Local community raises concerns around wind energy project in Turkey; incl. company responses

The Goldstandard registered ?e?me Wind Power Project,?located on a peninsular close to Izmir?in Turkey, was initiated by the Turkish energy company Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation Inc. (formerly ABK Energy) and supplied with wind turbines by German company Nordex SE. The Turkish company?Life Climate and Energy Limited (Life Enerji) provides consultancy services.

According to the local community the project was implemented without adequately consultating local stakeholders and landowners, and those opposing the project have allegedly faced harassment via local/regional media and courts. The community has filed several (ongoing) complaints against the project including at local and administrative courts as well as the Supreme Court of Turkey, however construction continued.?In 2015, the German National Contact Point accepted partial responsibility for an OECD complaint filed against Nordex, following which the company agreed to improve its due diligence process?(the case was?also covered in?this?2017 Germanwatch report). In April 2019, the community also submitted a?letter?to Goldstandard alleging non-compliance. Goldstandard has openend a formal investigation.

In August 2019, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre reached out to Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation Inc., Life Enerji and Nordex SE asking them to respond to a?summary?of the project?published on Banktrack's website (also included below), according to which the community's concerns are still ongoing. Wind Energy Electricity Generation Inc. in its response maintains that all its activities are conducted in compliance with the law and meet human rights and environmental requirements. Their full response, as well as responses from Life Enerji and Nordex SE,?are available below.

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Item
8 October 2019

Reply by Vega Energy to the community's rejoinder

Author: Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation

To whom it may concern,

"As we have said in our previous statement, the Wind Power Plant as owned by our company is one which is entirely legal and for which all permissions have been obtained under the laws of the Republic of Turkey. The lawsuit filed against the environmental impact report by the relevant people has been concluded in our favour by the local administrative courts and the Council of State of the Republic of Turkey. Efforts made by these locals who want to zone this area for construction, thus tuning the area into a heap of concrete have ended up in disappointment once again. This is our last reply on the matter.

Best regards."??

Vega Rüzgar Enerjisi Elektrik üretim A.?.

NGO rejoinder
7 October 2019

Community responds to Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation's answer

Author: Cesme Platform for Sustainability

ABK RES/Vega Wind Energy project has since the first day it became known to the local community/stakeholders been exhausted in court. Jan. 2014, the large scale industrial wind turbine construction started on 1st and 2nd degree natural protected private property and state owned land. This without even having the project area in its legal possession. No real stakeholder meetings have ever been held and an EIA report has never been conducted. The court verdicts against the project regarding the expropriation of private property and the planning have never been implemented. The project not being in the “Public of Interest” has also been ruled. (Final verdicts ruled against the project in 2018.) ...

[T]he ones whom opposed the illegal project have been harassed, threatened and even brought to court with several irrelevant Slapp-suits...

In 2014 the first complaints to OECD was filed, where the insufficient outcome led to German watch including the project in the Miseror, Global Energy and Human Rights report 2017. Since April, 2019, a profound investigation by Goldstandard UN CDM is on-going. Due to all these documented facts, the project has also been classified and launched as a "Dodgy deal" by Banktrack...

[The full response is attached]

Read the full post here

Company response
9 September 2019

Response by Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation Inc (formerly ABK Energy)

...As Vega Wind Energy Electricity Generation Inc., our company continues electricity generation activities from wind energy plant in Turkey, Izmir province, Cesme township for about 5 years since May 2015 with production license received in accordance with the law.

THE WIND FARM PROJECT AREA IS A ZONE WITHOUT CONSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR ANY HOUSES OR HOTELS. AREA IS A NON RESIDANTIAL ZONE.

Closest house which is constructed with a construction permit is 703 meter far away.? All activities of our company are carried out in accordance with human rights and in this context, in order to create a cleaner, healthier and “sustainable” life, in particular in the protection of the environment. Therefore we can not accept any breach of our wind power plant activities by not being consulted with the society, violating land rights, harassment and allegations that the construction continues despite the court's decision to stop the project.

As a matter of fact, the Environmental Impact Assessment Report required for our company to continue its activities is in compliance with the law and the lawsuit filed against this report has been concluded in favor of our company. On the other hand, the zoning plans for the areas in which we conduct our activities are in accordance with the law. All these issues show that our company's activities meet humanistic and environmental requirements to the finest detail and generate electricity from wind energy in accordance with the public interest. In addition, we report that “electromagnetic resonance” and “noise measurements” that we believe your center will not normally find in any wind power plant, are meticulously reported by our company for human health at all times. If you wish, we can share the reports including the results that are completely suitable for human health...

[The full response is attached]

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Company response
6 September 2019

Response by Life Enerji

Author: Life Enerji

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Life Enerji to respond to the concerns raised. Life Enerji sent the following response:

We don’t have any influence over the process and decision of the company.

Company response
2 September 2019

Response by Nordex SE

Author: Nordex SE

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nordex SE to respond to the concerns raised. Nordex SE sent the following response:

The Nordex Group in general doesn’t comment on ongoing court proceedings until the results are known. Furthermore, we would like to stress that we are not part to the ongoing court proceedings related to the ABK Cesme project. However, we will monitor the further development of the court proceedings, in order to establish to what extent their outcome may affect our business activities.

Article
14 May 2019

Banktrack profile - ABK Cesme Wind Turkey

Author: Cesme Platformu via Banktrack

...The ABK Cesme Wind energy project in Turkey consists of six wind turbines, each 150 metres high, with a capacity of 18MW. The project was initiated by Turkish energy company?ABK Energy?in May 2015 and required an investment of EUR 24 million. German company Nordex SE supplied the wind turbines. These turbines are located within the residential areas of the Cesme village, as close as 300 metres to people's?homes. The?project was implemented?without consultinglocal people, landowners, interested NGOs, tourist dependant local businessmen, nor farmers...

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