A Texas state court has ruled that Lone Star Transmission, LLC could not condemn an easement across private property to build part of a transmission line for wind-generated electricity. Lone Star Transmission, LLC v. Wilks Ranch Tex., Ltd., No. CV-1242569 (Eastland Cnty. Dist. Ct., Tex. 10/15/2012).
The project, part of Lone Star’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone, may be jeopardized by the decision. The condemnee asserted that Lone Star lacked the power of condemnation and alternatively that it could not condemn the property in this instance “because there is no public purpose and no necessity.” The court found that Lone Star does have condemnation power, but had not demonstrated a public purpose or need for the project; thus it halted the condemnation action. According to a news sources, the decision is a major blow to the state’s plan for the on-time completion of a network designed to move wind-generated power from renewable energy zones to other areas in the state. See Law360, October 16, 2012.