Legal Wind Storms Hit NextEra Energy in Oklahoma and Texas

Florida-based NextEra Energy is used to wind.  It likes wind to run its wind farms. But lately, it’s running into the kind of wind storms it doesn’t want.

While battling lawsuits over its proposed wind farms in western Oklahoma, NextEra Energy is also hoping to get court approval to buy Oncor, the largest regulated electric utility in Texas.

The $18 billion deal was rejected last week by Texas Public Utility Commissioners who insisted on a fully-independent Oncor Board. NextEra executives called that a “deal killer.”

But this week, a NextEra Energy attorney told a bankruptcy judge the Florida company was still intent to buying Oncor, and “exploring every alternative and action to try to resuscitate the deal.”

Reports from the Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News indicated the lawyer’s comments were made at a bankruptcy hearing for Energy Future Holdings which is the parent company of Oncor. The bankruptcy of EFH was filed in April 2014 and the court has been urging EFH to sell Onco to pay off EFH’s creditors.

NextEra faces a May 8 deadline to file a motion for rehearing with the Texas regulators. The company filed suit in February against the city of Hinton in a fight over an ordinance that bans wind farms within 2 miles of the city.  NextEra was also sued the same month by a preservation group that claimed the company failed to meet state law in attempting to build two wind farms in Caddo and Canadian Counties.