Wind turbine manufacturer, Juwi, won permission to erect twelve wind turbines in Reesdorfer Heide near Beelitz. Wind power opponents and the city have tried to prevent the project for years.
Beelitz - It is a shock for Beelitzer wind power opponents: The State Environment Office has finally given the go-ahead for the construction of twelve wind turbines in the Reesdorfer Heide. The turbines, proposed by Juwi, are to be built near the city of Beelitz in a wooded area south of the railway line. In a letter from September 24 which has now become public, the authority ordered the "immediate execution". Thus, the area near Beelitz could soon see the first 200 meter tall wind turbines in the forest.
For the environmental association "Waldkleeblatt – Natürlich Zauche", a merger of several regional citizens' initiatives against wind power, their fears are coming true. "The review was completed even before the state enforced moratorium against the construction of wind turbines went into effect," complained Waldkleeblatt chairman, Winfried Ludwig.
Wind power opponents: Our arguments were ignored
As reported, the state government wants to impose a two-year moratorium to curb the proliferation of wind turbines in areas that have no binding regional planning effort. The purpose of the moratorium is to make time to secure a legal process for the construction of facilities. In addition, municipalities would receive a greater voice than before. Ultimately, the aim is to increase the acceptance of wind power among the citizens.
In Beelitz, meanwhile, opponents hoped to prevent the plans of the Rhineland-Palatinate company Juwi. The approval procedure has been in progress since 2016. Since then, numerous objections to the project have been received by the State Environment Agency. The project was criticized by the city of Beelitz, the Recura group of companies that operates clinics in the health resorts, the citizens' initiative and private individuals. "Our concerns were probably ignored before the decision," says Ludwig. He claims that the authorities shortened the procedure but others argue this is not true.
Ludwig announced that the environmental association would take legal action against the decision. "But then the wind turbines are already." And as soon as the first wind turbine rotates in the woods around Beelitz, it would not be long before more would come. The argument of the wind power opponents will be further weakened.
Recent forest fires have shown the potential danger
The forest is anything but a safe location for the white wind giants. Waldkleeblatt has been arguing for years that a fire at such an installation could have devastating effects. The difficulty in fighting fires in the middle of forests was recently revealed in the devastating forest fires in Fichtenwalde and Treuenbrietzen.
"Against this background, the approval of the responsible fire protection authority of the district of Potsdam-Mittelmark is more than irresponsible," said Ludwig. In its approval, the regional authority stated that "the sudden removal of large quantities of water is normally not a problem". And since there is enough water on the spot from the point of view of the fire fighters, no further fire water supply points would have to be built. Ludwig can only shake his head about it. "This is an incredible explanation." He had written to District Administrator Wolfgang Blasig (SPD) and asked him for an opinion. For the forest fire in Fichtenwalde the extinguishing water had to be pumped from the asparagus farm Buschmann & Winkelmann and from Schwielowsee into the Beelitzer forests.
The city council of Beelitz recently decided to build a fire-fighting well around Fichtenwalde - so far there are none. This too is a lesson from the fires.
Landesumweltamt: Objections were thoroughly examined
The State Environmental Agency does not understand the concerns about the permit. According to the State Environment Agency spokesman, Thomas Frey, the present 120-page report explains the authority's review of objections - with the result that the project can proceed. Both approval and opposition procedures must be dealt with swiftly according to the requirements of the legislator, emphasizes Frey. Both procedures were "ready for decision". Asked why the permit was granted prior to the entry into force of the wind power moratorium, Frey declares: "The legal basis applies at the time the application is made". One can not override valid law, only because the legislature sets other standards by political demands. In addition, it is unclear when and how the moratorium will come into force.
For the Beelitzer wind power opponents the latest plans of the state government come too late. The fight against the wind turbines did not work out as expected. Juwi is pleased that it finally starts - although the company could not say when construction will begin.
Translation into English assisted using Google Translate.