Utility alleges fraud in Montana wind farm deal

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Updated: 3/31/2014 1:36 pm

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A California utility that invested in a Montana wind farm is accusing the developer of fraud.

San Diego Gas & Electric alleges a subsidiary of Spanish wind developer NaturEner concealed that federal wildlife officials recommended the wind project get a permit in case it harms eagles.

The utility claims NaturEner did not disclose the government's recommendation to induce SDG&E to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm near Cut Bank.

SDG&E and NaturEner have filed dueling lawsuits in California and Montana as part of a dispute over the 126-turbine project.

At issue is whether NaturEner followed through on contractual obligations to protect eagles and other birds that nest near the site.

A NaturEner spokesman rejected the fraud allegation made in court documents filed Friday in California Superior Court.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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