Wind energy in Black Mountain: dilemma and fractures

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More than 27% of Ode’s wind power is now concentrated in Montagne Noire. A rank that is already generating opposition from citizens and associations in the face of new park projects. This topic is now the subject of lively discussion in the community of municipalities that host 65 wind turbines.

Since December 2021, Dreal has released 13 departmental maps outlining “Projects of favorable territories for the development of onshore wind energy”, the “order” made by Transitional Minister Barbara Pompili to the regional prefects in May 2021 seems to have stalled. In February 2022, the sub-prefect of Narbonne Remy Recio mentioned “the idea of ​​success during the 1st semester”. Suspended time, elections oblige, which does not prevent the subject from existing. And especially in Black Mountain. A sector that by itself already concentrates 27.3% of Aude’s wind energy. The area is also brightly colored green on the Dreal map, making it a favorable sector for wind development in 10 years. A perspective that faces real opposition, civic and associative. Satiety, which on March 15 found a new field of expression, political.

It was in Ilhé Cabardes, during a meeting organized by the President of the Community of Municipalities (CdC), Cyril Delpeche, in the presence of RES, a wind power center in Montagne Noire (five sites including 65 wind turbines). ) that several mayors “let their horses go”. Two weeks later, Benoît Soulier, mayor of Lacombe, summarizes the situation: “There is a lot of hostility.” If the wind turbines in his city provide him with 87,000 € IFER (flat rate tax on grid companies), the elected representative believes that RES is now on earth – too much – won: “We have the feeling that CdC is tied hand and foot. On March 15, RES came to defend their retrofitting projects: but they want to take the opportunity to install another windmill in Codebronde and three in Kuszak.” One step too far, says the mayor: “When you explain to people that their houses are in danger of losing value, they fall into despair.”

Laprade Mayor David Albert is on the same wavelength. And ask “conclusion” project Bois de l’Aiguille (Cuxac/Caudebronde): “The people are categorically against it. There is a degradation of our mountain, sources of drinking water.” And to mention the cost-benefit ratio, which is far too unbalanced right now: “Of course, CdC lives on these machines. But now the territory has played its role, the cars are no longer needed.” A position that would leave the door open for “upgrades” to replace existing wind turbines with more powerful machines: “Also, I wouldn’t be embarrassed. Unless the promoters, if they don’t put the cars higher, they won’t show themselves there.”

Reviewed the machines that are disturbing. Mayor Lastour Max Breil is categorical: “We already have enough windmills. And, in my opinion, they are already too visible in terms of their impact on the UNESCO classification project. (seven castles and the City, ed.).” The chosen one does not deny financial realities: “The resource we get from him is significant, and the tax burden on our residents would have increased without it, I know about it. But this is not ecology, we buy our misfortunes.” Expressed regret, assuring that there is a better rate: “Perhaps we were more inspired to bet on tourism, which could generate less tax revenue in the short term, but is more sustainable. Today, the positions of elected officials have changed, yes, with a dozen opposition mayors from 22 municipalities. We are reaching saturation. And if we continue, we will no longer have Gore, but Gruyère.”

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