Twinning between Vrhnika (SL) and Cullar Vega (ES)

Two municipalities, Vrhnika (Slovenia) and Cullar Vega (Spain), signed a twinning agreement in the framework of the Green Twinning project. The twinning agreement was signed on 12th of July 2013 in Cullar Vega and will last until March 2014. Cullar Vega supports Vrhnika in implementing sustainable energy actions in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors initiative and more specifically in energy efficient refurbishment of the library in Vrhnika, energy efficient public lighting etc.

The partnership

This twinning partnership is constituted by the Slovenian municipality of Vrhnika and the Spanish municipality of Cúllar Vega. Partnership gets the assistance of the Energy Agency of la Ribera (AER) and Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZRMK). The Provincial Energy Agency of Granada (APEGR) is also participating as consultant of Cullar Vega.

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Kick – off meeting and the study visit

The twinning was formally launched with the kick-off meeting. On 12th of July, at Cúllar Vega Town Hall, the mayor of Vrhnika, Mr. Stojan Jakin and the mayor of Cúllar Vega, Mr. Juan de Dios Moreno, signed the Memorandum of Agreement.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together all partnership parties in order to ensure that they have a common understanding of the project, their roles and objectives. During the meeting the partnership discussed on the work plan, the training needs of Vrhnika, the provision of specific technical assistance on SEAP actions as well as the next steps.

The formal launching of the twinning was joined together with the study visit of the Granada province (11th-12th of July). The spanish partners presented to Slovenian delegation from Vrhnika and Kočevje the following:

  1. Visit to “Churriana de la Vega waste water treatment plant” with biogas cogeneration. The representatives have learnt about waste water plant main operation and also about the economic and environmental benefits of installing a biogas facility in water treatment plants.
  2. Visit to Huétor Tájar district heating system and Inmecal company. The objective of the session was to show Slovenian representatives the amazing project related to biomass district heating. Huétor Tájar technician demonstrated this facility that takes profit of olive oil by-products of the region to produce hot water (heating and domestic hot water) for indoor/outdoor swimming pool, the sport area and all primary school buildings. Later the delegation moved to Inmecal SL, a company located in Huétor Tájar that manufactures biomass boilers. The manager of the company showed the delegation the production process.
  3. Large-scale biogas production from domestic residues. The delegation of Slovenian municipalities visited firstly the “Viznar domestic waste landfill”. The main feature of interest is the use of the biogas produced in it due to anaerobic digestion.
  4. OTERO’s company headquarter visit. The delegation visited OTERO’s company premises. This building has been designed using sustainable criteria such as a green roof, passive cooling, geothermal energy, etc.
  5. A press conference was organized in the Huetor Tajar Town Hall in order to widen the dissemination of twinning activities of Green Twinning project.

The mayor of Vrhnika commented the visit in Spain: ‘’Our visit to Spanish partner municipality Cullar Vega was very fruitful. We found that despite the different climate, our objectives are quite similar – energy efficient building construction, rational use of energy and energy self sufficiency through renewable energy sources.’’

In order to keep this twinning partnership alive beyond the end of Green Twinning project, the representatives of Cúllar Vega remark the importance of widen the scope of twinning activities to other municipal sectors such as culture, traditions and so on. They are really interested in creating an exchange program of young people.

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