The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 16, 2012

$1.2 million in liens filed against Chisholm View Wind Project

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— A contractor associated with the construction of the Chisholm View Wind Project has filed more than $1.2 million in mechanic’s liens against the project.

U.S. Concrete On Site Inc. on Wednesday filed 147 mechanic’s liens in Garfield County and another 12 liens in Grant County. Each lien is filed in the amount of $1,273,923.

Each of the liens was filed against M.A. Mortenson Co., the general contractor for construction of the 235-megawatt wind farm, which stretches from the Hunter area in a line to the northwest toward Pond Creek.

Each of the liens also was filed against project developer Chisholm View Wind Project LLC; former project developer Trade Wind Energy; and the individual property owner for each work site associated with the mechanic’s liens.

Officials with U.S. Concrete On Site declined to comment on the mechanic’s liens.

The attorney who filed the liens, Jim Vogt, of Oklahoma City firm Reynolds, Ridings, Vogt & Morgan, was not available for comment Friday.

Officials with Trade Wind Energy and Chisholm View Wind Project LLC managing member Enel Green Power North America, did not respond to requests for comment on the liens. An official with GE Financial Services, the other parent company for Chisholm View Wind Project LLC, declined to comment on the grounds GE is the “non-managing member and does not control day-to-day operations.”

Legal action to enforce the liens filed this week could be initiated within one year of the filing date.

The $375 million wind farm is scheduled to begin sending power to the southeast U.S. next month.

The 140-turbine wind farm was built under a power purchase agreement slated to provide electricity to Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based southeastern utilities provider Southern Co.

Power will be transmitted through an existing OG&E transmission line to power distribution centers in Dallas and Wichita, Kan., then on to utility customers in Alabama Power’s service area.

According to TradeWind Energy, of Lenexa, Kan., the project’s original designer and developer, the wind farm is expected to generate enough power to avoid more than 565,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to taking approximately 110,000 cars off the road.

While the energy generated will be heading out of the region, the project is expected to have significant financial benefits in north central Oklahoma — about $5 million a year into the local economy, according to TradeWind Energy estimates.

Ownership of the $375 million wind farm project has changed several times since TradeWind Energy began site preparation last winter.

The project was sold to Enel Green Power North America, subsidiary of Enel Green Power, a European company that pursues wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass energy projects throughout Europe, North America and South America.

In April, majority ownership of the project again changed. EFS Chisholm, a subsidiary of GE Financial Services, bought a 51 percent stake in the company at a price tag of $191 million. Enel Green Power North America retained the other 49 percent for an investment of $184 million.