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United States

$90 MILLION IN DAMAGES

Both sides are suing in the dispute between Endless Energy Corp of Maine and Zond Systems Inc of California. The lawsuits arise out of the companies' joint venture to install a wind farm at Sugarloaf mountain last autumn. A power purchase contract for the project with Central Maine Power was later cancelled by the utility after the project was delayed. Endless Energy of New Gloucester filed suit in Maine in mid April and is seeking $90 million in damages, says its attorney Sumner Lipman. He accuses Zond of delaying the project "while it squeezed a greater share of the profits out of its tiny partner." Zond, based in Tehachapi, responded by counter suing in California, also alleging breach of contract, says the company's Bob Gates. Zond maintains that delays encountered were because of unforseeable problems at the site and that it exceeded its initial financial commitment by more than $1 million. At issue, initially, is in which state the case should be heard, says Lipman. Gates, however, says the original contract states that any disputes will be a matter of California law.

No date for a court hearing or trial had been set as of mid May for the law suit filed by Kenetech Windpower against Enercon GmbH and New World Power Corp. The suit, filed in US District Court San Jose in San Jose, California, at the end of January, alleges patent infringement in variable speed wind turbine technology. The defendants deny wrongdoing.

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