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Osage Wind Project, USA

Local residents, conservation groups, and the Osage Nation organized the Protect Osage Coalition to oppose the construction of the wind park owned by ENEL.


The 150 MW Osage Wind project consists of 84 wind towers and was developed on 3,400 ha of the Osage Nation Reservation by TradeWind Energy, a Kansas-based division of Enel Green Power North America Inc. The project was proposed in 2008, approved for construction in 2011, and brought into operation in 2015. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Osage Wind Project, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:Oklahoma
Location of conflict:Pawhuska
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project’s electric-powered turbines are designed to generate 150 megawatts of energy from 84 400-foot turbines for delivery via a transmission line to a KAMO substation. Power produced by the project is to be purchased by Associated Electric, which serves customers in northeast Oklahoma through the Indian Electric Cooperative.

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Project area:3,400
Level of Investment for the conflictive project287,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Local residents, Osage Nation
Start of the conflict:08/01/2008
End of the conflict:07/01/2015
Company names or state enterprises:ENEL GREEN POWER (ENEL) from Italy
Osage Wind, LLC from United States of America
Trade Wind Energy, INC from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Bureau of Indian Affairs; Osage Minerals Council; Osage County Board of Adjustments; US Fish and Wildlife Service (for eagle take permits)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Nature Conservancy, Protect Osage Coalition
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Osage Nation
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Soil erosion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Osage Nation claim they were not properly consulted nor listened to. Osage Nation was awarded compensation for gravel illegally mined on-site. It is unclear how much compensation was awarded. Later lawsuits in which the Osage Nation attempted to stop adjacent wind projects were unsuccessful.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[7] Carmack, Summer (2017) "United States v. Osage Wind, LLC," Public Land & Resources Law Review: Vol. 0, Article 17.
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[1] Erwin, Mike. “Opponents of wind farms hold information session”, Pawhuska Journal-Capital.11/18/2014.
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[2] Thompson, Nathan. “OSAGE NATION: Wind farm stirs legal battles”, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. 12/18/17.
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[3] Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise “Wind farm alters Osage landscape”, 3/30/2015.
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[4] NPR. “Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds”. 8/18/2014.
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[5] Thompson, Nathan. “Osage Nation: Wind farm stirs legal battles”. Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. 12/18/2017.
[click to view]

[6] Polacca, Benny. “Osage Nation drops appeal in wind farm case”. Osage News. 2/27/2012.
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[8] Terry-Cobo, Sarah. “Osage County wind farm gets go-ahead” The Journal Record. 11/1/2016.
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[9] Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. “Osage County plans advanced for 2nd wind farm” , 7/19/2015.
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[10] Business Viewpoint with Osage Chief Standing Bear: Wind farms cause cultural, economic damage
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[11] "Saving Oklahoma's prairies, a vital weapon against climate change" NBC News. 11/30/2019
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[12] "Lone Turbine Stands Tall In Osage County" News On 6
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[13] "Osage community members petition ON government for action on wind turbines" Osage News, 9/2/2015
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[14] Le Coz, Emily; Sherman, Lucille. "In the Shadow of Wind Farms" GateHouse Media. 12/13/2017
[click to view]

[15] Haliaeetus leucocephalus. US Fish and Wildlife Service
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/05/2022
Conflict ID:6026
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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