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Wind energy firm appealing Osage County permit denial

In an appeal filed recently in Osage County District Court, TradeWind Energy claims it was wrongfully denied a permit needed to construct a wind farm west of Pawhuska.

Osage County Board of Adjustment voted May 8 to reject TradeWind’s application for a conditional use permit in connection with the Mustang Run wind energy project. The permit would have allowed the Lenexa, Kan.-based company to construct a 68-turbine wind power facility approximately 13 miles west of Pawhuska.

TradeWind proposed building the 150-megawatt facility on approximately 10,000 acres of leased prairie land along U.S. Highway 60 east of Burbank.

The board rendered its decision nearly a month after strong opposition to the wind farm was presented during a public hearing in Pawhuska. Officials with the Osage Nation were the most active in the efforts aimed at halting Mustang Run. Several wildlife organizations, environmental groups and ranching interests also expressed opposition to the wind-energy plan.

TradeWind asked for an expedited ruling on its appeal, which was filed Thursday, May 15 — exactly one week after the board voted to deny the request. The energy company claims the board erred in its decision.

District Court Judge John Kane of Pawhuska recused himself from the case because property owned by his family is involved in the wind-farm proposal. The presiding judge for the judicial region is expected to assign another judge to make a ruling on the matter.

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