Nevada’s First Wind Farm Clears Lawsuit Hurdle

The legal battle over a wind power project in Nevada has been settled, clearing the way for the completion of the state’s first ever wind farm.

The 150 megawatt (MW) project had hit a legal snag after a coalition made up of environmentalists and tribal groups had brought a lawsuit challenging its construction.

wind-nevada

image via The Weather Channel

The coalition complained that the project would have an adverse impact on the ecology of the region–particularly a colony of rare bats living near the site of the farm.

They were also concerned that the farm was being sited too close to areas considered sacred by American Indians.

However, the coalition, which included the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project, has now reached a settlement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Pattern Energy Group, the company behind the wind farm, in Nevada’s White Pine County 30 miles east of Ely.

Pattern said the private agreement was accepted by the Federal District court in Nevada on March 29 and the lawsuit was dismissed. The energy firm did not reveal the terms of the private settlement.

Construction of the wind farm, known as Spring Valley Wind, is expected to be finished in July. When complete, the farm will consist of 66 Siemens 2.3-MW wind turbines connecting to an existing 230-kilovolt transmission line. The farm will have the capacity to power 45,000 households each year.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.