More than twenty years have passed since Iberdrola arrived in Mexico, during which multiple deals have been made with the owners of the land where our plants and farms have been built, which supply more than 2,500 customers.
It is quite important to clarify that all land leases and purchases by Iberdrola are regulated by the relevant laws, because we always look to deliver on the promise to generate energy based on full transparency and legality.
It is quite important for the company to make an investment that will contribute to the country’s development. For example, in Oaxaca alone we have earmarked more than 57 million pesos in 2020 in rents and social actions in the region, promoting local employment and economic reactivation.
We use only part of the lands we lease. For a wind farm, air generators, electric substations, access roads, and transmission lines are installed, which occupy a small area and the remaining land is free for owners to carry out productive activities, like agriculture or cattle raising.
To give a clearer picture of how land is used, for every 1,000 hectares leased, only 30 are used, i.e., around 3% of the land is exclusively devoted to energy generation. The space to be exclusively used by Iberdrola depends on the infrastructure required for the wind farm – air generators, wiring, and lines.
Ninety-seven percent of the free land is used by the owners in different ways. For example, at the Dos Arbolitos wind farm located in Juchitán, Oaxaca, the owners have a business engaged in the cultivation of sorgo, corn, sesame, and other products, improved grass, cattle handling, and the production of milk and milk products. It should be noted that, as a company, we boost the introduction of electric energy to modernize the countryside and make it more profitable to owners.
Also, all the farms have the necessary environmental certifications. Before signing the contracts, Environmental Impact Evaluations are conducted and filed with the Ministry of the Environment to validate that there is no risk of ecological damage from the construction of a power plant or farm, and undertake action plans that will guarantee the ecosystem’s rehabilitation. For example, at the PIER wind farm, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources approved the Flora and Fauna Rescue and Relocation Program, through which we have rescued and relocated 121,572 flora species and 241 fauna species since the beginning of the project. Additionally, the plan provides for the reforestation of a total of 143 hectares.
Social Actions to Strengthen Communities
Besides ensuring fair payments to owners, Iberdrola México seeks to encourage the development of the communities where it is installed through health, educational, cultural, and environmental actions.
One example are actions focused on education carried out in Oaxaca, like the Impulso STEM (STEM Boost) scholarships, the Construir para Educar (Build to Educate) program, and educational furniture rehabilitation and donation efforts, as well as public health efforts, like the Urological Brigades.
Another significant action is the partnership between Iberdrola México and Iluméxico to put the Luces de Esperanza (Lights of Hope) program into operation, through which we seek to help vulnerable communities in the Huasteca Potosina which do not have access to electricity, so that they will acquire it from solar panels. This project is about to expand its scope to the state of Oaxaca.