The wind turbines may be on the other side of the border, in Spain, 8 or 9 kilometers away, planted near La Jonquera (La Jonquère), but they are the talk of the town in France. First of all, there is Thierry Thadée, mayor of the border town of Le Perthus, who is not delighted with this upcoming settlement. "Initially, we were told there would be 6 100-metre-high wind turbines on 10 hectares, but then we didn't hear anything more. And last March, we were told that there were in fact 9 wind turbines 200 meters high and that the total area of the wind farm would be 20 hectares! »
If the inhabitants of the municipality will not see these installations, it is rather the risks to biodiversity that make the elected official jump: "I am not an extremist environmentalist, but the installation of these wind turbines is an attack on the fauna and flora and my municipality will not benefit from this park. If only they sold me electricity! »
A risk to waders and birds of prey
A Catalan association, Salvem Empordá, has lodged an appeal and the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) has also been moved by this installation because the Col du Perthus, below where the wind turbines will be installed, is an important migration route for avifauna.
Fabien Gilot, director of another association, the Roussillon Ornithological Group, sums up the issues at stake for birds. "The particularity of our region is the Tramontana," he explains. Its power and frequency force migratory birds to descend as close as possible to the ground. "At this point, any obstacles that are a little high are a danger to birds that are likely to hit them, especially large waders or raptors. Whether it's a building lit up at night, a pylon or a wind turbine. They should really not be located in these migration corridors. »
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Dozens of species use the Pyrénées-Orientales "corridor" every year – a coastal path already full of wind turbines – once in spring and again in autumn, from the stork to the red kite, via the honey buzzard and falcons. "But what we don't know, because we observe them less, is that many passerines are also on the trip... So many potential victims for the future wind turbines of La Jonquère?