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Villagers delay construction of solar park in Ticul

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A solar plant in Ticul has new opposition from residents. Photo: file

Ticul, Yucatán — Upset about deforestation of their lands, residents have managed to force state officials to put off installing a huge solar-energy park.

The delegate of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Yucatán, Carlos Berlín Montero, reported that there is a delay in the construction of the Ticul photovoltaic park since “there has been some kind of social problem.”

As reported in Desde el Balcón, more than a million solar panels are to be installed in Ticul, Sacalum and Muna as part of a green energy initiative that also includes wind farms.

But these projects require enormous amounts of space, requiring land clearing and potentially damaging artifacts.

The San José Tipceh park in Ticul is a “large and important” project that requires 300 hectares of land, said Berlín Montero.

Ticul will have the second-largest green-energy production plant in Latin America, backed by French investors bringing US$500 million dollars.

All the red tape concerning environmental, public works and INAH regulations was reported last year to be completed.

But now officials are in a dialog with community members to reach an agreement on how the project will progress, he said.

If the dispute can be resolved soon, the park will open at the end of 2018 or at the beginning of 2019, said Berlín Montero.

“Yucatan is a state that has electricity deficit now and with the operation of these parks we will be the first state that is self-sufficient in the production of energy. And we will begin to export clean electricity,” he said in Desde el Balcón.

Six foreign and domestic companies are investing over 25 billion pesos to develop solar and wind energy in Yucatán, promising to generate more than 3,000 jobs.

Nine separate green-energy projects have been announced.

Companies from Mexico, Spain, Peru, India and China are all involved in the overall green-energy initiative.

With information from Desde el Balcón

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