Documents filed under Legal
This court decision concerns the land use appeal initiated by Phillip Malitsch and Christopher Mangold against a Notice of Deemed Approval assumed by Atlantic Wind for a project in Bethlehem, PA. Penn Forest Township and Atlantic Wind each filed to present additional evidence against the appeal, providing testimony on project infrastructure and turbine noise. The court raised concerns regarding Atlantic Wind's inexact turbine noise predictions and the project's negative impacts on the area's potable water supply. The judge ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and vacated the Notice of Deemed Approval, and denied the special exceptions Atlantic Wind had requested. Portions of the court decision are cited below. The entire decision can be accessed by selecting the document link on this page.
The attached appeal between Soaring Wind Energy, LLC and Catic USA Incorporated affirms the arbitration panel's decision to award Soaring Wind $62.9 million USD against Catic USA and divest Catic USA's shares in Soaring Wind Energy, LLC. Catic USA had entered into an agreement with Tang Energy Group in 2007 to create Soaring Wind Energy, LLC, a shared company acting as a vehicle for wind energy marketing and project development in the United States. Catic USA's affiliates breached the Soaring Wind agreement by investing $50 million USD in wind projects unaffiliated with Soaring Wind's activities. The court affirmed the arbitration panel and district court's decision to hold Catic USA liable for the potential losses accrued from the investment in unrelated projects and supported the forced divestment of Catic USA from Soaring Wind, LLC.
The page includes a legal challenge of the Department of Energy’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ funding and authorization of the Icebreaker Wind Project, a first-of-its-kind proposed offshore wind energy facility in Lake Erie with a price tag in excess of $40 million that is expressly intended to spur future development of offshore industrial wind energy in the Great Lakes Region and beyond. A portion of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed from the document link(s) on this page.
In Finney v Welsh, the appeal court supported the decision to refuse an increase in wind turbine height after finding that a 10-meter increase in turbine height would be a material change that would be inconsistent with the description of the permitted development and thus would result in a different development. A section of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by selection the document links on this page.
Buckeye Wind LLC and Champaign Wind LLC, who collectively sought and received approval to construct the Buckeye I and Buckeye II wind energy facilities, have now withdrawn their applications and surrendered their certificates of environmental compatibility and public need. The notices of withdrawal are available at the document links on this page.
In early 2018, Seneca Wind LLC initiated the process before the Ohio Power Siting Board to secure authorization to construct and operate a 70 turbine (up to 200 MW) wind energy facility on 25,000 acres of leased land situated in Seneca County, Ohio. This letter submitted to the Siting Board states that Seneca Wind LLC wishes to withdraw its application from consideration.
This civil suit filed in US District Court against the United State Fish and Wildlife Service challenges the permit granted Nebraska Public Power District to construct the R-Project Transmission Line slated to go through the Sandhills. The petition, which can be downloaded from this page, asserts that the government agency failed to properly assess the environmental impacts of the transmission line, particularly with regard to the Whooping Crane and the American Burying Beetle. The R-Project is a 225-mile transmission line.
In these two court cases, parent company Invenergy, received cash outlays for two Illinois projects, Bishop Hill and California Ridge. The funds were distributed, but the government later discovered that a portion of the grants were overpaid. A suit was filed by Invenergy in order to prevent Treasury from taking any money back. In these final decisions, one for each project, the court ruled in favor of the Treasury. A portion of one decision is provided below. The full decisions can be accessed by selecting the document icons on this page.
The North Dakota PSC denied a permit for Nextera to construct and operate the 200 megawatt (76 turbine) Burke Wind Energy facility proposed for Burke County, ND. An excerpt of the PSC's decision is provided below. The full order denying the permit and letters from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and ND Game and Fish can be downloaded from this page.
The application for the Black Fork wind energy facility was initially submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on March 10, 2011. The project, if constructed would have included up to 91 turbines (up to 200 MW) across 14,500 acres in Richland and Crawford counties, Ohio. There was significant opposition to the project but it was granted a permit by the state. In December 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that OPSB wrongfully granted the project an extension to the date on which construction was to begin from January 2017 to January 2019. The Court found that the change was an amendment to the permit and required a more extensive review process and would subject the project to more onerous state setback distances.
