A plan for a giant solar power park in a pine forest near Bordeaux has attracted opposition from environmentalists and game shooters. Activists have promised to fight the project, announced this week, to install the 1 gigawatt plant, which will be the biggest in Europe, at Saucats in the Landes maritime forests of Gascony 12 miles south of Bordeaux. Unusually for renewable energy projects, opponents include the Greens party that shares power in the regional government and has run the council in Bordeaux since July. One thousand hectares of forest is to be felled to make way for the solar park, battery storage, and an area combining agriculture and solar electricity generation. Engie, the French electricity multinational, and Neoen, a French renewable energy producer, are aiming to spend €1 billion on the “Horizeo” site, which they say will have the power of a nuclear reactor and supply energy for more than 600,000 people, fulfilling much of the needs of the local region. The companies, who are operating as a commercial venture with no state subsidy, have promised to offset the tree clearing with plantation elsewhere and to consult extensively with local interests. That has not satisfied opponents.
Times 14th Jan 2021 read more »