Articles filed under Legal

Australian watchdog sues four wind farm operators over 2016 blackout

The sharp drop in power from the wind farms overloaded demand for power on a transmission line from a neighboring state, which then tripped that link off, cutting the state off from back-up electricity supply. “These alleged failures contributed to the black system event and meant that AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) was not fully informed when responding to system wide failure in South Australia."
7 Aug 2019

Windfarm operators taken to court over South Australian blackout

The Australian Energy Regulatoralleges subsidiaries of the four companies – AGL Energy, Neoen SA, Pacific Hydro and Tilt Renewables – failed to ensure their windfarms complied with a generator performance standard requirement and had automatic protection systems to ensure continuity of supply. The regulator’s chair, Paula Conboy, said the alleged failures meant the Australian Energy Market Operator was not fully informed when responding to the system-wide failure.
7 Aug 2019

Oregon Supreme Court says the state improperly shut the public out of deciding where to place energy facilities

Friends of the Columbia Gorge said in a statement that the ruling is likely to affect two projects: a wind farm along the Deschutes River and a natural gas-powered electrical generating plant in Umatilla County, both of which the group says benefited from the 2017 rule change the court now says was improper. "As a result of today's ruling, the permission to build two specific projects has now expired," Friends said.
4 Aug 2019

Oregon Supreme Court ruling could nix permits for big energy projects

An Oregon Supreme Court ruling could bring an end to permits for two big energy projects in Eastern Oregon and eight more statewide. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council in October 2017 adopted a swifter, less public method to amend permits, or site certificates, for wind farms, thermal power plants and other large energy facilities. While the traditional “type A” review process involved public notices and hearings, the new “type B” process cut out the public involvement, including allowing interested parties to request a contested case proceeding. Type B also required staff to issue decisions as soon as possible.
3 Aug 2019

Oregon Supreme Court Invalidates Energy Council's Rules for Modifying Power Plants

Today the Oregon Supreme Court held in favor of a coalition of nine conservation organizations, invalidating rules adopted in 2017 by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) that had dramatically reduced transparency and discouraged public participation in permitting decisions for large power plants throughout Oregon. Today’s legal victory is also expected to terminate the previously issued permits for two controversial power projects, the Summit Ridge Wind Farm proposed in Wasco County, along the Deschutes river, and the Perennial Wind Chaser Station, a natural gas power plant proposed in Umatilla County.
1 Aug 2019

Ontario minister, wind companies charged under Environmental Protection Act

Burke’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, says roughly 80 families have been impacted by the contamination, which he alleges occurred when deposits of black shale in the soil were disturbed during construction of the project. “When you put up very large wind turbines that are 100 metres high, they require very large foundations,” he said. “Once they started developing these projects it became clear they were interfering with the drinking water supplies for many of the residents.”
27 Jul 2019

Ontario ministry, minister & wind companies charged for failing to prevent tainted well water

An Ontario Justice of the Peace has determined on July 12 that there are reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) against Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s minister of the environment, the Environment Ministry and the three industrial wind companies — Pattern Energy Group, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Engie Canada Inc.  
27 Jul 2019

Bourne homeowners file suit over turbines

According to the suit, Chin, a registered real estate broker, had Rosemary Victoria sell the house to Mojica and Grendon, but neither informed the couple that the turbines would likely be built, a violation of state regulations that require the disclosure of information that would influence prospective buyers. “Angela S. Chin and Rosemary Victoria violated this regulation by not disclosing to the plaintiffs that four, massive, wind turbines would soon be constructed on the adjacent lot,” Henchy wrote.
25 Jul 2019

Wind farm case dismissed; construction not begun

Only a week after 70 opponents of a wind farm filed a lawsuit against Marion County Planning Commission over approving a conditional use permit, they dismissed the case. The plaintiffs dismissed the suit July 17 before the planning commission filed an answer.
25 Jul 2019

Neighbors file lawsuit to stop Henry County wind farm

The suit asks that the special-use permit granted by the Henry County Board last December be declared void because, among other things, the county allegedly failed to hold a public hearing with notice of the particular location of the property. It also alleges Avangrid failed to identify a specific turbine model, the exact number of turbines and the final locations of turbines.
16 Jul 2019

Group challenges R-Project route in court

"This route was picked as the cheapest for NPPD. But it is the most expensive for the health of humans and destructive to our natural habitat," the group said in a news release. The 225-mile high-voltage line will cut through the heart of the Sandhills, from Stapleton north to Thedford and east to near Clearwater.  
13 Jul 2019

Award-winning sheep farmers sue AGL over wind farm construction

In a statement of claim filed with the Supreme Court in January, the Gardners say 260 of their 400 ultra-fine-wool sheep died after construction on AGL's adjoining Macarthur Wind Farm, near Hamilton in western Victoria, from late 2011 to mid-2012. They allege dust emissions caused by construction of the wind farm were "noxious" and "caused a material injury to the sheep".
30 Jun 2019

Judge takes wind farm filings under advisement

District judge Steven Hornbaker on Friday told wind farm opponents they had until Wednesday to file any further motions with the court and said he will issue a memorandum decision in about 10 days. The wind farm company, county commissioners, and the county clerk are defendants in the lawsuit.
20 Jun 2019

State agency loses $20m case over New Bedford terminal

This should be time to party at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. After all, the agency’s underused marine terminal in New Bedford is finally profitable, and a big tenant is on its way. The saga of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal took an unfavorable turn against the state on Monday when a jury in Suffolk Superior Court ruled that contractors that built the port are owed at least $20 million for unpaid work.
19 Jun 2019

Unauthorized Coventry solar project ordered to stop work

The Department of Planning & Development recently issued a cease-and-desist order to an unauthorized solar installation off Carr’s Trail. The June 4 notice issued to 394 Carr’s Realty LLC and WED Coventry Seven LLC — a subsidiary of North Kingstown-based Green Development LLC, formerly Wind Energy Development LLC, founded by Mark DePasquale — claims a recent site inspection by two members of the Department of Planning & Development found “hundreds of piles had been driven into the ground commencing construction of a proposed solar generating facility that had been denied development plan approval by the Coventry Planning Commission” two years ago.
15 Jun 2019

EU court: Ireland should pay €1k a day for environment failings

A legal opinion issued by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has proposed that the State should be handed a daily fine of €1,000 for every day since its earlier ruling on July 3, 2008, until it achieves compliance with EU environmental legislation on assessing the impact of the development of a wind farm at Derrybrien in south Galway. Such a fine, if confirmed by the full ruling of the CJEU later this year, would result in a figure of €3,998,000 to date.
15 Jun 2019

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