The city of Sestao, in Spain, has signed a contract with the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF), making official the entering into the EEEF´s Technical Assistance (TA) program. The initial contact between the two was a result of the Smart Cities Marketplace Matchmaking activities.
“It was exciting when we, the Smart Cities Marketplace matchmaking team, had our first conversations with Sestao. We noticed that the city has huge ambitions when it comes to implementing clean energy solutions, and we were confident that we could connect Sestao with the right investor”, Jorge Rodrigues de Almeida from the Smart Cities Marketplace team stated.
Sestao Berri is a public entity comprised of 50% Basque Government and 50% City of Sestao and is focused on urban regeneration, especially related to housing projects, promoting social, environmental and economic advancement in the region. As part of its involvement within the H2020 +CityxChange project, in which it is working towards developing Positive Energy Blocks in the city, it submitted a concept note during a Smart Cities Marketplace call for projects to participate in one of its events.
The project was reviewed and sent to different investors from the Investor Network raising interest among several of them, and thus various meetings were scheduled, one being with EEEF. Since then, multiple projects within the city were considered, and different urban interventions ended up getting approved for entering the Technical Assistance programme, such as the creation of energy communities, buildings’ energy retrofit, modernization of street lighting, installation of electric vehicle charging stations and a digital sustainability platform, resulting in a higher total investment than the one presented in the initial concept note.
“We had a wealth of ideas in Sestao on how to reduce our emissions. The support and advice we received from the Smart Cities Marketplace matchmakers were essential in getting the European Energy Efficiency Fund on board”, Andy Bäcker explained.
In this sense, the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) is financing about € 195.000 to study the technical, economic, and legal viability of these city improvements and help prepare the public tenders under an ESCO model that will be released in the Spring of 2023 for an estimated investment of € 13.7 million. It is, conservatively estimated, that this project will contribute to reducing 2.4% of Sestao´s CO2 emission (not accounting for the emissions from the industrial sector) and be the equivalent of having 647 citizens of Sestao living completely carbon neutral.