The environment department gave the green light for a large photovoltaic park in Trimiklini, despite the local community’s initial objections.
The 2.2 MW photovoltaic park, owned by A.V. Earth Regeneration Ltd, will be developed in an abandoned vineyard in Trimiklini, Limassol, that is covered with natural vegetation. Apart from shrubs and herbaceous species there are 103 pine trees, which will be cut down.
Its construction was approved by the environment department on Wednesday. In its opinion, the Environmental Protection Agency refers to the views of departments, agencies and local authorities.
These included the views of the Koukas Community Council which differ greatly from its initial position that it had previously publicly expressed.
Initially, the community had pointed out how the environmental impact assessment study failed to consider the cumulative impact of the project with two existing PV farms, the excessive amount of concrete that will be used and the uprooting of the trees among other objections.
“We believe that such a development would alter the environmental value of the whole area,” the head of the community council Michalis Georgiades had said. He explained that there are already two existing plots with photovoltaic parks, and a large substation of the EAC (electricity authority) that was relocated to the area in recent years.
It had also said that the location is surrounded by fertile soil for agricultural use or that may even have residential development. “Around these plots there are others that are ideal for developments but those will lose much of their value as well as the potential for further development in many different areas,” Georgiades noted.
Furthermore, a decisive role for the project should have been given to the owners of the land adjacent to the plot on which the project is to be carried out, it was added.
But in the opinion of the competent department, the Koukas community council appears in favour as long as specific conditions are set. Among the conditions listed are to use the staking method instead of adding concrete and to plant low shrubs throughout the park, but also to provide compensation to the community.