Ignitis Renewables, an international green energy company, is cooperating with communities near wind and solar power plants under development by providing financial support for initiatives, education and improving infrastructure. The company has been providing financial support to the communities residing near its renewable energy projects under development for the second year now. The Pikeliai town, located in Mažeikiai district in Lithuania, used the financial support received from the company to refurbish the premises important to the entire community and adapted them to accommodate the pilgrims passing the town.

“Establishing close relations with the communities where we operate and non-governmental organisations is one of the key principles we follow in our sustainable and responsible operations. We want for our renewable energy projects in operation and under construction to create value for the entire region, including local communities and businesses. A partnership based on mutual trust is important to us, so we try to listen to the needs of local communities and look for opportunities for sustainable cooperation,” says Emilija Musteikytė, Community Relations Coordinator at Ignitis Renewables.

Ignitis Renewables and its subsidiaries are providing financial support for the second year in a row. In 2022 they provided financial support to nine communities that are located near the renewable energy projects managed by the companies. A total of EUR 86,100 was allocated to support the communities. This year the communities are eligible to receive up to EUR 300,000.

Making the town more attractive

Danielius Gedutis, the representative of Pikeliai community and the head of the association “Kuriame kartu” (Creating Together), believes that it would be difficult to create a town that is enjoyable to live in without the financial support of responsible businesses. That’s what encouraged us to contact a company that was operating nearby, Ignitis Renewables.

“Our town has a long history and more than one cultural object. When we were contacting the company regarding the financial support, we also were considering a pilgrim road that was being built from Pikeliai to Poland. Pilgrims passing the town need a place to sleep, make lunch or dinner and have a shower. So, we used a part of the financial support the town received to install sleeping accommodations, a shower, a toilet and a kitchenette at the community’s premises,” D. Gedutis told us.

He claims that with the pilgrim path passing through the town, there should be a lot more visitors, so the new infrastructure will ensure a more comfortable and convenient experience for the guests, which will entice the travellers to keep coming back to Pikeliai.

Engaging the whole community

According to D. Gedutis, the financial support was also used to improve the activities and gatherings of Pikeliai community members.

“The Pikeliai community is using the common premises for fun gatherings and sad moments when they say goodbye to their relatives. These premises badly needed an air conditioner that could both heat the premises and cool them during hot summer days. During the renovations, the electrical installations were also improved as they were quite old,” said D. Gedutis.

He also noted that the community members were keen to participate in the project and volunteered to do the tasks that were not planned in advance. He also hopes to collaborate with the businesses in the future to further improve the town’s residents’ lives.

“There are plenty of things we could cooperate on, including illuminating dark spaces at common premises by deploying new smart technologies. We are also considering installing solar modules, which could generate electricity to heat the premises,” elaborated on future plans the representative of Pikeliai community, which successfully utilised the financial support provided by Ignitis Renewables.