A years long battle over the wind farm some feared would impact Navy training may have a conclusion in sight.
The City Council on Tuesday will discuss a proposed agreement with energy company Enbridge that would restrict development of wind turbines more than 100 feet high within about 16 square miles of the Chapman Ranch area, annexed in 2014.
According to a city news release issued late Friday, that agreement — which would be in effect for 25 years — is contingent on the city de-annexing the property in the next six months. Deannexation is expected to also be discussed in the same meeting.
In the news release, Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn Vaughn praised the "commitment from the project developer, because it achieves the city’s No. 1 goal of protecting the Navy’s flight training mission."
She added that the agreement could save city taxpayers from funding utilities infrastructure "in an area which may not be developed for many years." Infrastructure that would be required by state law amounts to about $13 million.
The area could still be annexed in the future, depending on development, according to the email.
In 2014, the City Council annexed the 16 square miles of property in which the wind farm project was initially planned, citing questions about the development's potential affect on Navy flight pilot training and its impact on a potential growth corridor. The move to annex the property was intended to ward off the project altogether or put officials in a position to regulate it.
The wind farm project was sold to Enbridge in 2015, and the current project scope is outside the annexed area.
“Through implementation of mitigation strategies in the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Navy and this agreement with the City of Corpus Christi, our company and employees are showing our commitment to the critical mission at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and building lasting relationships," stated Terri Larson, director of community engagement for Enbridge, in the news release.
Two votes are required to make the agreements official. The final vote is expected March 21, according to the news release.