OSBORN, Mo. – The nation’s largest generator of renewable energy, NextEra Energy Resources LLC, has dropped one lawsuit but filed another lawsuit in two adjoining counties in northwest Missouri as part of a yearslong legal battle to bring more wind turbines to the area.
KMBC 9 Chronicle recently featured the company’s lawsuits as part of an ongoing struggle between neighbors near the Osborn Wind Project – a collection of 97 wind turbines in DeKalb County, Missouri.
Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources dropped its lawsuit against the Clinton County Commission on Friday, one business day before trial. The lawsuit alleged the county’s planning and zoning board did not follow proper zoning rules to allow turbines in the county. If successful, it could have allowed NextEra to build turbines in the county. It was not clear why NextEra dismissed its suit.
Phone calls to NextEra spokesman and Clinton County’s attorney Monday were not immediately returned.
Meanwhile, the company asked a judge to immediately rule in a lawsuit the company filed in 2017 against Washington Township, one of nine small jurisdictions in DeKalb County, just north of Clinton County.
NextEra also filed a new lawsuit against Washington Township to force the Washington Township Zoning Commission to honor a confidential settlement agreement signed in mediation in 2018 between members of the Washington Township Planning and Zoning Commission and NextEra.
The agreement said NextEra could not build more than 24 turbines in Washington Township and would put in place certain restrictions on noise and setback distance from homes.
Bob Shaw, an attorney for Concerned Citizens of DeKalb County, who has filed on behalf of his clients as an intervenor in several of NextEra’s lawsuits, told KMBC 9 News that he understood the agreement as an outline, rather than a final agreement between the two parties. Shaw stopped short of knowing the exact details of the agreement between Washington Township and NextEra since he was not allowed in the mediation, saying he would analyze NextEra’s new lawsuit carefully.
A phone call to an attorney representing Washington Township was not immediately returned.
The Osborn Wind Project has been a source of community conflict for years. In December, KMBC 9 Chronicle showed the divide between neighbors, friends, and family in Chronicle: The Osborn Wind Project.
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