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W.Va. Supreme Court to hear Grant County wind farm case  

The state Supreme Court has unanimously agreed to consider a case involving the development of a 200-turbine wind farm near Mount Storm.

The five justices voted Wednesday to consider residents’ appeal of a Grant County Circuit Court ruling that dismissed their attempt to halt construction of the $300 million project. Residents say the project would be a nuisance and would ruin property values.

NedPower Mount Storm LLC, which proposed the project in 2005, was purchased by Houston-based Shell Windenergy Inc. Shell WindEnergy owns stakes in several U.S. wind generation facilities.

In April, Grant County Circuit Judge Phil Jordan ruled he did not have jurisdiction in the case since the state Public Service Commission had already approved the project.

The PSC approved the project in December, but agreed to reopen the case in May after Citizens for Responsible Wind Power filed objections.

The Grant County project is expected to generate 300 megawatts of power and would be near a 166-turbine project proposed by US Wind Force LLC. Both projects would dwarf the state’s lone existing wind farm, the 44-tower Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in neighboring Tucker County.

The company originally hoped to start construction last November, but officials have since said there is no date on when construction would begin.

A company representative did not immediately return a telephone call Thursday seeking comment.

Court spokeswoman Jennifer Bundy said Thursday the justices are not expected to hear arguments in the case until next spring.

The case is Jerome E. Burch, et al. v. Nedpower Mount Storm, LLC and Shell Windenergy, Inc., 06-1744.

wvgazette.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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