Green light given to Poggio Montone geothermal project, Italy

Green light given to Poggio Montone geothermal project, Italy The village of Santa Fiora on the slopes of Mount Amiata, Italy (source: Routard trip / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 24 Nov 2022

A favorable decision on an appeal over environmental concerns has given the green light for the 5-MW Poggio Montone geothermal project in Italy.

The Council of State has given the approval to proceed with the construction of the geothermal in Poggio Montone, located in the area between the municipalities of Piancastagnaio, Castell’Azzara, and Santa Fiora in Italy. The plant will be developed by Sorgenia Geothermal srl with a planned capacity of 5 MW and is expected to pave the way for similar projects.

The approval of the project comes after the rejection of all twenty points in an appeal against the geothermal project. The appeal was filed by Italia Nostra, Roccone agricultural society, Cornacchino agricultural society and Nogesi National Network.

The decision to continue with the project was based on a “verification” – an official technical consultancy – done in June 2021 by the Civil and Environmental Engineering department of the Polytechnic of Milan. The investigation concluded that all four risks presented by the appeal were unfounded and improbable:

  • The interference of geothermal power production with underground aquifers, particularly the contamination with gases from the reservoirl
  • A decrease in the aquifer of Mount Amiata because of geothermal exploitation;
  • Ground subsidence induced by extraction of fluids;
  • Seismic events in the area.

The decision orders the appellants to pay the legal costs and lawyers’ fees of the defendants.

Sorgenia will also be developing the 10-MW binary cycle geothermal power plant n the industrial area of Val di Paglia at the foot of Mount Amiata in the Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena) municipality, Tuscany. This project has also received approval from the Council of Ministers on the proposal of Former PM Mario Draghi.

Source: Ecquologia and La Nazione