Two more Imperial Valley geothermal companies have filed a lawsuit against Southern California Edison, both stating they want to suspend contracts with the utility and sell their power on the open market.
The geothermals, Heber Geothermal Co. and Second Imperial Geothermal Co., operate in the Heber area. The parent company for both is Covanta Energy of Fairfield, N.J.
Danielle Tinman, a spokeswoman for Covanta, said the lawsuit was filed in Imperial County Superior Court and asks the court to temporarily free the geothermals from their contracts with Edison until the utility pays more than $35 million in back payments.
Tinman said Heber Geothermal, on Pitzer Road, produces 52 megawatts of power. That company is owed $19.3 million by Edison.
SIGC operates on Dogwood Road and produces 40 megawatts. Edison owes it $16.3 million.
Tinman said the geothermals "waited as long as they could," and were hoping the state would step in with legislation to help renewable energy suppliers that have not received payment from the state's two largest power utilities, Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.