Acciona ordered to dismantle 50MW Catalonia project

SPAIN: Acciona Energia has been ordered by a regional civil law judge to dismantle of 25 out of the 33 turbines making up a 49.5MW project in Catalonia.

The Serra de Tallat project, which has been operating since 2007, uses 1.5MW Acciona turbines. The remaining eight turbines belong to a neighbouring municipality and are not affected.

The ruling is against the municipal authority of Vallbona de les Monges, whose authorisation of the wind plant was deemed null and void due to licensing anomalies.

Acciona, which is the project’s developer and operator, told Windpower Monthly "the sentence is not firm" and that it would "appeal before Catalonia’s Supreme Court".

The company argues it "followed all necessary procedures and obtained all necessary official licenses during the seven year developing process".

Yet the civil law court judge says projects must fall within areas pre-reserved for industrial use within town planning schemes, which was not the case for Serra de Tallat.

An industry advisor working closely with Acciona, who wished to remain anonymous, argued nearly all wind projects in Spain fall outside such planning procedures and are processed separately "as it is not viable to expect the best winds to coincide with town planning areas."

He argues the administrative precedent already set by most of Spain’s online capacity will win the case.

"Meanwhile", he adds, "industrial appeals to the Supreme Court usually take four to five years to process during which time the plant may continue operating".

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