October 02, 2007
PUC to hear wind farm appeal

From the weekend, an update on the Kenedy wind farm saga.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas has agreed to consider at its Oct. 17 meeting whether a coalition of conservation organizations can fight two wind farms proposed for the Texas Coast.

"We're very pleased that they will listen to our point of view," said Winnie Burkett of the Houston Audubon Society. "We think there should be public input to this kind of decision. We're worried because these wind farms and this transmission line are in the middle of a major migratory corridor."


The Coastal Habitat Alliance, a combination of the King Ranch and local and national environmental organizations, is fighting the plans. Because permits are not needed to site power generation facilities in Texas, the group is fighting the transmission line that would serve the farms' 241 turbines.

An administrative law judge has already denied the alliance status to protest the project. The alliance asked the PUC to overturn that ruling, which the PUC has now agreed to consider.

"If this hadn't happened, we would be out of luck," said alliance attorney James Blackburn.

The CHA has won the right to have the PUC hear its appeal to overturn an administrative judge's ruling that they lacked the standing to request a public hearing about the construction of the transmission wires. Got all that? We'll see what the PUC says later this month. Rebeca Chapa has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 02, 2007 to The great state of Texas