From lignite mine used to generate energy to opportunities for local development: this is the new project for the Santa Barbara site, an area of approximately 1600 hectares that extends between Cavriglia (Arezzo) and Figline and Incisa Valdarno (Florence). Enel will carry it out with the Milan Polytechnic and the University of Florence, in order to identify further scenarios and innovative and sustainable proposals for the territory.
Enel’s Italian Generation Thermal-technical Director Luca Solfaroli Camillocci, Futur-e Project Manager Marco Fragale, presented the project today. The Regional Infrastructure Mobility, Town planning and housing policies Councilor Vincenzo Ceccarelli, the Mayor of Cavriglia Leonardo Degl'Innocenti o Sanni, the Mayor of Figline and Incisa Valdarno Giulia Mugnai, and the Professor of Planning and Urban Policies at the Milan Polytechnic Alessandro Balducci also attended the event.
By December there will be a definition of the possible development scenarios, based on studies of the economic environment, urban plans and expectations of local communities. Next there will be a project contest in January, involving the area's units and the fields for action defined in the first phase. Enel, the institutions and the academic world will evaluate theproposed projects, to verify their suitability in relation to the expectations of local communities, the sustainable development of the area and the integration with the ongoing redevelopment project.
For Luca Solfaroli Camillocci the project "improves the site's redevelopment path, and forms the basis for a platform that has already begun with Futur-e. A world unique best practice that we will also apply, for the first time, to an area that differs completely from power plants. A major challenge in which we ally with the area, working together to achieve a sustainable future for the former mine.
"We always believed that the former mining site is still a resource for the Cavriglia and for the whole area", said Mayor Leonardo Degl'Innocenti o Sanni. "Therefore, for our local government, the project promoted by Enel represents a unique opportunity to integrate the land replenishment projects that have become necessary with the exhaustion of the lignite basin, dating back more than 20 years ago".
"The Santa Barbara mine - note the regional councilor Vincenzo Ceccarelli – has been an extraordinary development driver for the Valdarno. However, today it is an open topic to be addressed urgently as an environmental heritage to recover for the local community and perhaps a new opportunity for development".
"We are taking a tangible step for the enhancement of an area that is a great opportunity for development for the Valdarno area and for the whole of Tuscany," explains the Mayor Giulia Mugnai.
A road to be pursued together with the local people, institutions and businesses to create shared value for the area by applying the principles of Futur-e, a programme launched by the company to upgrade the sites of 23 thermoelectric power plants that have completed their role in the energy system or are about to do so. Through sustainable and innovative solutions, plant decommissioning brings new opportunities for the areas that host them.
The open and constant dialogue with public administrations, businesses and communities in the different local contexts where the sites are located is a key element of Futur-e, which proposes a new shared and transparent development model that is opening a new chapter in the several decade long history of non-industrial sites that are no longer adequate for the country's energy and economic scenario.