• Best practices The award recognizes that wind energy has been implemented with harmony and is compatible with the rest of the economic activities

The municipality of Hornillos de Cerrato in Palencia (Spain) has been awarded the EOLO Prize by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) for being a "model municipality" where the development and integration of wind energy "is being done with the maximum harmony and compatibility with the rest of the economic, cultural and environmental activities of the territory".

The Secretary of State for Energy Sara Aagesen handed over the award to the Mayor of Hornillos de Cerrato, Ignacio Valdeolmillos, and the Deputy Mayor, María Visitación Azpeleta, at an event held yesterday in Madrid.

The mayor highlighted that wind energy has changed his municipality: "The arrival of wind energy to Hornillos de Cerrato marked a before and after in the life of the municipality, increasing its population and activity. Undoubtedly, the economic resources generated have allowed us to improve the quality of life of our neighbors by offering services that were impossible to imagine before having the wind farms. The ‘emptied’ Spain has become an illusioned Spain".

There are 40 wind turbines owned and operated by ACCIONA Energía in the municipality. The renewable facilities have always received the endorsement of the local community and have had a positive economic and social impact on the municipality and the surrounding region. Proof of this is that the population of Hornillos de Cerrato has increased from 110 inhabitants in 2015 to 175 in 2023, demonstrating that renewable energies can contribute to revitalizing areas with a long-term trend of depopulation.

'Celada Fusión' is the most recent and modern of the seven wind farms located in Hornillos de Cerrato. It was completed in 2022 and it generates enough renewable electricity to supply 40,000 homes. Its construction involved an investment of more than 45 million euros and generated around 280 direct, indirect and induced jobs. Five of those jobs have been maintained for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.

Traditionally, the economy of Hornillos de Cerrato depended on agriculture, but thanks to the income generated by wind energy, new services and jobs have been developed. Some of them are a taxi service to take the elderly to the doctor, a restaurant that caters for the wind company's employees, and municipal subsidies for fiber optics and electricity. In addition, new facilities such as a swimming pool, paddle tennis court and mini-golf course have been built.

The town council of Hornillos de Cerrato is also allocating part of the income from the wind farms to promote local tourism, with the rehabilitation of the old gypsum mines to make them visitable, and with the project 'Discover El Cerrato Palentino'. The latter, launched on May 31, aims to promote tourism in Herrera de Valdecañas, Hornillos de Cerrato and Valdecañas de Cerrato (Palencia) through a themed hiking route around the Celada Fusión wind farm that connects the three municipalities.

For ACCIONA Energía, it is essential that the development of its renewable energy projects is carried out in an orderly and sustainable manner, as well as guaranteeing that their benefits reach the local communities of the areas where they are implemented. The company advocates a fair and sustainable energy transition, based on dialogue, consensus and contribution to local development.