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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Gainesville Regional Utility is demanding nearly $1 million in repayments from Gainesville Renewable Energy Center for overcharges since 2013.

In a letter to GREC President Jim Gordon last Tuesday, GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski Jr. demanded $985,804.96 and accrued interest from GREC within 30 days.

"Failing a complete and timely refund ... GRU will submit its claim to arbitration pursuant (to contractual sections)," Bielarski added in the letter.

If GRU reclaims the money, it will "ultimately end up as a reduction in customer bills … (when) GRU sets electric rates annually," Bielarski said in a written statement Friday.

The demand comes after a city audit report released last month found that GREC has used a euro to dollar exchange rate in calculating a cost adjuster as outlined in a controversial biomass plant contract, resulting in GREC overcharging GRU for energy.

Under contractual agreements, the audit states, GREC was suppose to use a dollar to euro Exchange rate.

GREC Managing Director Albert Morales wrote in an emailed statement that GREC has followed contract agreements.

"This is nothing more than a contrived issue, manufactured by the City as part of its avowed and repeatedly acknowledged campaign to extract economic concessions from GREC," Morales said.

Contact Hunter Williamson at hwilliamson@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @hunterewilliam

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