Enel’s US renewable energy company Enel Green Power North America, Inc. has been named to the Benefactor Roll of Honor by Ducks Unlimited in recognition of the company’s conservation efforts near the Rock Creek wind project in Atchison County, Missouri. Enel Green Power has contributed $100,000 to Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting wetland conservation, to fund habitat improvements within the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge.
“At Enel Green Power, we are committed to making all of our projects as sustainable as possible and supporting the communities in which we operate beyond the energy we produce,” said Georgios Papadimitriou, CEO of Enel Green Power North America. “We are proud to support this initiative with Ducks Unlimited for improvements at Loess Bluffs, which serves as a vital wildlife habitat, as well as a cherished educational and natural resource for the local community.”
Located in northwestern Missouri roughly 25 miles from the Rock Creek wind project, the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge is a federal wildlife refuge comprised of more than 7,000 acres of wetlands, grasslands and forests reserved primarily as feeding and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Ducks Unlimited will use the funds towards projects that will promote and implement habitat management practices to benefit avian and associated species through the creation, restoration and enhancement of suitable habitat within Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. Recent droughts in the region have caused fluctuations within the wetlands at Loess Bluffs and the funds from Enel Green Power will support projects aimed at stabilizing these critical habitats.
“With this support from Enel Green Power, Ducks Unlimited will enhance more than 1,000 acres at Loess Bluff National Wildlife Refuge,” said Mike Shannon, Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist. “This project gives refuge managers the tools necessary to properly manage water levels on a large tract of refuge, providing healthy habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and the more than 400 bald eagles who reside there.”
Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Ducks Unlimited will periodically report its progress to Enel Green Power on the status of the habitat improvements, including habitat management practices implemented, the number of acres of habitat created, restored, or enhanced. In addition, Ducks Unlimited and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), are actively applying for a $1 million grant proposal via the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) to fund projects throughout the middle Missouri River Valley in Iowa and Missouri.
The Rock Creek wind farm is Enel’s first project in Missouri and at 300 MW, currently the largest operating wind farm in the state. Rock Creek is expected to generate approximately 1,250 GWh annually – equivalent to the energy consumption needs of more than 100,000 U.S. households – while avoiding the emission of about 900,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Investment in construction of the project amounted to approximately $500 million, and the wind farm began operations in November 2017.
Enel Green Power North America, part of the Enel Group’s Renewable Energies division Enel Green Power, is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 24 US states and two Canadian provinces. The company operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 4.3 GW powered by hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy. In 2017, the company was the fastest growing renewable energy company in the US, bringing approximately 1.2 GW of capacity online. The company is currently the largest wind operator in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Enel Green Power is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of around 41 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.
Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.