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Battle continues over Kingfisher Wind Project

The battle continues in Canadian and Kingfisher counties over the Kingfisher Wind Project.

The project’s construction, by APEX Clean Energy, was halted earlier this month because of a temporary restraining order filed by Merit Energy.

Texas-based Merit Energy filed the order to ensure a corrosion study was completed on a specific collection line within the project. The line crosses another owned by Merit Energy.

“That study is currently under way, and we expect to receive results within the next few weeks,” said Dahvi Wilson, APEX’s senior manager of public affairs. “APEX has reached an agreement with Merit to delay the hearing on the TRO (temporary restraining order) until we receive the results of the study.”

Wilson said as a result, construction now continues and is ongoing.

The restraining order is one of many legal filings impacting the case.

Residents in Kingfisher and Canadian counties remain in a legal battle with the company over the Kingfisher Wind Project. The battle began more than a year ago.

The plaintiffs filed a motion to advance the case and seek a permanent injunction because the process of adding wind turbines to the area has begun.

The motion to advance the case was denied, and the court will be setting a schedule in the case, including a future trial date.

“By setting the schedule, the Court has agreed to hear our concerns about protecting our properties and families from being damaged by wind turbines planned too close to our homes,” said Terra Walker, a plaintiff and property owner in Okarche, in a written statement.

Cheena Pazzo, a representative of the plaintiffs, said a scheduling conference should be held in early August.

Wilson said the Kingfisher project has been “messier” than others in terms of legal challenges, but temporary orders like the one filed by Merit are normal.

“The oil and gas companies don’t want us to build facilities that will impact their facilities,” Wilson said. “There’s a process we go through to make sure there are no conflicts. It’s been messier in this case, but we’re working on getting it all resolved.”

The project still is set to be completed late this year.

APEX has nine projects in the state, including a project in Grant County.