Opponents of the TotalEnergie photovoltaic park project take action in the Lotto
Faced with TotalEnergie’s project to create a 20-hectare photovoltaic park in Tour de Faure, protesters responded with a nature parade this Thursday in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. They are planning more actions in the coming days.
Despite the crowds of the great days in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, on this long Ascension weekend, the event organized by the AELC, a Lot Célé environmental association, did not go unnoticed. To challenge TotalEnergie’s ground-mounted photovoltaic park project in Tour-de-Faure, nearly 250 people have decided to gather for a “parade of nature” this Thursday.
More than 250 people marched to Saint Cirq Lapopie to denounce Total’s 20-hectare photovoltaic park project in Tour de Faure. The event has just ended. pic.twitter.com/gpFA161haD
– The shipment of the lot (@LaDepeche46) May 18, 2023
Some were disguised, masked, others decorated with plants, whatever the means, the important thing for them was to make their incomprehension and their anger felt. Among these voices that were raised was that of Jean-Luc Gaffard, one of the spokesmen of the AELC. “The photovoltaic park that Total intends to build is a money story. It is a money project for the benefit of private interests that will bring nothing to the area. For or against solar energy is not a subject of debate,” recalls Jean -Luc Gaffard, himself a defender of this natural energy.
“But, he warns, on an acceptable scale. We are for city parks such as those of Brengues or the Grand Cahors project with Fil d’Ohm; but that of Total is surprising for its location. -it, we are in the middle of the Causses regional natural park du Quercy, right between the two rivers Lot and Célé, in the immediate vicinity of a Natura 2000 area. However, to equip this park with 44,304 photovoltaic panels, there are more trees that will have to be cut down”. An estimate made by an agricultural engineer for the association.
A site to be connected to the grid 18 km away
TotalEnergie’s approach, in accordance with the documents of the prefecture that we have consulted, in fact envisages three fenced sites on 19.15 hectares of land belonging to five different owners. Before the installation of the structures, the clearing and chopping will be carried out with, in some points, the crushing of stones. “Nothing will grow on these lands, under these panels, it will be the end of biodiversity and of our little oaks that take so long to grow”, denounced the AELC representative.
But beyond this thirty-year production project envisaged by the global oil group, another point challenges the opponents. This is the distance from the Tour de Faure site to the first electricity connection point of the network, located 18 km in Cajarc. “Total must not take us for fools. Once connected by this 18 km backbone, they will have plenty of time to add other photovoltaic parks, to make all this profitable. We will not have 20 hectares of panels but 200!”
“Stay alert and ready to mobilize at the site of deforestation”
This Thursday, no one in the procession explained how the prefecture could have given its assent to such a project last January. An interview request has been made. As for the departmental council of the Lot, it has taken a motion to oppose this project. Even the president of the regional natural park has made known her opposition by speaking of “merchants of the sun” … Two legal actions have been undertaken by the association and its members against the clearance permit and the building permit. “Now we have to organize ourselves. We remain vigilant and ready to mobilize on the site of the logging,” warned Pierre Dufour, of the Confederation of Peasants and elected representative of the territory, and of the AELC, now 180 strong.
Lot Célé environmental association website: https://solairelot.fr/adhesion-a-laelc/#iframe_assoconnect