Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit In Fight Over Proposed Hinton Wind Turbines

Tuesday, May 16th 2017, 6:24 pm
By: Karl Torp

When Hinton Mayor Shelly Newton discovered, where NextEra Energy Resources was planning to put some 156 turbines, she and other city leaders took action.

Hinton passed a turbine buffer zone that extends two miles outside city limits.

"People around here are signing 50 to 90 year contracts not a short term problem or issue and we wanted to start off on the right foot," said Newton.

NextEra believed the small town of 3,200 residents didn't have the right to implement a buffer zone and sued.

According to Hinton's attorney, based on OKC, only three NextEra turbines are effected by the buffer zone.

"The company wants to show that they've got the power on a small town whether it's Hinton, another town in Oklahoma, or the United States," said attorney Andy Lester.

On Friday, a federal judge dismissed NextEra's lawsuit, saying they had no legal standing.

NextEra called the judge’s decision a technicality.

"We appreciate the judge recognizing this is a technical issue and allowing us the opportunity to refile within 30 days so the case can be decided on the merits," said Bryan Garner, with NextEra Energy Resources,  in a statement to News 9.

Newton said she's been contacted by the mayors of Hydro and Corn about putting up similar protections against wind turbines.

"We did have our ducks in a row," said Newton.