Under the Totana sky

The 300 days a year in which the sun shines on the Region of Murcia make it an ideal place to enjoy its beaches, monuments and natural parks during all four seasons. But the Murcian sun shines even brighter when it is also transformed into energy and jobs, as is the case in the town of Totana, where a solar plant built sustainably using local labour has just been put into operation.

"For the people of Totana it is very important, we have been given an opportunity to move up the employment ladder in some cases and to find a job in others", says Jose Ramón Peñalver, resident of the town who works at the plant. Jose was the first person selected to receive training and to work on the construction of the plant that Enel Green Power España (EGPE), Endesa's renewables subsidiary, has built in Totana, "I was the first Totana resident to be lucky enough to join this company". After him, more than 150 workers were employed on this project, which led to the installation of Endesa’s first 85 MW of renewable capacity in Murcia.

The construction activities carried out by Jose and the rest of the workers began in September 2018 and, in record time, the plant was commissioned in August 2019. In addition, the construction of the Totana plant was based on the "Sustainable Construction Site" model implemented by Enel Green Power, which uses renewable energy during construction. This is provided by a photovoltaic system that covers the energy needs of the works, as well as the implementation of initiatives designed to involve the local population in the execution of the project.

“We promote actions that favour the positive impact of this project on the local community”

Alessio Menci, Project Manager of EGPE

Although more than 30,000 people live in this Murcian town, all of them know each other. As a result, the construction of the plant has been the talk of the town. "They know us all over town," Jose says proudly.But not only have the workers stood out, but also the users of the José Moyá Day Centre for people with learning difficulties. "Our users have taken part in some hardware workshops that help raise their self-esteem", says the centre’s director, Ana García.

Image of a man at work

Another reason to shine

The solar panels used to power construction have been donated to the José Moyá Centre, to which EGPE has also supplied efficient lighting. For its director, all these actions represent "a different way to set up a business and create jobs. There is an interest in ways to go about things and to improve our surroundings."

That is exactly the essence of Endesa’s construction model: "When we work for the community, we identify local agents with whom to jointly build action programmes that generate value for them and also a return for the company", says Ada Fiteni, Director of sustainability projects at Endesa.

Totana's 287 km2 includee several sites of interest to tourists, as it is one of the municipalities within the mountainous region of Sierra Espuña. It also has the good fortune to house the wonderful natural landscape of La Santa and the archaeological site of La Bastida. But Totana now has another place of interest, less attractive to tourists but one which makes the locals proud thanks to the fact that it is already generating enough energy to supply more than 25,000 families.

Students at the schools in Totana and users of the day centre have already been able to visit the photovoltaic plant that here, under Totana's blue skies, as one of their typical songs goes, makes this town with the soul of a village a more sustainable place with one more reason to stand out from the rest.

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