Hundreds join protest against controversial solar farm on Spain’s Costa Blanca that ‘threatens wildlife and 10,000 trees’

OVER 300 San Miguel de Salinas residents protested in Alicante on Tuesday against plans to build a giant solar farm on prime agricultural land used by fruit growers.

Protestors gathered in front of the Government sub-delegation building on Alicante’s Plaza de la Montañeta.

The demonstration was led by the San Miguel Arcangel neighbourhood association and representatives from the local council, including the mayor, Juan de Dios Fresneda.



“I want to thank all the political groups in the municipality for standing behind the government team so that we can take the lead in this fight,” the mayor said.

The local authority supplied a fleet of buses for the 70 kilometre journey to the provincial capital.

The proposed solar farm on the Campo de Salinas would occupy 200 hectares of farmland between the San Miguel town centre and the Torrevieja lagoon.

It would supply power to an expanded Torrevieja water desalination plant which is aiming to increase production by a third.

An environmental impact study looking at changes to the desalination works states that it is not necessary to install an additional electrical supply system.

That has been seized on by opponents though the main aim of the solar farm is to reduce the cost of electricity.

It’s claimed that around 10,000 trees- mainly producing citrus fruits- would be destroyed.

They are an important source of income for around 70 families-an estimated €5 million annually- with some of their properties also facing a potential compulsory purchase order.

San Miguel Arcangel spokesperson, Manuel Gomez, said: “The solar farm can be installed on other sites close to the Torrevieja plant, which would not have as big an impact on residents.”

“This burden cannot be placed on a municipality that will lose tourism and agriculture,” he added.

Opponents to the project said they will take their fight to the EU and European courts ‘if needed’.

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