At EDF Renewables Mexico, we work in accordance with the Mexican regulations. In this regard, to obtain a permit for the construction of any wind or solar project, EDF Renewables Mexico requires the corresponding reviews by the relevant environmental authorities and institutions.
All our wind farms in Mexico are certified by PROFEPA, which certifies that we are a company committed to the environment. Our projects are built in areas that guarantee the safety of the population and generate the least environmental impact.
The turbines occupy less than 3% of the land on which they are located and therefore allow the coexistence of economic activities such as agriculture.
The Gunaa Sicarú project has about 400 private owners. All property titles have been checked by our teams with the Mexican authorities. No contracts have been signed with elected officials in the community. All landowners were consulted and accepted the location of the turbines on their land.
In Mexico, a procedure specifies the steps for the lease agreement. As part of an internal quality policy note, our local teams have done extensive work to identify landowners. They must have official title to the property before any contract can be signed.
In Mexico, EDF Renewables reproduces the same requirements established in France in the other countries where it carries out its wind projects, i.e. a distance of more than 500 meters, as opposed to 420 meters in Mexico.
In the case of our projects in Mexico, all landowners were consulted and consented to the location of the turbines on their land.
In some cases, after the construction of the wind project, landowners may build new houses or temporary shelters for their farms and livestock operations near the turbines, in order to take advantage of the high-quality roads built for the wind project. In this case, the distance to uninhabited farms (no people living there) should be at least 160 meters.
SENER (Ministry of Energy) undertakes the local consultation process with all the local communities of Unión Hidalgo to consider the interests and rights of the indigenous communities living in the areas where the projects are being developed. This process is in accordance with Mexican regulations. The consultation is realized in coordination with Secretariat de Gobernacion (SEGOB) (Ministry of the Interior), the National Commission for Indigenous Communities (CDI) and other relevant stakeholders, Regional Government, Municipalities, and others.
Throughout the initial phase of the public consultation for the Gunaa Sicarú project, between 2014 and 2018, EDF Renewables carried out numerous information activities, thanks in particular to its local team dedicated to relations with the communities.
General information and dialogue meetings with local communities were held every year; as well as information meetings with local stakeholders (associations, professional unions, elected officials). The most widely spoken indigenous language in the municipalities of Juchitán de Zaragoza and Unión Hidalgo is Zapotec, so the public meetings were conducted in this language.
In accordance with Mexican regulations and ILO Convention 169, the Mexican government alone bears the legitimacy and responsibility for this public consultation, during which local EDF Renewables teams may be invited to present the project but do not participate in the deliberation meetings. Hence, EDF Renewables participated in the official public consultation, launched in April 2018 under the auspices of SENER (the Mexican Ministry of Energy), as required by law.
EDF Renewables has been present in the country for 20 years and has numerous and regular contacts with the population. A long-term relationship of trust has thus been created with the local communities. The local teams systematically provide an answer, especially in Zapotec.
Identifying and considering the wishes and needs of local communities is one of the aims of the public consultation currently being conducted by the Mexican government. It is the conclusions of this consultation that will allow the project to evolve and to define precisely the measures to be integrated into the social program.
Since the beginning of its activity in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, EDF Renewables Mexico has maintained close relations with the communities throughout the life cycle of its wind projects. Thus, 14 employees - most of them belonging to the Zapotec community and who have been present for almost 20 years in our other 3 operating projects - are dedicated to the social support of the projects and operating activities.
The wind farm will provide local jobs: 1,000 temporary local jobs will be mobilized during the construction phase, and 70 full-time jobs will be created for the long-term operations and maintenance.
Regular maintenance programs are in place for each of the 3 wind farms in operation. The 70 maintenance technicians and 45 safety officers frequently visit the site to carry out these maintenance operations.
Our maintenance technicians have both the skills and resources to prevent and repair turbine components, in accordance with environmental standards.