Koscierzyna i Padul 2
Representatives of twinning cities: Manuel Alarcón Pérez, Mayor of Padul and Kazimierz Stoltmann, Deputy Mayor of Kościerzyna

Representatives of two municipalities from the pool of Polish municipalities involved in the Green Twinning Project (co-financed from IEE) – Kościerzyna and Piaseczno – participated in the study tour to Grenada Province in Southern Spain. They had the opportunity to visit different RES installations in the Province area and to learn about interesting measures implemented by Spanish municipalities to reduce the energy consumption on their territories.

The study tour started on 23rd of July 2013 with the visit in the main Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) of the metropolitan area of Granada (51% public, 49% private) in Churriana de la Vega municipality. The participants observed the structure, operation and efficiency of the sewage treatment plant as well as the biogas cogeneration facility that was installed in 2001 and takes advantage of the gas generated in the process of purification of water. The biogas generated in anaerobic mesophilic digestion (in the amount of approximately 3 500 m3/day) is collected in two tanks at a pressure of 25 mbar, and then used to produce electricity and heat in a cogeneration unit. The approximate daily energy production is 7.500 kWh. This helps to secure about 60% of energy demand of the plant.

Piaseczno i Guadix  1
Representatives of twinning cities:Maria del Carmen Alcala Gonzalez, Deputy Mayor of Guadix and Arkadiusz Strzyżewski, Advisor to the Mayor of Piaseczno

Afterwards the visiting group went to Padul municipality, which - although has only 8.500 inhabitants - can boast numerous RES installations that secure most of its energy needs, and ... bring additional income! The municipality uses solar energy to heat the water for sanitary purposes in public buildings and biomass boilers in a public school. Also the Municipal Energy Audit was conducted there and the project of public lighting modernization using the ESCO formula was being implemented.

Particularly noteworthy are, however, two wind farms - "Padul" and "Valcaire" - with a capacity of respectively 20 MW (a total of 11 Vestas turbines V90/2000) and 16 MW (total of 8 turbines), which were built by private investors in the territory belonging to the municipalities. These parks not only provide the community with energy, but also bring its annual income amounting to about 120 000 € by means of renting of those terrains.

Piaseczno i Guadix 3
Signing the Twinning Agreements between municipalities of Guadix and Piaseczno

The next day, the participants visited the landfill "Viznair" converted into a biogas power plant, taking advantage of the internal anaerobic processes within it, that so far has produced nearly 33.5 million kWh of green energy. As a result of the project worth nearly € 1 million, financed from European funds, in the former landfill area 50 degassing wells and about 7 km of pipes were installed. This power plant achieves 300 m3/hour of gas production, treating 29 million m3 of methane gas, as well as producing electricity that translates to economical income of 250.000 euro/year.

Participants also saw the large factory of olive oil owned by the company "Grupo Sierra Sur", which uses olive marc for the production of biomass and is currently one of the largest producers of biomass in Spain, generating about 200 000 tonnes of pellets per year.

At the end of the visit, participants learned about the bioclimatic architecture in the town of Guadix. For centuries, until today many of the houses in this village are being built in the rock caves, which allows to keep a stable thermal conditions (internal temperature throughout the year varies from 18-20oC) and save energy!

During their visit in Spain the representatives of Kościerzyna and Piaseczno signed the Twinning Agreements with Spanish municipalities – Padul and Guadix – which will exchange their experience in the sustainable energy planning  and energy management.