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United States

Acciona sues over city's tax rebate refusal

UNITED STATES: Acciona Windpower North America is suing the city of West Branch, Iowa, after the authorities refused to pay the manufacturer a tax rebate.

Acciona's 1.5MW turbines at the West Branch factory
Acciona's 1.5MW turbines at the West Branch factory

Acciona is taking legal action to claim the $110,000 that the city is refusing to pay because it says Acciona failed to live up to promises about job creation.

Back in 2008, the two parties arranged tax relief for Acciona under a "tax increment development agreement" on the condition that Acciona creates "approximately 110 jobs" at its factory in the city within five years.

The city was to make annual tax rebate payments for eight years, but is now refusing to make the payments because of what it sees as Acciona's failure to meet the conditions of the agreement.

Due to a slowdown in US orders, Acciona made 40 people redundant in March 2013. However, the company says that it did create 102 jobs over the period and that this amounts to the "approximately 110 jobs" required, even if the positions were not maintained.

When the plant was built in 2007, Acciona received an incentive package of more than $2 million from state and local economic development agencies in an effort to bring the company to West Branch. In 2011, Acciona received a further $3 million funding from the Iowa Power Fund Board to install two 3MW test turbines.

The plant was built to produce the company's 1.5MW turbines at a rate of up to 400 units a year. It was Acciona's first wind turbine manufacturing plant in the US.

Acciona and the city authorities refused to comment on the case when contacted by Windpower Monthly.

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