Edison has changed its approach to its relationship with the areas in which it operates through its electric production plants. A number of different steps were taken in 2016, some of which were a continuation of previous steps while others were new.
In November 2016, Edison and Iniziative Bresciani - INBRE signed a partnership agreement for the joint development of energy efficiency initiatives and/or electricity and natural gas supply bundling in Valle Camonica. One of the purposes of this partnership is to evaluate whether to launch a potential future joint strategy to strengthen their mutual presence in the area, specifically in the hydroelectric segment.
Inspections at production plants continued in 2016. The third annual roadshow, “At the heart of energy. Discovering Edison’s plants” was an open-house weekend at the hydroelectric power station in Meduno in the Friuli region of Italy. Plant engineers accompanied visitors on a special tour to learn about electricity. In addition, confirming Edison’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, in collaboration with the local administration, it created a contest and proposed three energy redevelopment projects to be carried out in the local area. Visitors voted for their favourite project and Edison committed to building the project that won the most votes: a photovoltaic plant serving the multi-functional centre in Tramonti di Mezzo, with a public internet station, a medical clinic and blood donation offices.
To best recount the opportunities presented by the wind power sector, in July 2016, e2i energie speciali organised a conference with ANEV and assoRinnovabili in Bari on the renewal of existing wind farms. The name of the conference was “The renewal of wind power plants: an opportunity for the local area”. The main issue was the effectiveness and transparency of renewal projects involving existing wind power plants in Italy for a sustainability process focused on integrating with the landscape. The conference was held in collaboration with institutions, bodies and local associations in order to help simplify authorisation processes for the renewal of wind power plants and take advantage of all economic and environmental opportunities for the land in the Puglia region.
CEB, a company controlled by Edison, volunteered to take on ARPA Belluno’s proposal to make a plant available for sample testing and analyses of smokestack gas emissions. It will contribute to the experimentation and research undertaken by certain local partners. Accordingly, between September and October 2016, the “Qualitycheck - Emissions into the atmosphere (Sampling)” inter-lab testing was carried out to enable testing labs to demonstrate their analytical competences to customers.
This inter-lab testing, the result of a partnership between ARPAV’s provincial department of Belluno and Qualitycheck Srl in Rome, saw the participation of 41 testing labs in both the private and public sectors and required an analytical calculation of the biomass station’s smokestack emissions.
Edison renewed its relationship with Valchiavenna and Valtellina through a new agreement with the local area. This virtuous collaboration and discussion between the Company and the local authorities led to the opening of the “Tracciolino” trail between Verceia and Novate Mezzola in October 2016 and Edison’s contribution of heart defibrillators to municipalities in the province of Sondrio through the “Edison, power for the heart” project.
Historically active and integrated in the Valchiavenna area with its own hydroelectric power plants, Edison plans to create long-term value shared with the area; a role it plays by listening to and understanding needs and by providing tangible responses to material issues.
Ten kilometres long, Tracciolino is a trail created in the 1930s to connect the two dams situated in Val Codera and Val dei Ratti with a small Decauville train. At 920 metres above sea level, it is considered one of the most spectacular works of engineering in Valchiavenna with sections carved out of the rock, tunnels and awe-inspiring views. The trail leads from Novate Mezzola to Verceia, giving visitors a view of Mezzola Lake from above. It passes through San Giorgio, a village that can only be reached on foot, and through the woods behind the village.
Owner of the trail, Edison granted “Tracciolino” on free loan to the Valchiavenna mountain community and the Verceia and Novate Mezzola municipalities. The region financed the redevelopment and work to secure it, while the mountain community carried out the work. The result is the fruit of the understanding reached years ago and celebrated on 8 October 2016 with the opening of the trail in a ceremony with the institutions in attendance. The ribbon cutting was followed by an institutional event at the Edison Campo hydroelectric power station in Novate Mezzola. The event provided an opportunity for the Company to meet with the authorities and underscored the former’s interest in the local area and plans to continue working there, while also receiving the broadest possible support for its initiatives.
It was also an opportunity for Edison to illustrate the “Edison, power for the heart” project, which, in collaboration with AREU, the regional emergency unit, will bring nine municipalities in the province of Sondrio into the network of sites with lifesaving cardiology equipment. Edison will donate 11 lifesaving automatic external defibrillators to the municipalities in Valchiavenna and Valtellina where it has hydroelectric power plants and to the provincial offices and Sondrio STER offices. It will also provide training on how to manage first aid outside the hospital.