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Thruway Authority sues wind turbine firms for $8.1M

Kandey Co.

The New York State Thruway Authority is suing a West Seneca engineering firm and its contractors for four wind turbines along the I-90 that have been out of service since at least January.

The Thruway Authority says it is seeking to recover more than $8.1 million plus interest, costs and collection fees from Kandey Co., which led the installation and operation of "four faulty wind turbines" at exits 57A (Eden-Angola), 58 (Silver Creek-Irving), 59 (Dunkirk-Fredonia) and 61 (Ripley).

Kandey was selected through a competitive bidding process to install the turbines as part of a renewable energy initiative in 2013-2014 and contracted with a French company, Vergnet, to purchase the turbines. However, the state says the four turbines went offline between October 2017 and January 2018 "due to various mechanical issues."

The Thruway Authority says a fifth turbine, located near exit 60 (Westfield-Mayville), "was manufactured by a different company, remains operational and is not involved in this lawsuit."

Kandey has been involved with various civil engineering projects around Western New York, including at Riverbend, the University at Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Buffalo Creek Casino. WBFO has reached out to the company for comment.

Other contractors named in the lawsuit are CHA Consulting, Inc./Clough Harbor & Assoc. LLP based in Albany, Prudent Engineering LLP based in East Syracuse and Ravi Engineering & L.S., P.C. based in East Aurora.

"CHA Consulting provided preliminary engineering services, final design services and construction support services to the Authority pertaining to the wind turbines. Prudent Engineering LLP provided construction inspection services relating to the installation of the wind turbines and later, as a subconsultant to Ravi Engineering, served as program manager providing management, monitoring and maintenance services for the wind turbines," says the state.

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