There has been a setback with the solar plants that X-Elio wanted to build in the Region of Murcia and neighbouring Orihuela. The Ministry for Ecological Transition has issued an unfavourable Environmental Impact Statement (DÍA) for the project ‘Torremendo I and Torremendo II photovoltaic solar power plants’, as stated in the Official State Gazette (BOE), published last Monday.

The multinational Murcian company (formerly Gestamp Solar), that is dedicated to the promotion of photovoltaic plants, had planned an initial investment of 127 million euros. The firm planned to build two photovoltaic plants with a power output of 150 megawatts (MWp) and 75 MWp on land in the municipality of Murcia, although the energy would be transferred to a future substation that would be constructed in Torremendo (Orihuela), close to Sierra Escalona.

However, the Ministry has made an unfavourable assessment of the project because it considers that it “will have a significant adverse impact on protected birds of prey and steppe birds, as well as on the Sierra Protected Landscape Escalona and its surroundings”.

The Ministry recalls that there is already a warning from the  General Directorate of Natural Environment and Environmental Assessment of the Generalitat Valenciana, which warns of the “unfavourable” location of the Torremendo transformer substation, arguing that  it is located inside the protected landscape (Sierra de Escalona).

The resolution, signed by the general director of Quality and Environmental Assessment, Marta Gómez Palenque, also concludes that “the prevention, correction and compensation measures fail to provide a sufficient guarantee for the adequate protection of the environment”. The decision is not subject to appeal, except through judicial channels.