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Montana wind farm operator sues California utility for breach of contract

NaturEner, which owns and operates three wind farms in Montana, sued a California utility on Friday for breaching contracts to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm.  The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the utility from reneging on its contractual promise to buy the renewable energy generated at the facility.

Suit seeks to block San Diego Gas & Electric frin reneging on commitments to invest in Rim Rock Wind Farm and to buy renewable energy from the facility

CUT BANK, Mont. -- NaturEner, which owns and operates three wind farms in Montana, sued a California utility on Friday for breaching contracts to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm. The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the utility from reneging on its contractual promise to buy the renewable energy generated at the facility.

San Diego Gas & Electric, a subsidiary of energy conglomerate Sempra Energy, had agreed to invest approximately $285 million in the 189-megawatt Rim Rock wind farm and to purchase renewable energy credits as part of its obligation under California law to use renewable power. SDG&E has been purchasing renewable energy credits from Rim Rock since the project began operating 16 months ago.

But this week the utility informed NaturEner that it would not honor the deal, wrongfully claiming that the company had not satisfied some of the provisions of the contracts, mostly related to the protection of eagles and other birds.

NaturEner claims it has has implemented industry-leading wildlife conservation measures at... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Suit seeks to block San Diego Gas & Electric frin reneging on commitments to invest in Rim Rock Wind Farm and to buy renewable energy from the facility

CUT BANK, Mont. -- NaturEner, which owns and operates three wind farms in Montana, sued a California utility on Friday for breaching contracts to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm.  The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the utility from reneging on its contractual promise to buy the renewable energy generated at the facility.

San Diego Gas & Electric, a subsidiary of energy conglomerate Sempra Energy, had agreed to invest approximately $285 million in the 189-megawatt Rim Rock wind farm and to purchase renewable energy credits as part of its obligation under California law to use renewable power.  SDG&E has been purchasing renewable energy credits from Rim Rock since the project began operating 16 months ago.

But this week the utility informed NaturEner that it would not honor the deal, wrongfully claiming that the company had not satisfied some of the provisions of the contracts, mostly related to the protection of eagles and other birds.

NaturEner claims it has has implemented industry-leading wildlife conservation measures at the Rim Rock project including installation of radar detection systems for eagles, and the positioning of trained avian biologists at different locations who can immediately pause wind turbines, in coordination with NaturEner's 24/7 real-time Operations Center, if there is a risk of potential harm to an approaching eagle.

NaturEner's lawsuit, filed in Montana District Court in Toole County, argues that the utility's actions are motivated by buyer's remorse, because of the falling price of renewable power.

"SDG&E is obligated to purchase, at a contractually fixed price, the renewable energy credits generated by Rim Rock over the next 20 years.  Since the purchase agreement was signed, the market price of renewable energy credits has dropped precipitously from the price that SDG&E agreed to pay," the company argues in the lawsuit.


Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/ne...

DEC 20 2013
http://www.windaction.org/posts/39333-montana-wind-farm-operator-sues-california-utility-for-breach-of-contract
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