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NaturEner denies fraud claim

Spanish developer NaturEner is denying fraud allegations by California offtaker San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in a legal dispute over the 189MW Rim Rock wind farm in Montana. The utility claims NaturEner fraudulently concealed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recommended the developer get an eagle take permit for the project.

Spanish developer NaturEner is denying fraud allegations by California offtaker San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in a legal dispute over the 189MW Rim Rock wind farm in Montana.

The utility claims NaturEner fraudulently concealed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recommended the developer get an eagle take permit for the project.

SDG&E is trying to cancel a 20-year renewable energy credit contract and an agreement to invest $285 million in the $400 million project. Based on internal FSW communications it claims NaturEner intentionally withheld information and failed to meet its contractual obligations to protect eagles and other birds.

The developer denies the allegations and said the notes were taken out of context.

NaturEner consulted FWS in developing its avian protection plan and the agency never required or recommended that it apply for an eagle take permit, NaturEner regulatory affairs director Patrick Ferguson told reNews.

NaturEner believes SDG&E is just trying to “muddy the waters” and is using the avian protection conditions as a “pretext for escaping its contractual obligations,” said Ferguson.

“Their real motive for trying to break the price contract is buyer’s... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Spanish developer NaturEner is denying fraud allegations by California offtaker San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in a legal dispute over the 189MW Rim Rock wind farm in Montana.

The utility claims NaturEner fraudulently concealed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recommended the developer get an eagle take permit for the project.

SDG&E is trying to cancel a 20-year renewable energy credit contract and an agreement to invest $285 million in the $400 million project. Based on internal FSW communications it claims NaturEner intentionally withheld information and failed to meet its contractual obligations to protect eagles and other birds.

The developer denies the allegations and said the notes were taken out of context.

NaturEner consulted FWS in developing its avian protection plan and the agency never required or recommended that it apply for an eagle take permit, NaturEner regulatory affairs director Patrick Ferguson told reNews.

NaturEner believes SDG&E is just trying to “muddy the waters” and is using the avian protection conditions as a “pretext for escaping its contractual obligations,” said Ferguson.

“Their real motive for trying to break the price contract is buyer’s remorse,” he said.

The REC market price has dropped substantially since the power purchase agreement was signed. The utility procured more RECs than it needs and has been selling them in the marketplace, said Ferguson.

A Montana judge in January granted a temporary restraining order compelling SDG&E to continue buying Rim Rock RECs.

The utility petitioned to move the case to a California court. The Montana court is expected to rule on jurisdiction in the coming weeks.

There have been no eagles killed since Rim Rock started operation in fall 2012, said Ferguson.


Source: http://renews.biz/64193/nat...

APR 1 2014
http://www.windaction.org/posts/40206-naturener-denies-fraud-claim
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