Environmental concerns about the planned large solar park in Torrevieja

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salt lakes torrevieja - solar park

The Spanish government’s recent major project to build a solar park to reduce energy costs at the desalination plant is raising concerns among environmental groups.

They claim that the installation in San Miguel de Salinas entails an excessive take of agricultural land. The planned solar park would cover an area four times the size of the city centre of San Miguel de Salinas. The almost 200 hectares or two million square metres would have an installed capacity of 70 megawatts. This information was shared by Miguel Ángel Pavón, president of the Asociación de Amigos de Sierra Escalona.


The environmental groups, including Amigos de Sierra Escalona and Amigos de los Humedales del Sur de Alicante (ASA), have announced their intention to object to the project once it is made public. They argue that it represents an unjustified taking of agricultural land. In addition, it will interrupt an ecological corridor between the protected landscape of Sierra Escalona and the Natural Park of the Lagoons of Torrevieja and La Mata.

From estimate to reality

It was initially estimated that the solar park would cover approximately 140 hectares. However, according to environmentalists, this amounts to almost 200 hectares. In their calculations they used cartographic tools from the Generalitat. For comparison, the city centre of San Miguel de Salinas, excluding the scattered urbanisations, covers approximately 50 hectares.

Cogesa Expats

Additional concern about Vega del Segura

And the 200 hectares for the solar park near Torrevieja is not the only concern. In addition, the groups are concerned about the 56 hectares of the Vega del Segura macro-solar plantation, which is also under consideration by the state. A favourable environmental impact assessment had already been submitted for this purpose, despite objections from the same environmental organisations.

Pavón emphasises: “We are already announcing that we will object to this installation as soon as it is made public. This concerns an excessive taking of land with high agricultural value in the Campo de Salinas. It is located within the hydrological and landscape basin of the Laguna de Torrevieja. That is absolutely not acceptable. Furthermore, the installation, together with the nearby Vega del Segura plant, would complicate the ecological connection between Sierra Escalona and the Laguna de Torrevieja.”

Salt lakes

The salt lakes of Torrevieja are a unique natural phenomenon and are of crucial ecological importance for the region. These lakes, known as Las Salinas de Torrevieja, are responsible for one of the largest salt productions in Europe. They also serve as a vital habitat for various bird species. This includes the iconic flamingos that come to breed here. The high salt concentration in the water creates a special micro-ecosystem, in which certain algae and micro-organisms thrive, which in turn provide food for bird populations. In addition, the salt lakes play an important role in regulating the climate in the area and act as natural water purifiers. Due to their ecological value, Torrevieja’s salt lakes have become an important area for scientific research, nature conservation and ecotourism. They therefore form an indispensable part of Spain’s natural heritage.

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