25 Mar 19 Communities Chile

Agreement signed with rural communities in Chile

The agreement was signed with the neighbouring communities of the Alena Wind Farm Project and aims to support initiatives that promote local development for the duration of the project´s operational lifetime. Construction is set to begin on the project later in 2019.

Leading renewable energy developer, Mainstream Renewable Power, signs long-term cooperation agreement with six rural communities based near the Alena Wind Farm in the southern region of Biobío. The agreement aims to support community development during the operational phase of the wind farm- around 25 years- through an investment fund which will be allocated annually to finance local development projects.

This agreement will favour initiatives that support areas such as sustainable living, job creation, protection of the environment and the sustainable use of resources, primary education, technical education and renewable energy related training.

Alejandra Álvarez, Mainstream Chile´s Head of Corporate Affairs, explains how the selection process for community projects works, “Priority will be given to projects that will be of benefit to the largest number of community members and those that support other existing social organizations and not just the members of the respective neighbourhood associations. This approach allows us to identify projects that contribute to local development in a collaborative and sustainable way”.

Nolfa Castillo, president of the Communal Union of Rural Neighbourhood Associations in Los Ángeles and president of the La Suerte Neighbourhood Association says: “We formed a round table and have been working very closely with Mainstream on developing the cooperation agreement. The company has made a spectacular contribution to our local community and we hope to continue working closely with them under our new agreement.”

Prior to signing the agreement, Mainstream met with representatives of the neighbourhood associations over a period of six months. These meetings gave the communities a platform to present the local needs and the types of projects that would meet these needs. A plan outlining how the Community Investment Fund (FIC) will work was also drawn up during this time. This fund, which is activated during the construction and operational phases of the wind farm, holds the financial resources that have been assigned to it by the company, and is intended to finance local development projects that are proposed by neighbouring communities.

The 84 MW Alena Wind Farm will have 20 4.2 MW wind turbines which will supply the equivalent yearly energy consumption of around 117 thousand homes. Construction is set to begin on the project this year (2019). The project is located 18 km from the city of Los Ángeles, in southern Chile and takes in the communities of Chacaico, La Suerte, El Chequén, Rinconada de Chacaico, Coyanco and Quilas Sur. The local land is primarily used for agriculture, farming and forestry.