Outlook cloudy for Provence solar farm

Outlook cloudy for Provence solar farm

CRUIS: Court rules that solar plant is illegal Photo credit: Elzeard, Lure en Resistance

Not everybody wants the electricity that solar power plants produce.

Or rather, while applauding the switch to sustainable sources, they do not want solar panels covering hectares of countryside in protected areas.

In France’s Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence region, the Elzeard, Lure en Resistance group are campaigning against the photovoltaic power stations increasingly installed in the protected Lure Mountain area.

Town halls and the companies involved insist that the solar farms are vital allies in the battle against climate change and coincide with Europe’s  Green Deal.  Civil and environmentalist groups argue that these projects destroy biodiversity and despoil the landscape.

But in the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence village of Cruis (population 700) revenue from the almost-completed 17-hectare Cruis solar installation built by Boralex, a Canadian renewable energy company, already contribute 20 per cent of the municipal budget.

“Over the past two years, it has enabled us to renovate the car park, start work on the school and reintroduce aid for disadvantaged groups,” said Felix Moroso, Cruis mayor for 35 years.

“All this at the cost of photovoltaic panels on 1 per cent of our land.”

Sylvie Bitterlin, an Elzeard, Lure en Resistance member, insisted that the solar farm solved nothing.

“We’re razing forests to put up photovoltaic panels. We’re caught in a paradox,” the 62-year-old actress declared.

On May 31, the anti-solar plant faction had a victory after the Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal found in favour of Elzeard, Lure en Resistance.

Boralex and the government should have found an alternative site that caused less harm to biodiversity in Cruis, the tribunal ruled.

Work must be halted and the power plant cannot be used, although the association expects Boralex to appeal and take the case to France’s highest court, the State Council.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.


    • John Lightfoot

      09 June 2024 • 13:17

      They should mount them over riverbeds, would stop some evaporation and help with drought conditions.

    • CCW

      09 June 2024 • 15:16

      Buyers remorse ….people will regret doing this everywhere. They are an eyesore and not practical used in this manner at all.


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