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Lawsuit could affect Kenedy County wind farms; GE contends Mitsubishi used protected technology

General Electric has sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in federal court over three wind energy patents. Two South Texas wind projects use Mitsubishi turbines. GE says Mitsubishi used protected technology that allows a wind turbine to provide a constant, steady stream of electricity to the electrical grid when wind speed changes.

CORPUS CHRISTI - General Electric has sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in federal court over three wind energy patents. Two South Texas wind projects use Mitsubishi turbines.

GE says Mitsubishi used protected technology that allows a wind turbine to provide a constant, steady stream of electricity to the electrical grid when wind speed changes.

The suit follows a long-running dispute before the International Trade Commission. In 2008, GE asked the International Trade Commission to ban importation of certain Mitsubishi turbines because of the patent dispute. A judge for the commission, in a preliminary decision issued in August, found that Mitsubishi violated two of General Electric's patents.

A final decision isn't expected until December. That decision is subject to appeal in federal courts or intervention from the Office of the President. Mitsubishi has said it intends to seek review of the judge's decision.

The suit was filed Thursday in Corpus Christi because Mitsubishi sold and installed wind turbines at the Peñascal and Gulf Wind projects in Kenedy County.

In the suit, GE wants a judge to order Mitsubishi to stop making and selling the turbines. GE also is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CORPUS CHRISTI - General Electric has sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in federal court over three wind energy patents. Two South Texas wind projects use Mitsubishi turbines.

GE says Mitsubishi used protected technology that allows a wind turbine to provide a constant, steady stream of electricity to the electrical grid when wind speed changes.

The suit follows a long-running dispute before the International Trade Commission. In 2008, GE asked the International Trade Commission to ban importation of certain Mitsubishi turbines because of the patent dispute. A judge for the commission, in a preliminary decision issued in August, found that Mitsubishi violated two of General Electric's patents.

A final decision isn't expected until December. That decision is subject to appeal in federal courts or intervention from the Office of the President. Mitsubishi has said it intends to seek review of the judge's decision.

The suit was filed Thursday in Corpus Christi because Mitsubishi sold and installed wind turbines at the Peñascal and Gulf Wind projects in Kenedy County.

In the suit, GE wants a judge to order Mitsubishi to stop making and selling the turbines. GE also is seeking monetary damages.

Jan Johnson, spokeswoman for Iberdola Resources, the developer of the Peñascal project, said the project will use 84 turbines from Mitsubishi. A second phase of the project is under construction and involves another 84 turbines.

"It's too early to speculate whether it will have an impact on deliveries," Johnson said. "We're working closely with Mitsubishi to mitigate and potential impacts."

Wind is one of the largest sources of new power generation in the U.S. The number of wind turbine manufacturers with sales in the U.S. has increased from 6 in 2005 to 14 in 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Imports of turbines are growing, from $60 million in 2004 to about $2.5 billion in 2008, according to the International Trade Commission. General Electric dominates the domestic industry, capturing about 43 percent of the domestic market last year. Mitsubishi captured about 6.7 percent.

General Electric captured about 47 percent of the market in 2006, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Representatives of GE and Mitsubishi did not return calls for comment on Friday.


Source: http://www.caller.com/news/...

SEP 5 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/22049-lawsuit-could-affect-kenedy-county-wind-farms-ge-contends-mitsubishi-used-protected-technology
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