The Czech village of Svatá Helena is endangered by the building-up of 21 aerogenerators in the neareast surrounding


The company Enel Green Power Romania s.r.l. started a careless building-up of 21 aerogenerators in the very neareast surrounding of the Czech village of Svatá Helena in the district of Caras Severin. This project will endanger the existence of the unique Czech community, which economics is based on organic farming and considerate tourism. It will come to liquidation of the not yet fully untapped tourism potential based on organic farming and unspoilt landscapes of the Iron Gate national park, which aims to protect the nature of the Danube Gorges. Threatened is also the extinction of the Czech village that was founded in 1823.

The power plants will be located in the immediate vicinity of the village (see map). They will have a capacity of 3 MW and will be 140 m high. There will be no place in the village where the poles couldn’t be seen and heard. They will issue an everywhere audible sound, and according to recent research they are also a source of infrasound, which causes stress and headaches. 300 inhabitants of the village have no chance to defend themselves against the financially powerful company Enel and also in an environment of weak democracy. The project is completely absurd planned at European territory of the important Iron Gate Nature Park, where the tighter regime of nature conservation (see plan of the area around Coronini, red areas are under full protection,green under the limited protection) and these territories are classified into the European Natura 2000 nature conservation . The energy that will be produced at the cost of destroying an exceptionally well-preserved areas (see photo 1  and photo 2) and the cost of destroying 180 years old village of St. Helena is certainly not green.

The existence of the Czech community in St. Helena is threatened as never before! To this day the Czech countrymen there preserved their customs, language and culture away from home due to their isolation and so arose the world's unique cultural community similar to the endemic species occurring only in the Danube Gorge. To help the survival of this community the Czech government has invested around 2 milion Euros and has significantly supported the development of considerate tourism and small business in recent years. Tourism in the area of the Danube Gorge develops thanks to Czech support only in the Czech villages, visiting here up to 6 000 Czech tourists every year. Nevertheless the continued existence of St. Helena is significantly impaired by the extensive outreach work and the prospects for the future in the centre of poles, which drive off tourists, are grim.

The desperate villagers have sent the following letter to the Czech Embassy in Bucharest for help (a photocopy of the letter), Czech citizens protest by sending letters to the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Caras Severin county council and to member of the Romanian Parliament for the Czech minority Adrian Merka.

The Romanian company ENEL tried to purchase land (called hutvajda - common pastures) from the village several times, but so far failed thanks to bravery of the Czech representative Petr Hrůza. The signed lease contract forces ENEL to contribute to the municipal budget with the amount of 2500 Euro from each of the nine generators that will be on municipal land. Nevertheless half of the amount belongs to the Romanians in the village of Coronini, so Saint Helena should receive for the construction of 21 power plants in their surroundings only about 11 300 Euro per year. The rest of the power plant is being built on private land, which the gullible villagers sold to Enel at minimum price (from 400 Euro per hectare). Almost all profits will therefore end in the hands of the management and investor, the villagers, who will suffer from the presence of power plant and from impact of their operations on the loss of tourists and degraded environment, will get only a little profit.

Other projects are being prepared in the surrounding of the Czech villages of Gerník (33 wind power plants) and Rovensko and around the town of Moldoua Noua. The first plant is already in the town of Oravita.

The Czech television made a short documentary about the problem of aerogenerators.

Contact: ivo.dokoupil@tiscali.cz