County will intervene in suit against solar project

By Steve Hansen
QCS Staff writer

Quay County commissioners voted Monday to intervene on behalf of a solar power plant builder in a lawsuit that alleges the builder and its construction contractor are trespassing on an adjacent property owner’s land.

McFarland Land and Cattle Co., which owns property next to the plant site, has requested a permanent injunction against Duke Power Co., the plant’s owner, and Swinerton Builders of San Diego, Calif., its construction contractor, to prevent what it calls trespassing on McFarland land construction site
According to court documents, the landowner, McFarland Land and Cattle, alleges that vehicles traveling to and from Duke Power Co.’s Caprock Solar Power Project, east of Mesa Redonda in southeast Quay County, are trespassing on roadway that McFarland claims as private property.

McFarland says it has repaired and maintained that portion of roadway after bad weather, and  that the roadway is private land.  Further, McFarland’s complaint alleges, the contractor has ignored “No Trespassing” signs on the property.

The county’s motion to intervene says the roadway is county road, not private property and alleges that McFarland was was asking for payment from Duke and Swinerton to use the road through McFarland lands.

“Any dispute the plaintiff has with anyone concerning County Road AI, is with Quay County,” the motion says.

Attempts to reach attorneys for the county and McFarland were unsuccessful Monday.

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