August 6, 2013

Wind farm litigants square off in Wyoming County

BY MICHAEL WINTERMUTE | The Scranton Times-Tribune | August 6, 2013 |

A hearing was held Monday in a lawsuit over $56 million of contract work allegedly not paid for as the Mehoopany Wind Farm was completed in 2012.

Attorney Doug Kilday, representing RES Americas – the company responsible for getting 88 windmills in the ground – told Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff that his firm worked to get the wind farm completed by Dec. 31, 2013, when federal tax credits were due to expire.

RES Americas is suing Mehoopany Wind Energy LLC which owns the property on which the farm was built and its partner, BP Wind Energy.

The hearing was held to determine if the lawsuit falls under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania or Texas, because of a coinciding suit filed by BP Wind Energy and MWE in Texas.

RES filed a summons on April 16 in the Wyoming County Court, according to a timeline presented by both sides. BP Wind Energy and MWE then filed a formal complaint in Texas against RES for more than $32 million in damages on May 3.

On May 8, RES filed its lawsuit in Wyoming County.

Judge Shurtleff said the next step in the hearings, which lasted about 90 minutes Monday, will be to determine which case will receive the benefit of first filing. That will then determine where the hearings will be conducted.

Judge Shurtleff notified all parties that they would have no more than 10 days to file a reply brief, which would reinstate the arguments of all parties while allowing any new evidence to be presented.

Furthermore, Judge Shurtleff said he would examine proof of filing for all parties to resolve the issue of who is responsible for first filing of the suit.

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