Jury awards $13.6 million to electric cooperative in Maine

By THe Associated Press

 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A jury on Friday awarded a $13.6 million to an electric cooperative that sued for breach of contract over a failed transmission line deal.

Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative sued after a deal fell through to buy a portion of a transmission line connecting three wind farms to the power grid.

First Wind, now owned by SunEdison, wanted to sell a 12.5-mile stretch of the power line in 2011 to Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative, but the deal fell apart because of questions over who'd be responsible for repairs, said Eastern Maine attorney Sigmund Schutz.

Eastern Maine CEO Scott Hallowell said the verdict vindicates his company's position that First Wind acted in bad faith during the negotiations.

An attorney for the defendants was not immediately available for comment Friday evening.

The defendants wanted Eastern Maine to buy insurance to avoid liability for damage, while Eastern Maine said the defendants had agreed to pay for damages.

The verdict went against First Wind Holdings and TerraForm Power Inc., which operates power plants for SunEdison. TerraForm is now responsible for the three wind farms, Stetson I and Stetson II in Washington County and Rollins in Penobscot County, along with the transmission line, officials said.

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