Sotavento was this year the center of the Global Wind Day activities organized in Spain by The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) because Xermade, one of the municipalities in which it is located, was winner of the Eolo Award to rural integration of wind. This award, now in its second edition, is organized by AEE with the aim of highlighting the socio-economic values of the implementation of wind energy in rural areas.
The II Eolo Award was given to Xermade for being a model in wind development. Xermade is a town dedicated to subsistence agriculture and livestock that used the resources generated by wind power to create wealth and jobs.
Xermade, with about 2,100 residents, has three wind farms with a total of 82 MW installed, which directly or indirectly employs 20% of the total population. In addition, 20% of the municipal budget also comes from this energy source and it is used to improve the quality of life for residents: aid for birth, improvement of the social services, rehabilitation of buildings, social housing, etc.
The award was a video recording that reflects the benefits that wind power generated in Xermade. This video premiered at the Wind Convention that AEE celebrated in Madrid on 12 and 13 June and it was shown to the residents of the municipality in Sotavento on 15 June, coinciding with the Global Wind Day activities, in which over 300 people participated.
In addition to the various authorities invited to the event, other participants, divided in children and adults, visited different wind areas of the Wind Farm: control room, inside a nacelle, inside a wind turbine, Project of Accumulation of Hydrogen, etc. Younger also flew kites and, with adults, they could see a helicopter land and take off, a hot air balloon or the operation of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).
The event ended with the participation of all attendees at a balloon release where children wrote their wishes and wind transported them later.