The San Miguel de Salinas Council has unwrapped its strategy to try to paralyze the installation of a massive solar park that is intended to provide energy to the Torrevieja desalination plant on agricultural land in its municipal area.

At the extraordinary plenary session held on Friday, all political groups have agreed to suspend the processing and granting of licenses for land parcelling, construction and demolition on non-developable land related to renewable energies.

The suspension has a maximum duration of two years, during which time the Council must undertake a reform of the urban planning that determines which areas of non-developable land are entitled to special protection due to their environmental, cultural, agrological or landscape value.

In addition, the leaders of all municipal political groups will meet next week with the subdelegate of the Government in Alicante, Juan Antonio Nieves, and with directors of the state company Acuamed, responsible for the new plant.

The project was announced last week by Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, during a visit to the Torrevieja desalination plant, the one with the highest production in Europe.  The planned solar park will reduce the cost of a cubic metre of water 4 cents, a fairly limited reduction taking into account that the production cost is between 0.60 and 1 euro per cubic metre. The plant has a current electrical energy spend of 50 million euros per year.

Friends of Sierra Escalona and Friends of the Southern Alicante Wetlands (AHSA) have both said that they will also present objections to the project, when it goes on public display, because it represents, in their opinion, an “excessive” occupation of land with high agricultural capacity that will also divide the ecological corridor between the Sierra Escalona protected landscape and the Lagunas de Torrevieja and La Mata Natural Parks.

The Party Leaders in unison