Contractor seeks to take over Minn. wind farm to save it

Source: John Miller, AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press • Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fagen Inc., a contractor for Exergy Development Group, says it is entitled to ownership of Exergy’s Big Blue Project near Blue Earth, Minn.

In a lawsuit, the contractor says a February pact it struck with Exergy gives it control of the Big Blue Project because the Idaho company hasn’t come up with an $11.4 million loan repayment.

On Feb. 29, Exergy transferred 99 percent of ownership of the project to the contractor, in exchange for reducing Exergy’s loan obligations to Fagen, according to the documents.

Subsequently, Exergy had the option to repurchase ownership by June 29 and failure to do so would give Fagen 100 percent ownership, the documents contend. “Exergy failed to exercise its purchase option,” Fagen’s lawyers wrote. “As a result … defendant Exergy is no longer a member.”

The problem now, Fagen contends, is that Exergy owner James Carkulis and his top executive, Elizabeth Woolstenhulme, insist they are still in control of the project.

Fagen said, “Because time is of the essence in the continuing construction of the project, and because defendants’ actions jeopardize the project itself, the harm resulting from defendants’ breach of contract is massive, immediate and irreparable.” If the project’s turbines are not spinning by Dec. 31, it will miss out on federal tax grants worth $22 million.

Exergy responded, “Exergy believes the allegations in the lawsuit are entirely without merit, and the company will vigorously defend its position in court” (John Miller, AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press, Oct. 25). — NN