According to a court decision in California, the government can sever wind rights and return them to the landowner when taking property through eminent domain. Vaquero Farms Inc, in the Altamont Pass wind area, had sought compensation from the Contra Costa Water District after the public agency acquired 3500 acres for a water reservoir project. Vaquero, a cattle ranch, was also the site for some 260 wind turbines. Vaquero had wanted a value of more than $30 million for the land, while the water district was offering some $7 million in severance damages. The jury returned a verdict for a total sum of $14 million, but the court affirmed that the water district need not be forced to compensate Vaquero for the wind rights.
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