On Thursday the Council of Ministers released the project for a wind farm in Mugello, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. It had been proposed in 2019 by a Venetian company, AGSM, and had been stopped for a year due to the negative opinion of the Florence superintendency, which had judged it not compatible with the territory. The superintendency itself had sent the matter back to the government, called to give a definitive opinion which arrived precisely on Thursday.
The wind farm will be built on Mount Giogo, one thousand meters high, in the territory of the municipalities of Vicchio, Dicomano and San Godenzo, in the province of Florence. Seven turbines 168 meters high will be positioned on an area of 5.4 hectares, at a certain distance from the villages: 2.7 kilometers from Villore, a fraction of the municipality of Vicchio, and 4.5 kilometers from Corella, a hamlet of Dicomano.
The company that proposed it to the Tuscany Region in 2019 had started the first analyzes on wind data in 2015. In the various reports presented in recent years by AGSM, we read that Mount Giogo was chosen for the “good potential of the wind resource. That is, because there is enough wind to produce energy.
According to the company’s forecasts, the turbines will produce electricity for 80 gigawatt hours each year, an amount that will cover the needs of 100,000 people and avoid emissions of 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide. To bring the energy produced by the wind turbines to the distribution network, the construction of a 21-kilometer long duct is also planned.
The total investment is 35 million euros and economic compensation is also provided for the municipalities and the inhabitants: AGSM will make 3 percent of the annual revenues available, estimated at around 130 thousand euros, for environmental improvement and energy saving works. , such as the construction of a new bridge over the Moscia river and the financing for the insulation of houses and businesses. Faced with these benefits, the municipalities of Vicchio and Dicomano had given their positive opinion, as did the Tuscany Region, while the municipality of San Godenzo has always been against it.
In the last two years in Mugello many people and associations have opposed the project: in particular Italia Nostra, the local associations Dicomanocheverrà and Mugello in Movimento, the committee “for the protection of the Mugello ridge” and the first Act Health Environment Culture association, in addition to the CAI, the Italian alpine club. Signatures were collected, meetings and demonstrations were organized. Other environmental associations, for example Legambiente, have instead said they are in favor, indeed they have repeatedly expressed the need to speed up the authorization of projects linked to renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines.
One of the main reasons for the opposition to the wind farm is the choice of the place, the ridge of Mount Giogo, two kilometers from the national park of the Casentinesi Forests. “We cannot destroy nature in the name of nature,” said Maurizio Gori, president of the Mugello in Movimento association which is part of the committee against the wind farm. Concerns also include the construction of a 12-kilometer road, which is essential for setting up construction sites and installing wind turbines.
Another relief concerns the passage, in the area of Mount Giogo, of the path called Italy that crosses the Alps and the Apennines. “Either the path is protected because it is believed to be important or it is destroyed by cementing it,” said Piera Ballabio, activist of Italia Nostra Mugello. “We are aware of the need to create alternative energy, but this is only in favor of the environment when it is not destructive. Alternative energies can be created on industrial buildings ».
The long conference of services, essential to approve a project of this type, involved 56 between local authorities, parks and public companies.
The many observations presented were examined and a series of meetings with the inhabitants was promoted to share and explain the details of the project. On the basis of the requests presented, the company has agreed to eliminate one turbine compared to the eight originally planned. The authorization of the region was approved on 7 February, but a few days later, on 18 February, the Ministry of Culture gave a binding negative opinion at the request of the superintendent.
According to the superintendency, the problem concerns above all the construction of the road essential to bring the materials to Mount Giogo because the cutting of the plants, the temporary asphalt and the leveling of the differences in height will have an impact that will be difficult to remedy. “It is a wound that is opened in the landscape: it is not enough to hide it, the wound remains,” said Andrea Pessina, superintendent of Florence. «I would like to clarify that the superintendencies are not opposed to renewable energy plants. The problem is that we are only required to express ourselves on whether these plants will have an impact on the landscape ».
Called by the ministry to give a definitive opinion, the government finally approved the project. This was announced Thursday with a very concise statement, without specifying the assessments made and the reasons for the choice which was welcomed with satisfaction by the Tuscany Region.
The mayor of Vicchio, Filippo Carlà Campa, argues that the opinion of many inhabitants also had a certain weight in the government’s decision, partially changed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis. Campa, interviewed by Florentine couriersaid that there has been a change of perspective among many people who were initially perplexed: “one thing is to say” I don’t want shovels on the mountain “, another thing is to understand sustainability and the need to put it into practice, grown in this historical moment ».
In any case, the approval by the Council of Ministers is the signal of a certain interventionism by the Draghi government on projects of this type, designed to favor the energy transition. From the works of the PNRR to the regasifiers, in recent months the government has pushed hard to overcome the opposition of local authorities and superintendencies also through new regulations that shorten the time for appeals to the regional administrative courts (TAR). The goal is to make the procedures faster to avoid exceeding the strict deadlines imposed by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan which includes many of the projects linked to the exploitation of renewable energy.
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