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AEPF installs first Renewable Energy Community in Paços de Ferreira
07 December 20233 minutes

The Paços de Ferreira Business Association (AEPF) has teamed up with Cleanwatts, a pioneer in Portugal in the development of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs), in a partnership that presents the first REC installed in Paços de Ferreira, boosting the competitiveness of companies, economic development and the attractiveness of the area.

Paços de Ferreira sees the birth of its first REC from the AEPF, thus opening the door for other communities to emerge in the future, in order to improve and make the municipality’s energy system more sustainable, with energy production and management solutions from renewable sources (namely solar).

Initially, the photovoltaic panels on AEPF premises will be used for self-consumption, but later on, with the addition of new members, it will be possible to share energy with the community.

Solar energy, affordable and produced locally

The main goal of the RECs is to produce local, clean and decarbonized energy, by installing photovoltaic power plants and integrating various members, such as local entities, companies, parish councils, IPSS, municipalities, communities and citizens, including economically vulnerable families, who benefit from cheaper energy.

Among the advantages of joining a Community are a reduction in energy costs of around 30%; a reduction in the ecological footprint of communities and the promotion of resource sharing among community members; greater efficiency of energy sources; improved quality of life and fighting against energy poverty. With the creation of the first REC in Paços de Ferreira, community members will have access to affordable, locally sourced solar energy.

The president of AEPF, Samuel Santiago, stresses that:

“environmental concerns have been part of the public and media agenda, and compliance with the objectives stipulated by the Paris Agreement, which aims to achieve decarbonization of the world’s economies, is also a responsibility of our companies”.

This way, “investing in mechanisms and tools that allow the industrial sector to contribute to achieving these goals will be part of AEPF’s strategy which, in addition to socio-economic responsibilities, also assumes environmental responsibilities”.

“This partnership makes perfect sense, since AEPF represents economic agents from the most diverse areas, from furniture to textiles, including commerce and metalworking, and Cleanwatts has the necessary resources for the process of implementing RECs, from creation to sizing, including financial capital, human resources, implementation of the infrastructure and operationalization and energy management,”

Explains the president of Cleanwatts, Basílio Simões, adding that “given the bridges that can be built between the two entities, we believe that this will be a successful partnership for everyone.”

For Samuel Santiago, “the implementation of RECs in the region will make it possible to achieve the goals of using renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions”, and Cleanwatts is “the ideal partner”. “The synergies boosted by the implementation of RECs will benefit the region, particularly in terms of the competitiveness of companies, economic development, attracting investment and creating jobs, settling the population, combating energy poverty and, consequently, the well-being of citizens,” said Basílio Simões.

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