Casas del Hito

Threat to important birding site in Extremadura

October 22nd, 2008

The area around Sierra Brava Reservoir and Casas de Hitos is one of the most important wintering area for cranes, waterfowl and steppe birds in Extremadura. It is now under threat from the proposed building of several thermosolar power stations, which it appears could very easily be sited elsewhere. As Clive points out on the forum. “It is important to note that the problem here is not the new technology itself for energy production but the poorly researched situation of the proposed plan”. See also SEO’s page in English on this story.

SEO note

  • This will suppose the direct occupation of more than 300 hectares of land, directly on the principal winter roost of the common crane in Europe, with 11,325 cranes registered there last year.
  • Those two solar power plants also include a natural gas combustion unit each, to maintain the energy production during cloudy days, which will suppose the installation of both tall chimneys for the evacuation of waste gases and of cooling towers.
  • In order to be able to use the energy produced, both power stations will share an electrical substation and a new high voltage power line more than 38 km in lengh, to connect with the grid at Valdecaballeros, and which will affect the entire Vegas Altas del Guadiana zone, including two SPAs.

Martin kelsey of Birding Extremadura has brought this to the attention of iberianature so thanks to him, and he has drafted the following series of letters for you to get in contact with the authorities in Extremadura. Revenue from birding tourism now represents quite a fair of amount for Extremadura and the more people that contest this, the more the Extremaduran authorities are likely to rethink such a poorly planned scheme. Read the rest of this entry