Twinning between Kocevje (SL) and Huetor Tajar (ES)

The twinning partnership is constituted by the Slovenian municipality of Kočevje and the Spanish municipality of Huétor Tájar. Partnership gets the assistance of the Energy Agency of la Ribera (AER), the Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZRMK) and the Provincial Energy Agency of Granada (APEGR).

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Municipalities of Kočevje and of Huétor Tajar signed a twinning agreement in the framework of the Green Twinning project on 11th of July 2013 in Huétor Tajar. Huétor Tajar is supporting Kočevje in enriching the SEAP document and in development and in implementation of sustainable energy actions, especially those where Huétor Tajar has already gained experiences and are coherent with Kočevje strategic plans for sustainable development.

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A roadmap of the mutual activities was defined in the collaboration work plan. Formal launch of the twinning partnership took place in Huétor Tajar with the kick-off meeting. On 11th of July, the mayor of Huétor Tajar, Mr. Fernando Delgado Ayén and the mayor of Kočevje, Dr. Vladimir Prebilič, signed the Memorandum of Agreement. Main goals of the kick-off meeting was to bring together both partnership parties in order to know each other, to discuss about their main interests, experiences and to identify common objectives and subsequently fields of twinning activities, as well as about the assistance on SEAP development of Kočevje.

During the two-days welcoming visit, where also the representatives of the municipalities of Cúllar Vega and Vrhnika have joined to visit together some of the good practice cases, the Spanish partners presented Churriana de la Vega waste water treatment plant with biogas cogeneration, the biomass district heating of Huétor Tájar, the Inmecal SL company, which produces biomass boilers, Viznar domestic waste landfill for biogas utilization, and OTERO’s company headquarter with some innovative solutions such as green roof, passive cooling and geothermal energy using.

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Among all interesting impressions, mayor of Kočevje emphasized importance of experiences exchange regarding the Huétor Tájar district heating system, because the district heating system in Kočevje is planned to be upgraded with similar system. Expert presentation of the 750 kW cogeneration plant was impressive and very interesting for Slovenian delegation. It was demonstrated, how olive pits, otherwise waste at oil production process, can be used for heating the swimming pool, sport area, primary school buildings and hot domestic water.

In addition to district heating system, the mayor of Kočevje discussed with its colleague about the efficient public lighting experiences in Huétor Tájar, as well as about different possibilities of cooperation between their municipalities not only in the framework, but also beyond the end of Green Twinning project.

The visit to Huétor Tájar was a great experience for delegation from municipality of Kočevje, which is continued by further help in process of Kočevje adhesion to Covenant of Mayor, which culminated in City council decision in February 2014 to join the CoM, in developing the SEAP, which is in the final phase, and the sustainable SEAP actions implementation.