Judge grants motion to intervene in biomass suit

Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.

The company that will own and operate Gainesville's 100 megawatt biomass power plant has been granted its motion to intervene and fight the lawsuit seeking to nullify the city's contract to purchase power from the plant.

The firm, a limited liability corporation known as the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, stated in its motion that its investments to date implementing the contract and its ability to sell electricity to the city under an exclusive 30-year agreement would be jeopardized if the contract is declared void.

The company stated it would, in that case, also default on a $500 million financing agreement.

In April, Gainesville Citizens CARE, an organization formed in opposition of the biomass plant, filed the legal challenge. The lawsuit alleges that contract negotiations between Gainesville Regional Utilities staff and American Renewables, the partnership behind GREC, violated the Sunshine Law.

The City Attorney's Office has responded that the negotiations between a team of utility staff and the company's representatives were not subject to the Sunshine Law.

-Christopher Curry

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