Residents have expressed their opposition at council meetings. | Lola Olmo

The platform of Alcudia residents opposed to plans for the routeing of the second electricity cable connection from the mainland (Valencia) is preparing to stage a large demonstration to draw attention to its concerns. Contact has been made with the Spanish government delegation in the Balearics regarding procedures for obtaining authorisation for the demonstration. At present, there isn't a date or a location.

The Spanish government approved the project presented by Red Eléctrica in March last year. Alcudia, specifically the bay of Pollensa coast, was the chosen entry point. Various options for the exact entry point have since been raised. All of them have been rejected by residents. The first option, and the one preferred by both the Spanish and Balearic governments, was the small beach of S'Illot. As well as residents, all parties at the town hall were opposed to this; S'Illot is in a protected and much-loved area of Alcudia.

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The ruling administration at the town hall has offered its own option, which has also been rejected by residents, while it and the regional ministry for energy transition have considered possible compromise entry points, e.g. near to the Bonaire marina. None have been acceptable to residents who, in addition, have concerns about the cable (there would in fact be two) being laid close to homes.

Primarily, the anxieties have to do with perceived risks from the electromagnetic field. It was precisely these risks that led to a re-routeing of a Red Eléctrica high-voltage cable in 2015; it was due to have passed close to a primary school in the port area. In the case of the mainland cable, it will - by whatever route - end up at the substation on the industrial estate by the Es Murterar power station.

Banners have appeared saying "no to the cable". Stickers with the same message have been distributed and badges are being worn. Residents argue that there is a lack of reports regarding the project and especially the environmental and health impacts. They add that they had been requesting a meeting with the Balearic minister for energy transition, Juan Pedro Yllanes, for some time; without success. But only a matter of hours after the request for information regarding the demonstration, there was contact from the director-general for energy, Pep Malagrava. He has called a meeting with residents' representatives for this Tuesday (January 24).