NEON general assembly in Villacañas and Madrid

The 5th General Assembly was held last week on the 19th nd 20th September in Villacañas and Madrid. We spent the first day in GFM premises, where we had the chance to learn about their history from CEO Javier Bustos about their beginnings until today, their growth and ups and down, we could also see to the working approach and learn about their foundation. We also had the opportunity -thanks to Sergio Luján- of watching how the equipment worked and how some mobile units can be placed at will to help those who lived in remote areas and can greatly benefit from a solar panel mobile unit that provides the energy needed to run the day.

During the day we could also perform two workshops that provided information about people perceptions on the advantages, disadvantage and necessary skills to join or create an energy community.  The different possibilities that normative offers in different countries is something to analyse carefully when setting up a renewable energy community. Two workshops were held.

A workshop on “Communication, Dissemination, Exploitation”. Taking the advantages of the visit to GFM Fotovoltaica in Villacañas for the NEON General Assembly COMET and R2M organised a workshop with to find out about what the general population think and feel about local energy communities from the set up to the management and all the possible implications in their daily and community live. Over twelve people attended the gathering and provide their insights on the issues presented to them with clarity and honesty. 

And also a workshop on “Pilot sites”.  Each partner detailed the status of their Pilot Site. Barriers and challenges in the implementation and management of the CECs were identified. Regulation and engagement are the 2 barriers that all the CECs have faced. Solution towards the different barriers were discussed. 

The second day of the assembly was held in Madrid. We discussed all the important issues left from that day and established the path to follow in the next few months previous to the end of the project. We also head a SWOT analysis focussed on the energy community development to help us identify  its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, this was done by APPA in a workshop format “Best Practices and Strategic Exploitation of Results”: Irma Villar explained the dynamics of the Workshop to the consortium members. The main objective was to identify best practices of CEC through the identification of strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses, at different levels of analysis: technical, regulatory, financial and social. All members actively participated in the activity, which stimulated discussion and allowed many ideas to be collected. 

The meeting was closed in Madrid after two days of intensive work where we managed to go forward and we managed to solve important problems. The consortium is a strong group of enthusiastic people and the work and knowledge extracted from it efforts will enlighten the area of energy communities creation and management.

Thanks to GFM and APPA for their excellent hosting skills.