The Supreme Court annuls permit for solar and wind farm in northern Yucatan

A cyanide production plant and a wind and photovoltaic park, the latter in Yucatan, have found judgments of opposition in the Supreme Court of Justice, which denied the protection against the first, but granted it against the second.

The Second Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court annulled the permission to develop the aforementioned wind and solar energy park in Yucatan, and ordered the development of a new process for evaluating social impact and consulting indigenous communities, stating that the project must include “fair and equitable benefits” for these communities.

Unlike the cyanide plant in Durango, the protection against the renewable energy park was promoted by members of an indigenous community, who claim that their Constitutional right of prior consultation was not respected.

The Second Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the Ejido de Sinanché against the permission that the Ministry of Energy granted in 2016 for the Cansahcab Wind and Photovoltaic Project, of the company BHCE Yucatan SAPI, which requires an investment of 496 million dollars and is one of at least 27 renewable energy projects launched in Yucatán since 2012.

The Court’s demands could take months or years to be executed, and it remains to be seen if the company will maintain its interest in the project to generate 250 megawatts with 125 wind turbines, given the multiple obstacles that this type of energy faces in this six-year term.

The Ministers determined that the Social Impact Assessment did not include a field visit by Sener officials, so it was not really verified which communities would be affected by the installation of wind turbines, including the complaining Ejido de Sinanché.

“It is in such a resolution where, in order to ensure full respect for the free, prior and informed consultation of indigenous peoples, the authority should have ordered that a field analysis be carried out, to corroborate, complement and specify that the Maya indigenous people communities in the area of ​​influence of the wind project must be consulted, ”says the ruling.

The sentence goes further, since it orders Sener to distribute the benefits generated by the wind park in an equitable manner, with a view to ensuring that the communities truly become stakeholders in the development of the project.

“The authority must specify that the proposal for the distribution of benefits in favor of the indigenous Maya people must be fair and equitable,” states the document.

The same court denied, by three votes to two, an injunction seeking to prevent the construction of a sodium cyanide production plant for the mining industry in Durango, which has been the subject of litigation since 2018.

It is a project of the Canadian company The Chemours Company, which involves the investment of 3.2 billion pesos and the creation of one thousand jobs in the community of Dinamita, Gómez Palacio, Durango.

The injunction was promoted by the civil association Pro Defensa del Ciudadano, which alleged that the community was not consulted before granting environmental authorizations.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom


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