Dutch pension manager, PGGM, stops windfarm Mexico

On the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a strong wind is always blowing, which makes it one of the best places in the world to generate wind energy. Since 1994, 24 wind farms have been erected in the region. One proposal, to be funded by Dutch pension fund manager PGGM would include 132 turbines. At 396 megawatts, it would be the largest wind farm in Mexico. The project is budgeted at 750 million euros. Other investors to the project included Mitsubishi and the Australian investment group Macquarie.

The wind farm was expected to be operational in the fall of 2013, but encountered opposition from the outset. Indians blocked the access to the site and threatened workers. They were angry because they were not sufficiently informed about the plans, while the government is obliged to request permission for projects in indigenous territories.

Successful Protests - Indians blocked the access to the site and threatened workers

The protests were successful, the building was delayed and investors went looking for another location 25 kilometers away. The government this time, provided extensive community consultations and in September the park received a green light. But a group of over a thousand Binnizá Indians fought it in court, which on December 11 ordered a stop to the construction.

Soon thereafter PGGM decided to pull back permanently. "The judge's ruling was part of a broader assessment," said PGGM spokesman Maurice Wilbrink. "This project would no longer give the returns needed to warrant the risks taken by investors themselves. PGGM can go elsewhere in the world."

Unforeseen affairs

PGGM emphasizes that this state of affairs could not be foreseen. "There are many similar large-scale wind farms in recent years in the relevant part of Mexico that were built without the intensive public consultations and social packages that were set up around our project," says Wilbrink.

For Betina Cruz, one of the leaders of the Indians, that's just a reason to continue to fight against the arrival of even more wind turbines. "There are 24 wind farms built without our consent," she said after the decision of the court. 'It's enough.'

Translated into English using Google Translate


APR 23 2016
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