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Community Engagement

A basic requirement for the development of a wind or solar project is to engage in meaningful dialogue and involve the people who live and work in the local area. Open and transparent communication at an early stage is important for creating trust between Eolus and local stakeholders, while also strengthening local support for the project. Our aim is to be the preferred player for renewable energy development in local communities by 2030. To achieve that goal, we will continue to focus on developing our methods and approaches for dialogue and communication. We are convinced that all business is local and that each project has its own, unique conditions.

Local Dialogue and Acceptance

Eolus has long experience of local dialogue and a strong focus on involving and respecting the people who live and work close to our projects. We have a responsibility to listen, understand and cooperate around the varying – and sometimes contradictory – interests of local stakeholders in order to contribute solutions that benefit the community. All projects have different conditions and because each project has a communication plan adapted to the particular needs of that project, we ensure transparent communication and prioritize dialogue throughout all phases of the project.

Careful consideration must also be given to the rights of indigenous peoples, such as the Sami. Read more about this under Human Rights.

Local Jobs

We aim to use local businesses when constructing projects, for both construction and other services, such as accommodation, catering and logging. During the most intensive phase of the construction of the Skallberget/Utterberget and Tjärnäs wind farms in Avesta and Hofors municipalities, respectively, local businesses provided about 50% of the transportation, rental and construction equipment and their operators. For the Stor-Skälsjön wind farm in Sundsvall and Timrå municipalities, local businesses provided 25–50% of the services. We use also a high proportion of local workers in the facilities where we perform asset management assignments. They take care of thinning, ditch trimming and snow removal, for example.

The outdoor association in Nora has built a boule court with wind funds from Eolus
Wind Funds for Local Development

Eolus grants wind funds for several wind projects that are operational. Wind funds are a form of community funding to support the local community economically and application is open to associations and schools in defined areas around operational wind farms. Priority is given to local associations with a focus on activities for children and young people and/or development of the local area for recreational, outdoor and tourism purposes. The wind funds are a long-term commitment and paid out every year over the life of the farm. The funds are paid out by the owners of the wind farm, based on a voluntary agreement. For the wind farms mentioned in the article, Eolus handles the practicalities surrounding applications, allocation and administration as part of asset management.

"It’s not easy for small rural associations to get funding"

says Elin Fällström

Active Outdoor Life with Funding from Wind Power

The glassy surface of the Holmsjön Lake, about 45 km from Sundsvall, reflects the steel gray sky. Some of the turbines from the Kråktorpet wind farm can be seen on the mountains surrounding the lake. Thanks to this, several associations in the area have received funding for an active outdoor life.

Keith Sahlin, a member of Holms Fiskevårdsområde’s Board, has just pointed out his cabin on one of the slopes. We are standing on the other side of the lake, and he proudly shows the pier that was built at the end of last summer. A wheelchair-accessible pier will soon be built here. The investment was enabled by the annual wind funds from the wind farm.

“This is a popular area for tourists from both Sweden and abroad who are interested in fishing. So the fishing spots need to be in top shape. The wind funds make that possible,” says Keith Sahlin.

“This is a popular area for tourists from both Sweden and abroad who are interested in fishing. So the fishing spots need to be in top shape. The wind funds make that possible,” says Keith Sahlin.

Thirty minutes away by car, midway between the Norasjön and Västansjö lakes, there is a sign with the words “Uteliv i Nora” (Outdoor life in Nora).

“People come here from the surrounding towns to train at the outdoor gym, play miniature golf or play a round of discgolf in the forest,” says Elisabeth Kempe. She and her partner Olle Modén are two of the enthusiasts behind the recreation area.

Further down from the outdoor gym – with equipment made from recycled materials – there are hammocks next to a small bookcase. The latest addition to the installation is a long-awaited pétanque court, financed by wind funds from the Nylandsbergen wind farm.

Föreningen Uteliv (Outdoor life in Nora Association) has about 140 members, who appreciate the fact that they can do things locally.

“We don’t want to drive into town every weekend so the kids can get out. Outdoor life in Nora is the perfect solution,” says Elin Fällström, who moved to the area with her family a few years ago. She is a member of Outdoor life in Nora’s Board, and Chair of the local culture society.

Together with other members of the Board, she tells how they applied for, and received, wind funds for a new door and deck for the Nora-Västansjö local culture center. At the inauguration in summer 2023, the center was packed. Visitors had to take turns at sitting on the robust wooden benches.

“It was fantastic! And it will be so good in winter when we open the scooter café,” says Per Hallgren, who’s been involved from the very beginning.

“Municipalities tend to invest most in urban associations with a lot of members. And preferably for young people. If we want something to happen here, we have to do it ourselves,” she says.

“Being able to receive compensation for having the wind farm close by is really good. We all need electricity, and it’s helping to develop the local community,” says her Board member colleague, Katarina Modén.

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