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Xcel Sues General Electric Over Turbine Failure At Becker Facility

Sherco Power Plant, Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

BECKER (AP) – Xcel Energy Inc. and other plaintiffs are suing General Electric Co., claiming it hid a known defect in a turbine that broke down at one of its plants and led to millions of dollars in losses.

The turbine outage happened at the Sherco 3 electric generator in Becker in 2011. The turbine was being tested after an outage when it began to vibrate and broke apart, starting a fire.

Xcel says the 22 months of repairs that followed cost it more than $200 million. Its lawsuit alleges that GE and its affiliates knew about a defect in its turbine blades for decades and had documented earlier failures and improved its design, but never told Xcel about the problem.

GE spokesman Shaun Wiggins said the claim of concealment is “simply false.”

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