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AG allows more time for wind farm plan

The state will extend the deadline for NextEra Energy Resources and the Department of Defense to reach an agreement on a mitigation plan regarding a wind farm near Hinton that is along a route of airspace the military uses for training.

Attorney General Mike Hunter said the original deadline to have a mitigation plan was Monday. However, Hunter has agreed to extend the deadline through Oct. 22 to allow for more time to work toward a resolution.

The attorney general is representing Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission, which is concerned the wind farm located west of Hinton violates an amendment to the Wind Energy Development Act that took effect earlier this year.

The changes to the law require a determination by the federal government that planned wind turbine construction has no military impact, or the company must have an approved mitigation plan from the Defense Department before a wind farm is constructed or expanded.

After the negotiations with the attorney general, NextEra agreed to halt construction to allow time to secure a mitigation plan from the Defense Department. As part of the agreement, the state will not take legal action against NextEra while construction is suspended and negotiations are ongoing.

Hunter announced Oct. 2 that NextEra Energy Resources and Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission had agreed to halt the work.

“We appreciate Attorney General Hunter’s good faith negotiations for the OSMPC and for helping protect one of the military’s most valuable assets,” said OSMPC Chairman Mike Cooper, who also is the city of Enid’s military liaision. “The airspace used for training is critical to our national defense and to the mission of our state and nation’s military installations. We thank NextEra for recognizing this and working with us to further enhance this mission.”