Solar Plant: Residents of Larga Vista accuse Neoen of “distorting the truth”

Larga Vista Residents' Association responds to Neoen's position

The Residents' Association of Larga Vista, in Silves, once again spoke out regarding the Central Solar do Foral, accusing Neoen of «distortion of the truth» and «demagoguery». 

After last Friday, January 19th, the renewable energy producer company had sent a note to the newsrooms where it states that Central Solar do Foral respects «some of the population's suggestions» – and of having accused the Association of not attending the clarification meetings for this project – the residents consider that the statements are «cynicism and a lack of truth incredible".

For the residents of Larga Vista, what Neoen refers to as the public consultation, «was a poorly publicized procedure that took place for a clearly, but purposefully, reduced period, not giving the interested public any possibility to understand the project, either from a technical point of view, as well as in terms of consequences, for the lives of everyone who lives around the project».

The public consultation was open between 1 and 28 June 2018, in Participa Portal, among other locations.

The association also accuses Neoen of, in 2018, when the public consultation was carried out, not having “a single clarification session” held, neither by the producer nor by CCDR Algarve, which conditionally approved the project.

«It was at that time that it would be logical to hold clarification sessions – and not when the project is decided», points out the Association, adding that the Environmental Impact Decision is dated January 18, 2019, that is, it happens «when everything is decided» .

Even so, the Association says that, prior to this meeting, it provided Neoen with a document with a proposed agenda that contained several topics for discussion.

«Only some of these concerns were addressed during the meeting and, contrary to what had been agreed, Neoen did not produce any minutes of that meeting», they state.

Without indicating what is being discussed at the Loulé Administrative and Fiscal Court, the Association says that the Assessment of Environmental Incidences to which this project was subject «does not respond to the likely impacts it will have, not only on the environment, but on the lives of populations that live around it».

On the other hand, residents highlight that «the size of a project determines whether or not it is submitted to the Environmental Impact Assessment, but rather the impacts it will cause, which must be, duly and substantiated, justified, something that does not happen with this project».

In the note sent to newsrooms, the Foral Residents' Association once again emphasizes that it is not opposed "to photovoltaic projects or a transition to a more environmentally friendly form of energy, at least in the production phase."

«What we cannot accept is that these projects are carried out without an Environmental Impact Assessment and are imposed on the population as if it were a fatalism to which some populations are condemned, as a contribution to the energy transition», they conclude.