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NextEra Energy Resources scraps wind farm plans because of airspace concerns

Plans were dropped Friday to build two west-central Oklahoma wind energy projects, including one that had been paused by potential litigation over concerns it would interfere with low-level military training air routes, their developer announced Friday.

NextEra Energy Resources, a wind developer that has invested more than $5 billion in Oklahoma projects, said it began notifying landowners it had negotiated leases with for those projects on Friday afternoon it will not proceed.

Scrapped projects are the 220-megawatt Minco V wind farm and a 250-megawatt Crowder wind farm.

The Minco V project had been the subject of potential litigation threatened by the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission because of military air space concerns.

Through negotiations that involved Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, the parties agreed in October to try to resolve their issues before taking the matter to court.

On Friday, NextEra spokesman Bryan Garner said the company decided that both Minco V and the Crowder projects were no longer appropriate projects to pursue and said the company had withdrawn permitting requests previously filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We … worked hard to find a solution,” said Garner, adding that NextEra had negotiated not only with state authorities, but also with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Defense Department.

“We respect all their important missions and we respect the balance between national security and economic development and affordable, clean energy. Unfortunately, we could not find a solution that satisfied all stakeholders.”