An employee of the commune office has been trying to push through the construction of a photovoltaic farm in the heart of the Białowieża Forest for years. So far, his efforts have been rejected, but the mayor of Białowieża recently supported this controversial idea.
Ecologists point out that the idea of erecting photovoltaic panels in the Białowieża Forest, which has UNESCO World Heritage status, is a mistake. They remind that “the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Białystok has always refused to agree on this investment, because its implementation is clearly inconsistent with the provisions of the plan of protective tasks for the Puszcza Białowieska Natura 2000 area.” However, the investor is stubborn and is getting closer to his goal.
Photovoltaics in the wilderness? Environmentalists criticize the investor
The investor’s efforts were bluntly criticized by environmentalists who spoke on this matter for “Wyborcza”. – He submitted an environmental report full of errors and omissions. The herpetological inventory of reptiles and amphibians was carried out in a period when reliable data are difficult to obtain. The investor’s report also included the opinion that the project planning would not have a negative impact on mushrooms, although no mushroom inventory was carried out at all, they emphasized.
The mayor agrees to a solar farm in the forest
The mayor of Białowieża, Albert Litwinowicz, finally gave in and issued a positive decision for the project described here. As he himself wrote, it was “non-standard”. Solar panels with a total capacity of 1MW would be placed on one of the forest clearings. In a justification published by “Gazeta Wyborcza”, he explained that RDOŚ did not give the investor a chance to fill the gaps. In turn, his deputy argued for public benefits and – surprisingly – environmental protection.
Local activists point out that solar panels will disturb not only bisons, but also tourists who do not go to the Białowieża Forest to see this type of structures. The official, an inspector for construction, investments and public procurement, sees nothing wrong with the whole matter. – I want it to be built there because it is my land. I don’t have another one, and this one is perfect for this purpose. The whole fuss over this is bullshit. I submitted an application to the mayor regarding environmental proceedings as a resident of the commune – he summed up in a statement for “Wyborcza”.