Almargem says that the photovoltaic plant in Alcoutim is illegal and asked for the work to be embargoed

The Almargem environmentalist Association considers that the mega photovoltaic plant that will be built in Alcoutim is not licensed and, if […]

The Almargem environmental association considers that the mega photovoltaic plant that will be built in Alcoutim is not licensed and, if it is, it is illegal. The association has already asked the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) to embargo the work, which was presented yesterday at a ceremony in Vaqueiros, with the presence of the Minister of Economy.

Almargem explains that, in 2015, "it issued an unfavorable opinion on the Alcoutim Photovoltaic Plant", but its "was not taken into account in the report of the respective Environmental Impact Assessment Commission within the Portuguese Environment Agency".

According to the environmental association, "this entity later accepted the mistake, but did not accept to restart a new evaluation process, thus stricken with illegitimacy from the beginning."

One of the aspects highlighted for Asocaiação Almargem's opposition to this project «has to do with the direct allocation of a sector of the Via Algarviana, between Vaqueiros and Furnazinhas, which will certainly cause less demand from potential hikers, who are not interested in having to traverse an industrial installation of this size, with serious repercussions for the local economy of the villages concerned'.

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Almargem reveals that, «in the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) which includes a “conditional assent”, it is stated that “prior to the licensing of the project”, several elements must be presented to the APA, namely “solutions for the landscape integration of the Via Algarviana, with a view to minimizing the visual impact on its users”».

For this purpose, according to Almargem, «contacts should be made with the entities that oversee the Via Algarviana, in order to establish measures that minimize the impact of that stretch».

However, says the association, «”the entities that oversee the Via Algarviana” are precisely the Almargem Association», which «has never been contacted».

Therefore, "either one of the two: either the commencement of work ceremony concerns a work that is not even licensed yet, which is regrettable, or else the licensing did not, at least partially, take into account what was recommended by the DIA , which makes this work illegal, and the Almargem Association has already sent the APA a request for immediate embargo of the works», he adds.

Almargem says that “it supports the increase of energy production systems that are not dependent on fossil fuels”, but “for each situation, it is necessary to weigh all the pros and cons. In a territory like the Algarve, it is preferable to choose to implement smaller solar plants, in abandoned agricultural areas or areas without conservation value, close to consumption places, where all those involved can have benefits and the negative impacts are considerably much smaller" .

The new Solara4 photovoltaic plant will produce 383 gigawatts of electricity annually, equivalent to the annual consumption of a city of 130 inhabitants.

The work extends over 600 hectares and construction is scheduled to start in April. The project, which represents an investment of 200 million euros, is promoted by a consortium made up of the Irish company WELink and China Triumph International Engineering Co. Ltd.

Yesterday, the project was presented by Manuel Caldeira Cabral, Minister of Economy, and Jorge Seguro Sanches, Secretary of State for Energy, as well as Barry O'Neill and Peng Shou, responsible for the two promoting companies.



Note:Sul Informação he did not follow the official presentation of the project with the Minister of Economy, as he was not invited to the ceremony, nor did he receive any official information on the matter.