Montana District Court Judge Jon A. Oldenburg ruled no construction activity involving the Crazy Mountain wind farm proposed by Pattern Energy can proceed including no alterations to roads until a trial is held to determine if the project will cause irreparable harm to the neighboring property owners. Judge Oldenburg decided that “[u]ntil the ultimate issues are decided by a trier of fact, the balance of equities does not fall in favor of one side or the other." The full order can be accessed at the document link on this page. Below is an excerpt of the court's ruling justifying the injunction and halting construction of the project.
This class action complaint filed against Nextera Energy, Inc. was brought by individuals living in the vicinity of wind energy turbines erected by Nextera. A portion of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed at the links on this page.
The Summit Ridge Wind Farm was granted a site certificate by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC or Council) on August 19, 2011. The applicant now seeks a 4th amendment to the certificate that extends the start construction timeline another two years. A host of objections have been raised about the project. This page includes comments by K. Shawn Smallwood PhD outlining environmental concerns with the project’s wildlife surveys and analysis. The Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Wild, and others present their own comments. The procedural background information and an excerpt of the comments filed with the Council are provided below. The full documents can be downloaded from the links on this page.
In this court filing, utility-giant PG&E asks the court for an injunction against efforts by FERC to assert jurisdiction over the power contracts (PPAs) held by PG&E. Court documents show PG&E is bound by 387 PPAs with more than 350 companies totaling about $42 billion. The generators whose energy is under contract are at risk if PG&E is allowed to exit the agreements. A portion of PG&E's filing is provided below. The full document can be accessed at the links on this page.
Seventus LLC and Wharton Wind LLC are seeking to erect an industrial wind energy facility in Wharton County, Texas. A number of county residents organized in an effort to share information regarding the wind energy proposal and to discuss potential harmful impacts once the project is placed in service. Lacricia Ryan, who with her family operate a crop-dusting business in Wharton County, is part of the group looking to educate the community about the project.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld a lower court's decision to deny intervention involving action between the town of Falmouth and the Falmouth zoning board of appeals in which judgment had already entered. The judgment declared that two wind turbines operated by the town were a nuisance and ordered that their operation cease and desist. The proposed interveners claimed that they were entitled to intervention as of right because they had compelling interests that were no longer being adequately represented by the town. The lower court ruled, and the appellate court affirmed that the motion be denied since the interveners could not likely establish standing, and that the motion was untimely. A portion of the 10-page order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important legal challenge of the Ohio Power Siting Board decision tests whether the Board ignored state law and the conditions of its own certificate approving construction of the Black Fork wind energy facility when it granted a requested extension of the permit. A detailed description of the case is provided below and at the link appearing on this page. Oral arguments were heard on August 1, 2018 and can be watched at this link. Black Fork is proposed as a 91-turbine facility with a maximum capacity of 200 megawatts. The permit was initially issued in 2012.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission issued this order denying a petition filed by the Appalachian Power Company (APCo) and Wheeling Power Company seeking consent and approval for APCo to acquire the Hardin wind generation facility (Hardin Wind Facility), that is under development in Hardin County, Ohio, and the Beech Ridge II wind generation facility (Beech Ridge II Wind Facility) that is under development in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The Beech Ridge II facility is a 50 Mw wind project and the Hardin facility is a 175 Mw wind project. An excerpt of the order is provided below that highlights the reasons for the denial. The full order can be accessed via the links on this page.
Freeborn Wind proposed to construct an up to 84 MW wind energy facility and associated facilities in Freeborn County, Minnesota. The Project is part of an up to 200 MW wind project in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth County, Iowa. In this final order of recommendation, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that Freeborn Wind failed to demonstrate that the proposed Project will meet the requirements of Minn. R. 7030.0040, the applicable Minnesota Noise Standards. Portions of the order are provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.