Renewable energy teacher
The landscape around Motilla del Palancar, in Cuenca where I have lived for 19 years, has been changing. Just like me. I have been recycling, diversifying and reinventing myself over the years, but I had never imagined my latest professional development... I have been a pedagogue, a nursery school teacher, a travel agency owner, an English teacher and so much more. I was still looking for what I wanted until, in 2019, without thinking about it, renewable energies came into my life.
My business in the tourism sector was not going well, so as the possibility of a job as a clerk in the construction of a wind farm in the town where I live came up, I did not have to think twice. As soon as the wind turbines started operating, I moved on to other projects: Two photovoltaic plants in Mallorca and, now, the assembly of the three wind farms in Campillo, 25 kilometres from Motilla.
It is exciting to see the arrival of more than 20 huge lorries, 85 metres long by three metres wide, transporting the components escorted by the Civil Guard. It looks as if each one were a building of more than 30 floors lying down on its side. Each blade is in fact no less than 75.5 metres. Also the parts of the concrete towers, which are transported as separate pieces from a factory in Motilla and, when they are assembled, it is incredible how each of the sections is built up and assembled, just like Lego. The assembly of the mills is really very striking.
“It is exciting to see the arrival of more than 20 huge lorries, 85 metres long by three metres wide, transporting the components escorted by the Civil Guard. It looks as if each one were a building of more than 30 floors lying down on its side”.
It is a very interesting field, in which you learn so much. In fact, I jumped headlong into this world without knowing anything about it, so I was a little bit afraid, but very curious. As I am the one who takes the minutes for the meetings, I get the chance to be with geologists, archaeologists, environmental experts, civil and electrical supervisors, people who know a lot about their subjects and from whom I learn know more and more about everything that the production of renewable energies involves.
I really think it is something that we should all be interested in. This is clean energy! Even though construction may generally appear unattractive, when it is related to something that affects us directly, how to decrease the cost of living and take care of the environment, I think it is enough of an incentive.
From my point of view, as a teaching professional, I even believe they should consider including renewable energies as educational content in schools. It would be very interesting for children to learn how energy is produced, how it is transformed and how it is channelled until it reaches us and we can use it. It is not simply a question of building a mill!
Criticism that ends as praise
In the villages where these plants are located, the residents know little about them, although they do not hesitate to comment on many aspects of the work, including legal aspects. At first, they are really not happy with the wind farms being built and they actually really hate us, because they say we are destroying the roads. Then, when everything is finished, they see how wonderful the roads have become. What were once narrow, muddy tracks that could hardly be used on rainy days, are now six-metre-wide compacted gravel roads. So now they think we are fantastic.
“This area is very rich in fauna, and this is taken into account throughout the wind plant project. I have already come across roe deer, wild boars, vipers, hares, foxes, golden eagles...”.
The pace of work at the Endesa Terminal in the Outer Port of Ferrol was quite incredible. We dealt with loads of coal amounting to 4,800,000 tons per year. We received from 30 to 40 boats that were 300 metres long and almost 50 metres wide. That is, a single ship was like three football pitches full of coal. To transport all that coal to the As Pontes Thermal Power Plant represented about 6,000 lorry loads. A total of about 180,000 lorry loads per year.
This was the dynamic for a decade, since the terminal opened in 2009. I became responsible for it and I am practically the only woman among more than 200 men.
These installations were built because, after the closure of the As Pontes lignite mine, large volumes of coal needed to be imported. The Inner Port, where I had been working for two years, had become too small.
You may initially find the change in the landscape a bit strange, but you immediately see that it is a good thing. After all, this is renewable energy!
“And from my terrace I can see the mills. You may initially find the change in the landscape a bit strange, but you immediately see that it is a good thing. After all, this is renewable energy!”.
Applus Administrative for EGP at the Campillo Wind Farm.
The legacy we will be
The legacy that we will be is a reflection of the just energy transition in Spain through its protagonists.
It's a project sponsored by Endesa created by the documentary photographer Álvaro Ybarra Zavala. Álvaro is witnessing our process of change, telling the stories of the real protagonists of this change through his photographs.