The world’s largest solar manufacturer LONGi donated the solar panels to a rooftop solar installation for a rural village school in the Huelva province of Spain. With its proposal to build this installation, the school won first prize at Greenpeace Spain’s “Renovathon 2020,” a marathon competition to propose clean energy and energy independence solutions.
Following the award and years of planning, the installation was finally inaugurated on 4. November, as the last stop of a national clean energy promotional tour by Greenpeace Spain. The tour aimed to push government and the public sector toward a faster energy transition, to enable Spain to achieve a 100% renewable energy supply before 2040 and thus comply with the Paris Agreement.
Unique model for community-produced, -owned, and -consumed energy
Spurred by the Renovathon, the village school of Arroyomolinos de León („Arroyo”) brought together the municipality along with six regional and national groups, as well as rallying EU support. The children at Arroyo‘s Virgen de los Remedios Eco-School first responded to the Renovathon challenge with the declaration: "We will ‘grow’ our own energy like tomatoes. And we‘ll share it fairly." The project, entitled “La Energía del Cole,” ultimately proposed to drive the village’s transition to clean energy with a 42.5 Kwp rooftop solar installation on the school and a plan to share the energy between the school and local households.
Addressing energy vulnerability
The "La Energía del Cole" initiative aims not only to provide the school and village with clean energy, but also to democratize its energy production and empower its citizens to pursue energy independence. Energy vulnerability affects from 3.5 million to as many as 8.1 million people in Spain, according to the country’s Ministry of Ecological Transition. It has an outsized effect in rural areas, where the trend toward depopulation has led to a progressive withdrawal of public services.
The community alliance supporting the school’s solar plant includes: Greenpeace, the cooperative Aeioluz, the MUTI Association (promoting sustainable development in rural areas), Ecoescuela CEIP Virgen de los Remedios, AMPA Juan Ramón Jiménez, the municipality of Arroyomolinos de León, and the cooperative MEGARA. At the international level, it has the support of POWERPOOR, an EU-funded project that brings together 14 partners from 11 European countries to promote the use of alternative financing systems for the strengthening of energy communities and citizen initiatives to fight energy poverty.
Founded in 2000, LONGi is committed to being the world’s leading solar technology company, focusing on customer-driven value creation for full scenario energy transformation.
Under its mission of 'making the best of solar energy to build a green world', LONGi has dedicated itself to technology innovation and established five business sectors, covering m
ono silicon wafers cells and modules, commercial & industrial distributed solar solutions, green energy solutions and hydrogen equipment. The company has honed its capabilities to provide green energy and has more recently, also embraced green hydrogen products and solutions to support global zero carbon development. www.longi.com