AROUND SLOVAKIA

Citizens to vote on wind farm

A SLOVAK subsidiary of the Austrian company ENAIRGY Windenergie is planning to construct a wind park in the community of Mokrý Háj, lying between the towns of Skalica and Radošovce.

A SLOVAK subsidiary of the Austrian company ENAIRGY Windenergie is planning to construct a wind park in the community of Mokrý Háj, lying between the towns of Skalica and Radošovce.

The mayor of Mokrý Háj, Peter Pobuda, announced that a referendum on the wind farm will be held after the municipality discussed the matter in May 2009 and received a petition against the project with more than 200 signatures.

The petition-signers objected to noise coming from the project and expressed concerns about negative impacts on the environment. The mayor said the town would respect the result of the plebiscite.

“I assured them that if all studies disproving the negative impact of the wind farm on local environment are not submitted, we will not approve the construction,” Pobuda told the SITA newswire. “We will wait for the referendum’s results, then I will summon the municipal council and we will agree on further steps. We will definitely respect the citizens’ decision,” he said.

The mayor set the referendum for September 15, a national holiday, and this has caused some controversy as many residents plan to take part in a pilgrimage in nearby Šaštín where the local Basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Seven Sorrows, the patron saint of Slovakia to whom the holiday is dedicated. But the mayor says that people will not work on that day and they can come to express their opinion.

The investor has offered the affected villages compensation in the form of one-off payments of €5,000 for each turbine as well as €2,000 per turbine annually. Pobuda admitted the village could very well use the money but added that the citizens’ contentment was the most crucial priority. The investor plans to hold a meeting with residents on September 7 and make a presentation.

The wind farm would have 15 turbines with a tower height of 100 metres, a 92 metre rotor diameter and electrical output of 2 MW. The investor wants to complete the wind farm by 2011. The project has already been submitted to the Environment Ministry for assessment of environmental impacts. Its costs are estimated at €43 million.


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