The Polish town of Kisielice has received the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014 for its 100 percent clean energy achievement.
It is totally powered by wind and biomass energy. The award recognizes outstanding sustainable energy projects of the country. Kisielice’s submission was titled, Energy self-sufficient Commune of Kisielice.
With this prize, Mayor Tomasz Koprowiak of the Warmia-Mazury province was honored for his work on reducing emissions, stopping coal usage and improving air quality. In Poland, over 90 percent of the electricity is produced from coal.
This is the strategy adapted by community for development and become energy self-sufficient. This European Commission’s Award confirms that region has chosen right path, said, Mayor, Koprowiak.
The region is blessed with vast agricultural land that makes it possible to place a lot of wind turbines. Over 50 wind turbines with a total capacity of 94.5 MW have been installed.
Wind turbines are especially good at fitting onto a farm without hindering its output. In fact, in some cases, the wind turbines can improve yields, says official sources.
Besides, there is a 6-MW biomass boiler in Kisielice to supplement the wind turbines. It burns cereal straw collected from local farmers, which boosts their income. It is connected to a district heating network that provides heat for 85 percent of local buildings.
Kisielice continues its journey towards energy independence which was praised by Jury member Fiona Harvey for its variety of technologies implemented.
Currently, a third wind farm of 24 MW is under construction and partly in operation. Later this year, the town plans to announce a tender for the purchase and installation of first solar photovoltaic plant.
Recently Alstom secured a wind energy project in Poland, which is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2015 and will be one of the largest wind farms in Poland, at an estimated cost of €80 million.
Poland has a long way to go to achieve its sustainable energy targets, but this town inspires others to follow suit.