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Wind turbine case moves to federal court  

A civil dispute over alleged defects in wind-energy generation turbines filed by a regional power agency is headed to federal court.

Last week, the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency filed suit in Olmsted District Court asking a district judge to order the defendant, Vestas American Wind Technology Inc., to enter into arbitration to resolve the dispute. SMMPA claims it has suffered damages exceeding $7 million stemming from defects in four wind-energy generation turbines in western Minnesota.

On Tuesday, James Killian, Minneapolis attorney for the defendant, filed notice in the U.S. District Court moving the case to federal court. The notice said the federal court has original jurisdiction over the action because of the amount of the alleged damages and because the dispute is between citizens of different states. Vestas is a California corporation with a principal place of business in Oregon.

Court documents filed by SMMPA said the agency owns four generation turbines, two in the Fairmont area and two in the Redwood Falls area. SMMPA alleges the turbines contain many defects in their design and manufacture.

By Janice Gregorson


20 December 2007

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