Mainstream Chile organised a one-day visit to Cuel wind farm for fourteen members of a local neighbourhood association close to the company’s Puelche Sur project in Southern Chile. One of the objectives was to give communities the opportunity to experience the wind farm, so that they were able to share their experience with other local neighbourhood associations. The visit also aimed to answer questions and clarify popular misbeliefs about the impacts of wind farms.
Sebastian Videla, community relations executive who lead the initiative said: “It was useful for the members of the community to see first-hand the operation of a wind farm and break myths about their impacts. It also helped to see its compatibility with other activities such as farming and cattle raising”.
Visitors watched a presentation about Cuel wind farm and the generation of wind energy. The presentation also went through the corporate values of Mainstream and the various community initiatives that it has been implementing in Puelche Sur, such as the Recycling Workshops and Ventolera y Ventarron.
Following the presentation, community members asked questions about the impacts of wind farms. Common concerns included closeness of the communities to the wind turbines and their compatibility with different activities, the effect of noise emitted by the turbines and their impact on groundwater flows. All of their questions were answered and popular misbeliefs were clarified. After that, visitors were guided on a tour around the facilities of Cuel.
Community members and the Mainstream executive were highly satisfied with the result of this initiative. Community leaders who participated are committed to passing on their experience and knowledge to the members of their respective local neighbourhood associations who were not able to attend. However, it is expected to carry out further visits to Cuel including other communities surrounding Puelche Sur project.