McAfee & Taft AgLINC: Winds of change: New laws encourage wind farm development while protecting Oklahoma landowners By Cole Marshall

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In the September 2010 issue of AgLINC, Jeff Todd wrote that “wind farms have been sweeping the plains.” Indeed, wind farms are gaining a greater presence in Oklahoma where the topography, demographics and abundance of wind make Oklahoma a prime target for wind energy developers to set up shop. The presence of the wind industry in Oklahoma is only expected to grow, as Governor Fallin has recently traveled to California with a group of Oklahoma business leaders to the American Wind Energy Association’s annual tradeshow and convention to promote Oklahoma as a great place for the wind industry to do business.

Not surprisingly, the Oklahoma legislature has recently enacted a number of statutes that relate to the development of wind farms in Oklahoma. Most notably is the Oklahoma Wind Energy Development Act (the “Development Act”) which became effective on January 1, 2011. Among other things, the Development Act imposes minimum decommissioning requirements for wind developments, requires wind developers to provide documentation for landowners to understand and verify the amount of the payments made to the landowner, and requires the wind developer to carry liability insurance with the landowner identified as an additional insured party.

Article Authored By McAfee & Taft Attorney: Cole Marshall.

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