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The mega-plant project with its evacuation lines and electricity grid towers. S.C.
Residents of the Guadalhorce valley unite to oppose mega solar farm project
Environment

Residents of the Guadalhorce valley unite to oppose mega solar farm project

The successful appeal by Álora residents and the subsequent major modifications to the Faballones project will be subject to public consultation from September 2-8

Alba Tenza

Álora

Wednesday, 30 August 2023, 12:03

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The successful appeal by Álora residents against the major Faballones solar farm project has led to a new public consulatation process, which will run from September 2-8.

The Faballones mega-plant project was originally intended to occupy 141.44 hectares. However, the changes made following the appeal filed in July include the modification of the route of the power line and the size of its power plants with a maximum area of 63,457 hectares.

"With the new modified project, it would now affect 60 hectares, which means 80 less than before, but now it affects other neighbouring properties like mine," Manuel Beltrán, a resident of Álora, told SUR.

Beltrán, originally from Almeria, bought a finca in the Guadalhorce valley and is incensed by the plans. "I have invested all the effort of my life in this finca so that they can expropriate it," he said. A large part of the ten hectares where he lives and grows olive trees would be affected by the project, which was approved in May.

Underground

One of the changes in the new Faballones project is that part of the power line will go underground. Beltrán, who is part of the Álora Sol Neighbourhood Association, said: "Burying the cables is not the solution, it is the same damage or worse than if it goes overhead and the properties can still be expropriated".

The Álora Sol Neighbourhood Association is also concerned by the huge Zalea solar farm and its planned power line which would pass through Álora, Pizarra and Casarabonela.

"There is talk of photovoltaic mega-plants but no mention is made of the thousands of people in Andalucía and Spain affected by these farms that will be crossed by high-voltage power lines, which devalues them," Beltrán said. Another concerned resident, Antonio Quintana, a farmer, said several key parts of his livestock farm, which employs 12 people, would be affected by the power lines. He believes a large part of his 840-hectare farm is threatened.

Fighting

Álora Town Hall is also fighting alongside the residents to stop the project. "Who is going to want to come here to see a sea of slabs?" said Desirée Flores, Álora's councillor for Tourism.

The Junta’s sub-delegation in Malaga has argued that the solar projects are vital. "The benefits and efficiencies of large-scale projects, allow renewable resources to be harnessed where they are most abundant and help to produce renewable energy without emissions," a spokesperson said.

The Industry and Energy Unit of the sub-delegation has published the modifications of the Faballones plant which include putting the power line between Carranque and Álora underground and also for a section between Cártama and Álora. Additionally, the resubmitted plans are for a plant size reduced to 52.019 MW of installed capacity.

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