hundred jobs with different degrees of temporality. The project is to produce and sell olive oil by restoring more than 50,000 abandoned olive trees in mining areas and manufacturing preserved products with the oil obtained. This project will not only create rural employment, but also boost a sector that was in decline in the area. The Aragonese "Apadrina un Olivo" association will be responsible for developing a similar project in Portugal, in the fair transition project for the Pego thermal power plant.

And closing with the axis for the tertiary sector in Endesa's fair transition project for Andorra, an initiative for this town to become the third inclusive pictovillage in Spain. This initiative, which will be undertaken in collaboration with the Town Council of Andorra and will have ATADI and the Gloria Fuertes Special Education School as direct beneficiaries, combines tourism and economic development with social aspects and consists of installing a series of pictograms in the urban centre of Andorra. This action will make Andorra the first pictovillage in Aragón and third in Spain, making it a municipality sensitive to disability, and providing visibility and attraction for a type of increasingly popular tourism known as "inclusive tourism".

As a contribution to the promotion of tourism, Endesa will develop two more initiatives. The "Green Mile for the energy transition", a signposted route for hikers on the perimeter of the plant that connects the renewable installations and the initiatives of the primary sector of the social-economic plan with the involvement of a local guide and the incorporation of tastings of local commerce products, and The Val de Zafan Route, in collaboration with the Town Council of Puebla de Híjar, consisting of the improvement and conditioning as a greenway of the Val de Zafán railway line by installing a photovoltaic kit on the Torica Bridge to provide efficient lighting all along the entire La Mina Tunnel.

 

About Endesa

Endesa is the largest electricity company in Spain and the second largest in Portugal. The company is also the second largest gas operator in the Spanish market. Endesa operates an end-to-end generation, distribution and marketing business. Through Endesa X it also offers value-added services aimed at the electrification of energy usage in homes, companies, industries and public administrations. Endesa is firmly committed to the United Nations SDGs and strongly supports the development of renewable energies through Enel Green Power España, the digitalisation of grids through e-distribución, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The Endesa Foundation is also active in CSR-related matters. Our workforce numbers around 9,260 employees. Endesa is a division of Enel, the largest electricity group in Europe.

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