Renewable energy, like wind, has a strong influence in the local communities.
EDPR provides long-lasting economic benefits to surrounding areas throughout the entire lifecycle of its wind farms. These benefits include, but are not limited to, infrastructure investments, tax payments, landowners’ royalty payments, job creation and direct contributions to community projects.
The construction of a wind farm comprises the construction of new roads and the rehabilitation of existing ones in order to transport heavy equipment (i.e. wind turbines) to the site during construction works. The local communities benefit from these roads, as they provide an improved connection for local inhabitants to perform their agricultural activities.
The integration of our generation capacity may require upgrades in the distribution and transmission grids that belong to the distribution system or transmission system operators. Most of the times, these upgrades are financially and technically supported by EDPR, indirectly benefitting the quality of electric service in the surrounding areas. This is particularly important in countries where wind energy is in its early stages. Utility systems upgrades are also performed in countries where wind energy is already in a mature stage.
EDPR also provides direct economic returns to the local and regional communities by means of land leases, local taxes and property taxes. For example, in the US, property tax is paid to state and local entities in the states where the assets are held, which benefits the local communities. This sharing of revenues is a large contribution to the yearly budget of rural municipalities where wind farms are located. Furthermore, during the construction of our wind farms, the local community can see an influx of temporary construction workers that provide a positive impact on the local economy through local spending and increased sales tax revenue.
As part of the relationship with the local communities, we also make donations to the local social development. These contributions include, but are not limited to, investments in associations, universities, schools and youth organizations, entities that work to preserve the local culture, organizations focused on sports and physical activity and also contributions to medical causes
Although there are no in-house procedures explicitly requiring local recruitment, a high percentage of our employees come from the locations in which the company operates. As a result, we contribute to the local economic development.
For operational activities, we usually hire members of the local community for the operation and maintenance services of the wind farms, such as wind farm management, wind turbines operation and maintenance, electrical and civil works maintenance, environmental surveillance and other support services. These practices let us benefit from local workers specific knowledge.