August 08, 2008
Kenedy wind farm lawsuit tossed

The last lawsuit pending against the Kenedy wind farm project has been dismissed.

A federal court in Texas has dismissed a lawsuit, clearing a path for Babcock & Brown to continue its plans for a wind farm on the Texas Gulf Coast. The wind farm is expected to be completed and operational later in the year. Once operational, it will consist of 118 wind energy turbines with a total output capacity of more than 283 MW.

The farm, which will provide enough power for 80,000 homes, is located on property owned by non-profit organization Kenedy Memorial Foundation. The foundation will use royalties from the farm to support charitable purposes in South Texas

Lawsuits against the farm alleged that state officials and developers violated the federal Coastal Zone Management Act by building the wind farms without an environmental review or permit. The Coastal Habitat Alliance also claimed that it was denied an opportunity to intervene in hearings on transmission lines for the farm.

The McAllen Monitor and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times have more. There were two lawsuits filed originally, one in federal court and one in state court. The state lawsuit was dismissed a few months ago. There still may be an appeal by the Coastal Habitat Alliance, which once again seems to have forgotten to send me a press release about this, but that would be the only remaining obstacle for the Kenedy project. A press release from the law firm that represented the Kenedy foundation is beneath the fold.

Babcock & Brown, a leader in wind energy, today announced that a federal court in Texas dismissed a final lawsuit, clearing the path to bring wind energy to South Texas. Babcock & Brown's wind farm on the Texas Gulf Coast, which will provide enough clean and renewable energy to power 80,000 Texas homes, will be completed and operational later this year. The wind farm is located on the property of the Kenedy Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization that will utilize the royalties to support charitable purposes in South Texas. "From the initiation of our development efforts with the Kenedy Foundation, Babcock & Brown has been committed to the responsible development of a world-class wind farm for South Texas," said Hunter Armistead, head of Babcock & Brown's North American energy group. "Our intention has always been to deliver the benefits of renewable energy while minimizing any impact to the environment. We were meticulous in the way we approached the development of this wind farm, which we believe will be used as a model for future wind farms around the country." "The winds of South Texas are one of the largest and most attractive renewable energy resources in the country, representing a tremendous clean and never-ending power supply," said John Calaway, Babcock & Brown's chief development officer for North America. "Our Gulf Wind Farm will provide critical power when it is needed most because the coastal winds in South Texas blow the hardest at the same time our state's demand for electricity peaks." The development of Babcock & Brown's Gulf Wind Farm has created approximately 300 construction jobs, in addition to approximately 20 ongoing permanent and maintenance positions. The wind farm will also provide significant annual tax benefits to the local area. Once operational, the wind farm will consist of 118 wind energy turbines with a total output capacity of more than 283 megawatts (MW).

Babcock & Brown currently operates more than 20 wind farms throughout the United States, including one of the largest wind farms in the country, located in Sweetwater, Texas. In addition, Babcock & Brown has more than 25 wind energy projects across the country in various stages of development. In Texas, Babcock & Brown has offices in Houston, Austin and Dallas, where the company's 24-7 wind farm monitoring headquarters

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 08, 2008 to The great state of Texas
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