Wind Energy Is An Emerging Technology With Developing Laws

The power in the wind can be harnessed and used to supplement the nation's energy needs. Wind energy harnessing is expected to create opportunities for landowners and a lucrative new energy market for businesses alike. The growth of the wind energy market has also been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Alternative sources of energy, including wind, are the future. That means there will be a need for new wind energy laws. Companies that are either working in wind energy production or want to get involved need to understand existing and upcoming laws. Call our experienced wind energy law attorneys at Mahaffey & Gore, P.C.

The Future Of Wind Farms

Energy-producing wind farms are in demand, and companies have been negotiating with landowners for rights. However, there are debates about how much of a nuisance wind turbines will become and how their use is affected by the state's laws.

Nuisance Laws

Nuisance laws related to wind power are new, however there have been relevant cases that brought to light the problems that emerged with wind turbine use:

  • Oklahoma landowners filed lawsuits based on anticipated nuisance and sought permanent injunctions against wind farm development. The worry was that the wind farms would cause noise and health problems and impact the scenery.
  • A 2014 federal lawsuit that tried to stop an Oklahoma wind farm failed. The argument was that strobe-like effects from the turbine blades on sunny days and low frequency sound would cause environmental harm. The court ruled that it was only speculation.
  • Homeowners who lived near the 2014 project tried to get an injunction that would move the wind farm by over 9,000 feet away from their homes. That effort failed. The farm started operating in 2016.

Mineral Rights/Surface Rights Conflicts, The Surface Damage Act And Wind Farms

Gas and oil are such valuable assets that there are laws that protect mineral rights. Oklahoma allows a reasonable amount of gas and oil exploration and development on a property owner's land.

  • The Surface Damage Act. Oklahoma law states that developers of gas and oil must negotiate with property owners for potential damage before drilling can start. The law is expected to be extended to wind operations.

Experienced Lawyers Supporting Your Rights

We have been in practice for over 40 years. Our knowledge of Oklahoma wind energy laws and how they apply to emerging wind energy resources will be an asset for you. Call our Oklahoma City office at 405-694-4472 or email us.