Wednesday, 17 May 2023, 09:13
Minority environmental groups are yet to back plans for an offshore wind farm off in the Alboran sea off the Costa del Sol despite strong support at a national level.
Most non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and parties such as Verdes Equo, Greenpeace, Gena-Ecologistas en Acción and the now-defunct Aula del Mar have thrown their support behind the non-polluting electricity production initiative, called the Nao Victoria park.
But several local and minority groups, such as Verdemar, Ecologistas Malaka, Silvema, Asociación Salvamos campos y montes de la Serranía de Ronda, Asociación Valle Natural Río Grande, Ciriana and Agaden have voiced concerns about the project during a community consultation process opened by the Ministry for Environment.
In a submission of their concerns, also signed by the National Federation of Artisanal Fishing (Fenapa), the groups considered the pre-study of the environmental impact assessment presented by the promoters of the Nao Victoria park as "a mere bibliographical rehash".
They were concerned about the intense activity already in the proposed area, with cargo ships, oil tankers, butane tankers and others coming from the Strait of Gibraltar passing through the proposed area.
In regards to the power lines, although the companies say they will be underground routes on the seabed and in part of the coastal area, "in any case they will generate a decisive impact on the seabed and terrestrial soils they cross, given the presence of important habitats such as oyster reefs, fields of white anemones, gorgonian gardens and expanses of deep sea sponges and ascidians".
"It will cause very aggressive damage to inshore and artisanal fisheries as has already occurred in the vicinity of other offshore wind farms already installed elsewhere," they added.
The groups also said the wind farm would impact on the migratory corridor of the Strait of Gibraltar, between Europe and Africa. "This corridor is overflown by thousands of birds protected by Spanish and European regulations, in some cases on the verge of extinction. The modification of their migratory routes, the increased effort of the birds in intercontinental transfers, as well as the possible mortality due to collisions, can cause dramatic damage to these species," the environmental group said.
If the Spanish government approves the scheme, the turbines would be 200 metres tall and attached to the seabed in an area the size of 30,000 football pitches in the Alborán Sea off the stretch of coast between Fuengirola and Marbella, at a cost of over 2.5 billion euros. It would produce enough electricity to supply 660,000 households.
The group behind the initiative is IberBlue Wind, a consortium formed by the Irish company Simply Blue Group, which specialises in marine wind energy, and Spanish firms Proes Consultores (an engineering division of Grupo Amper) and FF New Energy Ventures (FF NEV).
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