Highland Wind Farm

A Friday decision by the Virginia Supreme Court has cleared another hurdle in the debate involving a proposed wind farm in Highland County.

The justices ruled Friday that a lawsuit challenging the project was improper because it only named the county, not the Board of Supervisors, as a defendant.

The court also tossed out a claim that a permit for the project was not in "substantial accord" with the county's comprehensive plan.

Highland New Wind Development wants to build 19 towering wind turbines on an unforested ridge at the 4,400-foot elevation where the headwaters of three watersheds converge.

It would be Virginia's first utility-grade wind farm, generating about 39 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 15,000 to 20,000 homes.

The State Corporation Commission must still give approval before further actions can be taken.

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