Plans to build up to 30 wind turbines next to a sole one already standing on a plateau that is part of the iconic Kras region in south-western Slovenia have met with opposition from the locals with both municipalities involved set to veto the project.
“The municipality has not given its opinion yet, but it will certainly follow the will of the people living in the area,” Sežana Mayor David Škabar told the STA on Monday as the plans for a wind farm on Griško Polje were presented to the locals.
The investors, AAE Gamit and AAE Ventur, are planning to build 14 wind turbines in four wind fields measuring a total of 698 hectares, each with a rated capacity of 4.2 MW or a combined 58.8 MW. Each unit is to comprise a tower measuring between 150 and 200 metres in height, and a rotor with a diameter of between 115 and 1805 metres.
However, this is only part of the project that extends into the Sežana municipality, with further turbines planned in the section of the area that is part of the neighbouring Divača municipality.
The regional newspaper Primorske Novice reported just days ago that the two investors, none of which has any employees, planned to build 25 wind turbines on Griško Polje in a project valued at more than EUR 140 million.
According to the report, the Environment Ministry has already published a notice on a public initiative to draw up a national zoning plan for the two wind fields on Griško Polje one near Veliko Polje and one near Dolenja Vas. Construction was to start in the summer of 2025, and by the end of the year the farm was to be connected to the grid.
However, the presentation of the plan yesterday showed the local community opposes the project with Sežana Mayor saying wind turbines were not planned in the local zoning act as major new projects such as wind or solar plants could “devalue” the Kras region.
A woman living close to the solitary wind turbine on Griško Polje, which can be seen from the A1 motorway to the coast, said the noise was so bad her family could not sleep and had health issues. “If the noise of a single turbine is so disturbing what would 30 such mean that they plan to erect,” she wondered.
Members of farming communities where the wind farm would be located do not oppose the project, thus the local community fears the project could divide the population.
Environment and infrastructure ministry officials told the meeting the main reason to build new wind power plants was to increase the share of renewables in Slovenia’s energy mix in line with the commitment made to the EU.
As part of the procedure to adopt the national zoning plan for the project, guidelines will also be provided by the Divača municipality. These are set to be negative as the community already decided back in 2004 it was against wind farms on its territory. The residents of Senožeče have also voted no in a local referendum.
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