“Barcelona Energia” is now a reality. The public company completed all the legal procedures on 1 December 2017, enabling it to operate in the electricity market. It now appears on the list of electricity suppliers approved by the National Markets and Competition Commission Council (CNMC), Spain’s electricity market regulator. The public electricity supplier went into operation this 1 February and began its activity representing generation facilities in the electricity market, managing the energy produced by them.
Its initial representational activities involve acting as an electricity market agent for the plants which it currently manages and runs: 41 photovoltaic plants installed in Barcelona City Council’s buildings, the Sant Adrià del Besòs energy recovery plant and the plant that harnesses the Garraf landfill’s biogas energy.
These facilities provide an overall installed capacity of 45 MW and export roughly 200,000 MWh of green electricity to the local grid, which is connected to the circular economy (approximately equivalent to the annual consumption of 87,000 families).
The second stage, which starts this coming July, is expected to see the public supplier providing electricity to Barcelona’s municipal buildings; a service that will later be offered to the public.
The Councillor for the President’s Office, Water and Energy, Eloi Badia, has highlighted the importance of reclaiming the public management of energy, “because the interests of a few cannot be take priority over the general interest in a basic service such as this. In fact, it is one of the sectors where sovereignty plays a key role”.
According to Badia: “We are being given tools for boosting public leadership and gaining independence from the electricity oligarchy; for playing a key role in the energy market; for becoming greener and filling the city with renewable energies; for becoming more efficient, with the maximum amount possible produced locally, for enabling self-consumption, guaranteeing energy rights and turning city residents into stakeholders playing an active role”.
The public electricity supplier is a municipal government priority as a tool for promoting and stimulating local and renewable energy generation both at municipal-facility and general-public levels.
This initiative is enshrined in a series of energy-transition measures spear-headed by Barcelona City Council, for the purposes of introducing the environmental, social and economic benefits involved in energy generation with renewable sources as well as making a rational system of energy consumption.