Local residents and environmental and landscape conservation associations have appealed to the Conseil d'État to annul the installation of a wind farm comprising 16 or 17 wind turbines in Lanouée forest, located in the municipality of Les Forges (Morbihan). The Conseil d'État noted that the project was in the major public interest, as it would supply 50,000 people with electricity from renewable energy sources in a region where electricity production is very low. The turbines will be located at a reasonable distance from residential areas and will not be installed in classified or protected areas. For these reasons, the Conseil d'État upheld the rulings of the Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal, which had already validated the prefect's authorisation of the project.
In February 2014, the prefect of Morbihan issued the Les Moulins de Lohan firm with the necessary building permits and authorisations to build a wind farm on land located in Lanouée forest. In February 2015, the prefect then granted exemptions to the prohibition of damage to protected species caused by the installation of wind turbines.
After the Rennes administrative court overturned these prefectoral orders in 2017, the Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal validated them in March 2019.
The Conseil d'État, which appealed to the supreme administrative court, found that the exemption from the ban on harming protected species was justified by the major public interest of the project. The construction of this wind farm, with a total capacity of more than 51 megawatts, will provide electricity to more than 50,000 people. It will be part of the electricity pact signed between the State, the Regional Council of Brittany, the Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie (ADEME), the Réseau de Transport de l'Electricité (RTE) and the Agence Nationale de l'Habitat (ANAH), and will make it possible to increase the production of renewable electricity in a region where local electricity production is particularly low, covering only 8% of its needs. This project is also in line with the national objective of increasing the share of renewable energy to 23% of gross final energy consumption in 2020 and 32% of this consumption in 2030.
The Conseil d'État also observed that the site chosen for the wind farm is located more than one kilometre from the first dwellings, a particularly rare situation in a region where urban sprawl is significant and dwellings are scattered.
Finally, the site where the wind turbines are to be installed does not contain any Natura 2000 zones, classified wooded areas or wetlands, and has an extensive network of forestry roads and connection capacities.
For these various reasons, the Conseil d'État confirms the decisions of the Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal, which had validated these three aspects of the project.