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Wind-Farm Firms Face Investigation - WSJ
|New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has opened a probe of two companies that develop and operate wind farms over allegations of improper dealings with public officials and anticompetitive behavior.|
Mr. Cuomo said his office has subpoenaed First Wind -- formerly UPC Wind -- and Noble Environmental Power LLC, which has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public this year.
"The use of wind power, like all renewable energy sources, should be encouraged to help clean our air and end our reliance on fossil fuels," Mr. Cuomo said. "However, public integrity remains a top priority of my office, and if dirty tricks are used to facilitate even clean-energy projects, my office will put a stop to it."
Mr. Cuomo said the investigation is looking into whether the companies improperly sought or obtained land-use agreements with citizens and public officials; whether improper benefits were given to public officials to influence their actions; and whether the companies entered into anticompetitive agreements or engaged in anticompetitive practices.
The attorney general said his office has received numerous complaints about the companies from citizens, public-interest groups and local officials.
First Wind, of Newton, Mass., has three operational wind farms, including one in Erie County, and 48 others in development across the country, Mr. Cuomo said. The company has wind farms in development in Steuben, Chautauqua, Genesee and Wyoming counties in New York, he said.
Noble Environmental, of Essex, Conn., has three active wind farms and five in development in Allegany, Chautauqua, Clinton, Franklin and Wyoming counties in New York, Mr. Cuomo said.
A First Wind spokesman didn't have a comment; a Noble Environmental spokeswoman declined to comment.
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