Solar plants anger Loule locals


We talked a while back about two new solar parks planned to open in the Algarve, and now we have an update about that post.

Even if the solar plant has been green-lit by the regional authorities, its construction is causing a lot of distress for the residents in the Fonde da Apra area of Loule. They’re concerned about the fact that their properties have plummeted in value because of the plant and have vowed to take their case to Brussels if the project is not stopped.

For a bit of background, several studies into the compatibility of the plant with various aspects of Loule’s projected development have shown it to be lacking. An evaluation carried out by the Algarve Committee for Regional Development and Coordination which showed that the project “encroaches on a Site of Community Importance”; an environmental impact study carried out by the Cascais-based project consultancy company Matos, Fonseca & Associates, found that the land the plant will be built on was found to be home to fauna of “conservational interest” even if the land is not covered by the “Special Protection Zone” status. The survey did conclude that the overall impact would be minimal and ‘insignificant’ and would also occur mainly during the construction phase, saying that the impact on the landscape would be of “little significance and reduced magnitude”.

That conclusion is vehemently contested by the frustrated locals who are not fond of the idea of a solar power plant being built next to their homes.

One British couple said that they acquired their property on a hillside directly overlooking the plant because they like the view, and now that view is being wiped out.

That appears to be the main concern of most the inhabitants, saying that while they understand the importance of renewable energy and that they have nothing against the solar plants, but they just don’t like the fact that the plants are being built in full view of the villas and in a residential area.

We’ll keep an eye on this story and see how it unfolds.