The proposed 60 wind turbine farm, known as the Argyle Creek Wind Project in northwest Sumner County, is likely to never become a reality after a ruling released by Sumner County District Judge William Mott last week.
Mott ruled in favor of 42 plaintiffs who filed a January lawsuit against the Sumner County Commissioners, which approved a Conditional Use Permit for Invenergy wanting to build a wind farm on 10,000 acres of land stretching north-south — east of Conway Springs and north of Wellington.
Essentially, the ruling halts any kind of development of wind turbines that was estimated to generate 150 megawatts of electricity once built at the end of 2018.
In December, the county commissioner — by a 2-1 vote — overturned a recommendation by the Sumner County Planning Commission to deny a permit. The commission denied the permit by a 5-3 vote two weeks earlier than the commissioners approval.
However, Mott cited in a 20-page ruling issued on Sept. 21, that the Commissioners lacked the jurisdiction to approve such a permit and overturn the Planning Commision. He wrote:
“If the regulations of one provision are more restrictive and impose higher standards or requirements than a similar one, then that provision shall govern.”
The Commissioner attorneys argued that the Planning Commission is an advisory board and it could only provide recommendations.
The controversial wind farm comes after two other wind farms were and are being constructed in Sumner County. One wind farm has already been constructed. The EDF Slate Creek Wind Project has already built 75 turbines in southern Sumner County. Another company, Tradewind Energy, has also been approved to construct a wind farm up to nearly 100 turbines, also in south Sumner County
Unlike the first two proposals, the Argyle wind farm received similar resistance by neighboring residents.
Commissioners Jim Newell and Cliff Bales voted to issue a Conditional Use Permit while Steve Warner voted against it. The vote came in front of a packed room of more than 100 people at the Raymond Frye Complex at a meeting held on Dec. 27, 2016.