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Suzlon sues Edison unit over payment for turbines to Big Sky

Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), the Indian wind-turbine maker seeking an extension on debt repayments, has filed a lawsuit against a unit of Edison International (EIX) claiming its improperly refusing to make a pre-payment for turbines supplied to a U.S. wind farm.

Big Sky, a unit of Edison Mission Group, claims defects in some components don’t require it to make the payment, according to Suzlon’s complaint, filed Sept. 14 in New York Supreme Court. Suzlon, based in the western Indian city of Pune, is the second- biggest wind-turbine maker in the world by sales.

“Big Sky’s unwillingness to make the mandatory prepayment on the mandatory prepayment date is motivated by not only the challenge faced by Big Sky in selling power in a sluggish renewable energy market, but also by reason of the precarious financial situation of Edison” which has said its unit may have to file for bankruptcy, Suzlon said in the complaint.

Douglas McFarlan, a spokesman at Edison didn’t respond to an e-mail and a voice mail left at his office number in Chicago after hours. A call to Edison’s 24-hour international media hot line was answered by an operator.

Edison Mission’s Big Sky wind farm in Illinois bought 114 Suzlon turbines in October 2009. The deal was financed with a $206 million loan from Suzlon which has since increased with interest to $217 million, according to Suzlon’s complaint.

Suzlon, which has posted losses for three years, said Sept. 18 it has asked bondholders for a four-month extension on redemption of $220.8 million of convertible notes due Oct. 11.