A farmer in western Turkey is fighting plans to cut down some 30,000 olive trees to make way for a solar power plant. Renewable energy firm Lodos Enerji has been granted permission to install solar panels near its existing wind farm despite the fact that the state land in question is rented by villagers for olive growing for a period of 150 years.
In the project’s environmental impact assessment, the area was described as not suitable for olive cultivation even though it is covered by well-maintained and healthy olive trees, according to reports.
The area was described as not suitable for olive cultivation
Mustafa Şenbahar, one of the farmers renting the land, has been notified by the national real estate authority that his land lease contract has been amended, but he says he intends to challenge the decision in court.
Şenbahar has already filed a lawsuit against the power generation license
He has already filed a lawsuit against the power generation license issued to the solar park developer, and he also demanded that the project be stopped, according to a report by evrensel.
Şenbahar, who signed the lease in 2007 and now grows olives on 47.3 hectares of land in the Karaburun peninsula near Izmir, said the construction of the planned solar power plant would result in cutting down some 30,000 trees, including those planted on the neighboring plots.
If completed, the project might force villagers to leave the area
If the solar park is built, it will be about 15 times the size of the main village in the area. The villagers, whose pastures and livelihoods have already shrunk due to wind turbines, might even be forced to leave the area, the article adds.