Judge keeps Montana wind farm contract in place

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A California utility says a judge has kept an injunction in place that bars the utility from cancelling its power contract with a Montana wind farm because of potential threats to nearby golden eagles.

Representatives of the two sides said Montana District Judge Brenda Gilbert declined to rule on San Diego Gas & Electric's request to dismiss the case during a Tuesday hearing.

A subsidiary of Spanish wind power company NaturEner sued last year to stop SDG&E from backing out of its contract for the wind farm near Cut Bank.

The 126-turbine Rim Rock wind farm is near seven golden eagle nests and Montana's densest concentration of ferruginous hawks.

NaturEner put measures in place to protect the birds from harm, but SDG&E says those aren't enough to satisfy their contract.