Ricketts signs law that could prompt wind-energy court cases

Generic file image of a wind farm, Photo Date: February 4, 2007
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Groups that want to install wind-energy transmission lines on private property could face new obstacles from Nebraska landowners under a newly signed state law.

Gov. Pete Ricketts approved a measure Friday that gives landowners a better opportunity to challenge such projects in court if a Nebraska public power organization tries to use eminent domain to clear the way for a privately developed renewable energy project.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer, of Gordon, whose district includes Nebraska's scenic Sandhills. Some residents there are trying to derail a transmission line project designed to relieve congestion in the current electric system and support new wind-energy projects.

The original proposal would have barred Nebraska's public power organizations from using eminent domain from such projects.