Acciona is recognizing a decade of safety at its EcoGrove Wind Farm in Illinois.
On Sept. 19, 2009, locals from Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties attended the ribbon-cutting at EcoGrove by looking inside a tower and learning a more about wind energy. A decade later, on Sept. 27, 2019, the EcoGrove team celebrated a safety milestone at the wind farm: no occupational injury or illness.
“It is a big deal; safe work does not just happen,” says Karl Delooff, director of quality, safety and environment with Acciona’s energy division in North America. “We work with high-voltage electricity 300 feet in the air. We have weather to contend with; not all of the spaces and work locations are easy to work in and reach.”
DeLooff also presented the team with the National Safety Council’s Superior Safety Performance Award.
Since 2009, EcoGrove has generated enough power for more than 28,000 Illinois homes annually, while avoiding the carbon emissions equivalent to that of more than 2,000 cars every year. The project has also awarded $80,000 in scholarships for local students.
Another Acciona wind farm achieved a decade of safety this year: In August, the company’s Chin Chute wind farm in Alberta achieved the milestone, and the team celebrated with a trip to Waterton Lake National Park.
Acciona’s energy division carries out its safety and health policy through an integrated management system, which is certified under ISO 45001 and is applied to all the countries in which the company is active.
Coverage on the initial opening of the wind farm 10 years ago can be read here.