AG asks court to shut down wind energy firmby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Attorney General Lori Swanson on Wednesday asked a judge to shut down a wind energy development company accused of failing to keep its promises to dozens of Minnesota farmers.
The company, Renewable Energy SD, was named in a lawsuit Swanson filed last month on behalf of farmers who said their small-scale wind turbines malfunctioned and were not fixed by the company.
Wednesday's court action seeks to stop Renewable Energy SD from making any new sales of wind energy projects and force the company to account for the funds it has received from customers on existing projects.
The court filing contained affidavits from 40 Minnesota farmers. Swanson said the affidavits demonstrate that the state will likely be able to prove in court that the company violated the state's consumer protection laws.
According to the lawsuit, the company told farmers the wind turbines would pay for themselves through federal grant money from federal stimulus that Congress passed in 2009 and a state electricity buy-back law. But farmers contacted Swanson's office complaining that the company's promises were not even close to being fulfilled.
Renewable Energy SD did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Wednesday. In response to Swanson's lawsuit last month, the company said it is committed to its customers and will address any concerns they have.