Montana judge won't dismiss SDG&E wind-farm case

Utility rebuffed in dispute in which it is doing the right thing

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A Montana judge yesterday (March 4) kept a temporary injunction in place against San Diego Gas & Electric. The local utility wanted the judge to dismiss a case and permit it to withdraw its planned $265 million investment in Rim Rock wind farm near Cut Bank, according to the Associated Press.

The hearing went on all day yesterday. A Spanish company has built a 126-turbine project, but it is near nests of eagles and raptors. SDG&E says the project could kill, displace, or disturb eagles. The Spanish company argues that there are adequate safety measures in place to protect the birds.

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Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Sempra's on the right side of this one. I've worked at wind turbine sites, and I found a dead raptor under one (the manangement did the right thing and called in independent investigators). I don't see how birds can avoid the tip of a turbine going 300MPH. Personally, I prefer the solar facilities. What's the name of that Spanish company? Not Acciona is it?

mrifolf: The Spanish company, NaturEner, specializes in wind power energy. It's the U.S. subsidiary of NaturEner that Sempra is dealing with. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: Bird protection is the gravamen of Sempra's case. Best, Don Bauder

SDG&E FILES FRAUD ACCUSATION AGAINST SPANISH COMPANY. According to a report in the Washington Times today (March 31), San Diego Gas & Electric has accused Spanish developer NaturEner of fraud in this ongoing battle. The issue is whether NaturEner followed through on contractual obligations to protect eagles and other birds that nest near the 126-turbine Rm Rock wind farm near Billings, Montana. Best, Don Bauder

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