Wind farm operator to face Aeronautics Commission lawsuit over state law protecting military installations

While the Oklahoma Corporation Commission doesn’t believe NextEra Energy is violating a new state law banning wind farm  development near military air installations, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is preparing to file suit.

The Commission voted earlier this month to take the wind company to court and force it from construction of more wind towers at its wind farm near Hinton. The work is underway at the Minco IV and Minco V wind farms.

The Corporation Commission believes the additional towers are not in violation of a new law because NextEra notified the Commission of its intent to build the farms in 2016.

But Aeronautics Commission director Vic Bird, a former assistant attorney general, said his agency’s lawsuit goal will be to bring an end to construction.

“It is unfortunate that the corporation commission is construing the (amended) Wind Energy Development Act…in the manner that it is. Its interpretation guts the policy underlying the notice and filing requirements in the act to ensure that wind energy development occurs inn a manner that ensures both civil and military aviation safety,” wrote Bird in an email to state legislators.

Bird told legislators 39 of the 175 turbines intended for the two wind farms have been constructed.