21 September, 2020
The 11th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) global forum is under way through September 23rd in Saudi Arabia. It congregates 27 countries that represent 90% of the world’s clean energy in the aim of accelerating the energy transition to clean energy technologies.
As part of that forum, the “Women in Clean Energy: Harnessing All Talent” event was held on September 17th at which the awards of the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative (C3E) were announced, Women of Distinction and Organizational Leadership. The Organizational Leadership Award was given to Cerro Dominador, the largest CSP project in Latin America that has been characterized by the important role that women have played in its construction.
According to data from the Ministry of Energy, the average participation of women in the industry is 23%. In this context, progressing towards a greater internal equity in the organization has been a challenge for Cerro Dominador, assumed from the beginning. It makes us proud to say that women comprise more than 47% of all employees, and 25% at the project site through the “Mirrors” Program. These and other indicators were what led C3E to award Cerro Dominador this prize at the “Women in Clean Energy” event held as part of the CEM forum.
During the online ceremony, Fernando González, Cerro Dominador CEO, thanked everyone for the award: “I want to thank you for this recognition in the name of everyone who takes part of Cerro Dominador. We have received a significant number of awards in recent years for our financing and our technology, but this is an award which is very close to our hearts and something of which we are very proud because it represents the way that we do business. We try to do things well and to do them differently, and that is why we are very committed to a fair and gender-equal organization.”
Cerro Dominador is a member of two programs that promote gender equality: the first is the Energy Plus Women program of the Ministry of Energy, and the second is the Win Win program of the United Nations. Both have served to identify gaps and implement good practices. Some new practices are: the analysis of, and improvement in, the salary gap; the creation of a gender-equity committee; work with key suppliers and contractors to encourage the hiring of women to work in a predominantly male sector.
Mr. González ended by saying: “Something of which we are very proud is that we are implementing the “Mirrors” Program with our contractors focusing on hiring women from local communities to work at the plant. And this makes us very proud because those women were trained to do a specific part of the plant construction and are now being trained to work in the operating stage. So, not only do we give the initiative continuity, but we also offer a job opportunity with a great outlook over time as a plant of this type has a useful life of 30 years. Although we are a small company, we are very proud to be an example. We try to do things well and this award represents our effort to achieve that.”
The “Women in Clean Energy: Harnessing All Talent” was organized by the C3E International Initiative and the Equalby30 campaign. The commitments being assumed by government leaders, international organizations and the private sector were disclosed at this event aimed to increase the participation of women in the energy sector.
About Cerro Dominador
The company’s solar complex is comprised of a solar thermal plant and a photovoltaic plant that produce a total of 210 MW. The 100-MW photovoltaic plant is already fully connected to the power grid. The solar thermal plant is scheduled to begin injecting in 2020 and is now in the commissioning phase.
The solar thermal plant is comprised of 10,600 heliostats creating a solar field measuring more than 700 hectares. The heliostats concentrate solar radiation at one point, the receiver, located in the upper part of a 250-meter-high tower. The sun’s radiation is used to heat molten salts that create steam that is fed to a 110-MW turbine to produce clean energy. This plant also has a molten salt heat storage system to ensure a stable supply of energy. The salt is produced in the same municipality as where the plant is located, María Elena.
We worked with the community to employ a percentage of local workers. Local hires represented more than 90% of employees working in the heliostat manufacturing bay.
Current status: construction progress is 98%. Connection date: last quarter of 2020.