The decision of the Superior Court of Justice of Galicia (TSXG) to annul the repowering of the Corme wind farm on the grounds that the Xunta irregularly reduced from 30 to 15 days the deadline for allegations and for not including in the public hearing process all the sectoral reports caught by surprise the owner of the facilities, EDP, which had already completed the works. The first reason given in the sentence to overturn the processing of the project is indisputable. In fact, neither the developer nor the Xunta said otherwise in the appeal filed before the Supreme Court. The other argument is debatable. The analysis of heritage, water, land management and other agencies that review the documentation are not presented at that time, the TSXG argues that this contradicts European regulations to give "the real possibility" to stakeholders to "participate at an early stage in environmental decision-making procedures" and the Spanish high court considers that there are doubts and accepted the case to establish jurisprudence. Thousands of renewable projects currently underway throughout Spain and any other industrial infrastructure obliged to undergo environmental assessment depend on its verdict.
The Corme project will also go down in history as the first wind power project in which the Galician court revoked the declaration of public utility of the land. Once the prior and construction authorization and the sectorial project of the wind farm have been annulled, the judges of the third section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber understand that this recognition, which opens the way to the expropriation of the affected plots, must also be revoked. "The singular deprivation of the legitimate right of ownership is conditioned by a public utility or social interest, and these are not predicated in the abstract, but for specific purposes," says the sentence known yesterday. In short, there cannot be a public utility for a space if there is no longer a permit for the energy project that will occupy it.
The judicial mess around Corme and the precautionary suspensions to other projects criticized by both the sector and the Xunta have led the Galician wind energy association (EGA) to lead an alliance with the hydrogen association (AGH2), the metal association (Asime) and the Cluster of Renewable Energies (Cluergal), which, supported by the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Galicia, the Galician Construction Federation and the trade unions CC OO and UGT, signed today the constitution of a table "for the renewable and industrial development of Galicia" to "join efforts in the defense of the energy impulse of Galicia".