Court Decision Pushes Golan Turbine Project Ahead

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of wind turbines in the Golan Heights. (Flash90)

The High Court has rejected a petition by central groups, including environmental groups, against a project to construct wind turbines on the Golan Heights. According to the Society for the Protection of Nature, the turbines, which will be used to generate electricity, are being built in an area near where eagles nest, and the plan filed by the National Infrastructures Committee for construction of the project does not include any acknowledgment of this.

The decision comes a month and a half after 8 eagles were found dead in the Golan. The eagles were apparently poisoned, and the loss of those eagles means that the court should have been more circumspect in its decision, the Society said. “Unfortunately, because of this decision we are going to have to rely on the promises of developers that they will protect the eagles, even though they have no experience in this. We truly hope that construction of these huge turbines will not mean the extinction of eagles in the Golan.”

According to officials, the turbine project will generate enough electricity to power 60,000 homes. The project has been in the works since 2011, and was given its final approval by all the relevant committees last year. The 42 turbines are 85 meters high, and required approval from a variety of groups, including the Nature and Parks Authority, given the project’s possible impact on the environment.

Also opposed to the project is the defense establishment, Army Radio reported. Because of the height of the towers, they require special defensive measures, which the Defense Ministry prefers not to fund. The Defense Ministry is currently working with the National Infrastructures Ministry to find a solution, the report said.