Budget: 200.000€
Pilot city: Saragoça

EDP EspañaECODES and the Zaragoza City Council have signed an agreement to develop the first collective self-consumption facility in Spain, which will make it easier to share and use renewable energy. It will be based on an innovative distributed energy generation concept - the 'Solar Neighborhood'. This social innovation experiment will be extended to other Spanish cities at a later stage.

The first Solar Neighborhood project in Zaragoza will involve an investment of €200.000 and the commissioning of a photovoltaic system on the roof of a municipal building to offer residents and local businesses cheaper renewable energy.

This facility will have about 300 panels with an installed capacity of 100 KWp - enough to produce 150.000 kilowatt-hours per year. The Solar Neighborhood will prevent the emission of almost 40,000 kilograms of CO2, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. In other words, the project's impact on air quality will be similar to that of 3,000 new trees.

Installation works will begin in the summer and the panels are expected to be fully operational in the fall of 2020. Neighbors will be able to join the Solar Neighborhood project without any investment or previous installation in their homes, provided that they are less than 500 meters away from the municipal building where these panels will be installed.

EDP and other companies' customers will be able to join the project by subscribing to a service with a monthly fee, which will be more advantageous than having to make an initial investment. Participation in the Solar Neighborhood project will save 30% on the electricity bill of 150 to 200 homes and small businesses. About 10% of these will be underprivileged families, who will therefore be exempt from the monthly fee. This is thus a collective solidarity experience, as part of the energy generated by the Solar Neighborhood project will be channeled to reduce the energy bills of these underprivileged families.

Facilitating access to energy

This project has an important social dimension, as it comprises - especially for underprivileged families - an energy audit of people's homes, energy efficiency, energy collection and self-consumption workshops, and the implementation of energy-saving measures. In addition to technical audits, the EDP Foundation's collaboration will include the processing of energy certificates, technical inspections, and the replacement of basic equipment (such as LEDs, radiators, boilers, etc.), among others.

The project will thus facilitate access to affordable, non-polluting energy, as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN 2030 Agenda.

A Solar Neighborhood office will also be created to implement various awareness-raising and educational campaigns, as well as to provide environmental and energy advice to all local residents.

Next steps

The results of this pilot experiment will allow the project to be extended to other districts across the city. The plan is to implement Solar Neighborhoods in big cities, but also to take them to smaller municipalities across Spain, which constitutes an important innovation investment in rural areas.

This Solar Neighborhood pilot experiment will be funded and implemented by EDP and ECODES, together with the EDP Foundation and the Schneider Electric Foundation, and with the collaboration of the Environment, Urban Planning and Social Action departments of the Zaragoza City Council.