November 27, 2018

NextEra, Defense Department extend deadline for wind farm plan

Enid News & Eagle |

The Department of Defense and NextEra Energy have extended the deadline again to reach a mitigation plan on a wind farm along a route of airspace the military uses for training.

As part of the extension, NextEra may proceed with construction on turbines that have been approved by the FAA.

Construction on the company’s wind farm west of Hinton was stopped last month after NextEra and Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission agreed to work on a mitigation plan with the Defense Department to resolve the issue. The new deadline is Dec. 3. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is representing OSMPC in the process.

OSMPC contends the wind farm violates a recent amendment to the Wind Energy Development Act. 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.

Hunter announced on Oct. 2 that NextEra Energy Resources and OSMPC had agreed to halt the work while they continued negotiations. When the first deadline was extended, all parties agreed that work could proceed on turbines that have been approved by the FFA.

“We appreciate Attorney General Hunter’s good faith negotiations for the OSMPC and for helping protect one of the military’s most valuable assets,” OSMPC Chairman Mike Cooper, who also is the city of Enid’s military liaison, said last month. “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.”

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