A federal judge in Oklahoma late last year (Dec. 20) ordered removal of a large wind farm that violates both federal mineral rights and Osage tribal land. The case, United States v. Osage Wind, LLC, has been in litigation for more than a decade.
Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves, sitting in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, awarded “permanent injunctive relief to the Osage Nation and the United States in the form of ejectment of the wind turbine farm for continuing trespass.” She added that the court will “hold a damages trial to assess the amount of monetary damages for trespass and conversion.”
Osage Wind, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Enel, in 2010 leased 8,400 acres of land in Osage County and erected “84 wind turbines, underground electrical lines, an overhead transmission line, meteorological towers, and access roads,” with the wind pylons sitting on reinforced concrete foundations, using local rocks dug up on the territory and crushed for backfill around the foundations. Osage Wind did not get a lease for the minerals on the tribal land.