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New York State Thruway Authority files lawsuit against wind turbine company and contractors

(WIVB) - The New York Thruway Authority has filed a lawsuit against a wind turbine company and its contractor and consultants for the failure of four wind turbines located along the Thruway in Erie and Chautauqua counties. 

The turbines have been offline since last year, the Thruway Authority alleges. 

A notice of claim filed by the Thruway Authority against Vergnet,S.A., Prudent Engineering, LLP, Ravi Engineering & L.S., P.C.,  Kandey Company, Inc. and CHA Consulting, Inc./Clough Harbor & Assoc. LLP alleges negligence, professional malpractice, breach of warranty, and breach of contract. 

The turbines are located at Exit 61 (Ripley-Shortman Road), Exit 59 (Dunkirk-Fredonia), exit 58 (Silver Creek, Irving) and Exit 57A (Eden-Angola). 

The turbines were installed in 2013 and 2014 as part of a renewable energy initiative. 

A fifth turbine which is located by Exit 60 was manufactured by another company and remains operational. It is not involved in this lawsuit. 

According to the Thruway Authority, the four turbines went offline between Oct. 2017 and Jan. 2018 due to various mechanical issues.  

The Thruway Authority is seeking to recover over $8.1 million plus interest and costs and collection fees. The agency is being represented by the State Attorney General's Office. 

Kandey Company, Inc. provided the following statement on Thursday afternoon, advising that they have not been served with a lawsuit. 

In response to your request for comment about the NYS Thruway wind turbine project, please be advised that we at Kandey Company, Inc. have not been served with a lawsuit and do not know the allegations being made against us.

Nevertheless, as the general contractor, we were not negligent in any way whatsoever. We complied in all respects with the contract documents, which required that the windmills must be purchased from a French manufacturer, Vergnet. For your information, we are attaching some of the contract documents, which indicated that Kandey Company had to purchase specific wind turbines from Vergnet with “no substitution allowed.”

Kandey Company purchased the windmills from Vergnet, as required, and properly installed and tested them.

At this time, we are unaware of the details as to why the windmills are off line, but Kandey Company is confident that we did nothing wrong and will be vindicated in court.


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