Montana Court Sends Wind Farm Clash to California

Dispute revolves around danger to nesting eagles

By Justin Franz

Montana’s Supreme Court says a contract dispute involving a Montana wind farm’s potential to harm nearby nesting eagles should be heard in California.

The state high court on Friday ordered District Judge Brenda Gilbert to dismiss a lawsuit brought by wind farm developer NaturEner against San Diego Gas and Electric.

SDG&E last year filed a lawsuit in California accusing NaturEner of concealing the potential for eagles and other birds to be harmed by the 126-turbine Rim Rock wind farm near Cut Bank.

NaturEner filed a competing lawsuit in Montana, alleging SDG&E wanted out of an unfavorable contract.

Justices said one of two contracts at issue in the case required the parties to litigate their disputes in California, and it would be more efficient to handle related issues in a single court.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.