Indigenous groups in north-eastern Colombia have seized two of the country’s largest wind energy projects, protesting that they had not been properly consulted about their development.
The occupation by members of the Wayúu people has halted construction of EDP Renovables’ 212MW Alpha Alpha (212MW) OnshoreMaicao, La Guajira, Colombia, Central & South America Click to see full details and 280MW Beta Beta (280MW) OnshoreMaicao, La Guajira, Colombia, Central & South America Click to see full details projects.
Begun in 2021, the two projects – which have a combined installed capacity of almost 500MW – were due to begin operating later this year at an estimated cost of €441 billion.
“We’re closely monitoring and assessing the situation that’s taking place in the area,” a spokeswoman for the Portuguese company told Windpower Monthly.
Developers are planning to install wind turbines with almost 2.5GW of installed capacity over the next few years, largely on the La Guajira peninsula.
But many residents are unhappy with their appearance.
Earlier this year, Colombia’s president Ivan Duque inaugurated Isagen’s 20MW Guajira I Guajira I (20MW) OnshoreUribia, La Guajira, Colombia, Central & South America Click to see full details wind farm, the first to be built in the country in 14 years – but only after community leaders urged him not to attend the ceremony warning it could cause division between local tribes.
In a statement, EDP denied that any steps had been skipped in the approval of the Alpha and Beta projects and highlighted its efforts to win the support of local people
“Since the beginning of our business in Colombia, we’ve always complied with all the protocols established by the law to start the development of this project. Also, we’ve carried out all the requirements and duties, and more, to build a strong relationship with the local communities,” the spokeswoman said.