Endesa's subsidiary, e-distribution, which is responsible for the pruning and cutting of vegetation around electrical networks, will invest close to 20 million euros annually in these tasks in the next three years. This investment will mobilize over 2,000 local jobs per year, according to a press release by the energy company.
e-distribution carries out preventive maintenance of its electrical distribution network and the surrounding forests with a dual objective: ensuring the continuity of electricity supply for all customers and reducing the risk of fires, especially during the summer period.
To achieve this, the company implements a program that contributes to local development and the conservation of biodiversity in the areas where it operates.
Every three years, e-distribution contracts various companies to carry out these tasks during the autumn and winter months in the six autonomous communities where it operates its distribution networks (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Extremadura, and the Canary Islands). They adapt their activities to comply with regional regulations so that the over 316,000 kilometers of lines managed throughout Spain are ready for summer, when the risk of fires increases.
For the new period from 2024 to 2026, the tender has been awarded to 15 companies that will be responsible for maintaining the tree masses surrounding the electrical distribution networks, covering an area of approximately 195,500 square kilometers.
In addition to the environmental benefits of pruning and cutting work, Endesa emphasizes the positive impact of this activity on local socio-economic development. Over the next three years, approximately 60 million euros will be invested, distributed among different areas according to their size and the characteristics of the forest masses surrounding the power lines.
The pruning and cutting campaign around e-distribution's power lines employs 2,080 people per year, with more than half located in Andalusia and Extremadura, 584 in Catalonia, 187 in Aragon, 116 in the Canary Islands, and 80 in the Balearic Islands.
Like the previous tender that covered the period from 2020 to 2023, the current one includes a hiring factor for socially excluded individuals, with a minimum of one person per lot (70 lots in total in Spain). This "favors the companies that commit to hiring individuals from this group to support their integration," the company stated.
Furthermore, the company is currently working on the design of specific training with the creation of a new specialist title in the pruning and cutting of electrical networks. This training will cover all the necessary subjects and specific areas of this activity.
The training places a "significant focus" on safety, which is "crucial" in the electrical sector and specifically for these tasks, Endesa explained.
e-distribution promotes responsible management of forest resources, vegetation, and flora in 47,520 hectares across Spain through controlled cutting, pruning, and clearing of streets formed around electrical lines. These tasks are essential for fire prevention.
The work carried out in these 47,000 hectares protects thousands of additional hectares as these streets serve as natural firebreaks that prevent the spread of fires in forests and surrounding areas, the company assured.
Moreover, specific and highly specialized work is carried out in protected areas such as natural parks, national parks, or biosphere reserves.
On another note, controlled cutting also involves the reuse and repurposing of approximately 4.4 million tons of wood every three years. After cutting, the wood is made available to landowners who generally use it as fuel.
Another additional environmental benefit included in the technical specifications for companies is the use of environmentally friendly vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In this way, Endesa estimates that 30 tons of CO2 emissions are avoided each year.