First Wind - DOE Loan and Stimulus Gift

Overview

From the DOE website:

"The mission of the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office (LPO) is to accelerate the domestic commercial deployment of innovative and advanced clean energy technologies at a scale sufficient to contribute meaningfully to the achievement of our national clean energy objectives—including job creation; reducing dependency on foreign oil; improving our environmental legacy; and enhancing American competitiveness in the global economy of the 21st century.

LPO executes this mission by guaranteeing loans to eligible clean energy projects (i.e., agreeing to repay the borrower’s debt obligation in the event of a default), and by providing direct loans to eligible manufacturers of advanced technology vehicles and components."

https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=17

In July 2010, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) found that "DOE's implementation of the LGP has treated applicants inconsistently, favoring some and disadvantaging others".

Could it be that First Wind enjoyed any sort of favoritism? Perhaps we will find out as the DOE's loan guarantee program comes under greater and greater scrutiny by the day in the wake of the Solyndra and Beacon Power debacles.

Environmental assessments from the DOE Loan Guarantee website can be downloaded at https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=1514#rhw

Every single one of the wind projects set up in the USA is created using a single purpose legal/corporate structure that removes all individual legal and financial liability of the developer/owner/investor/lender to the project. If a project fails for any reason the principles just walk away and the local community and/or state are stuck with the project as is.
 
DOE loan guarantees mean a commercial lender will put up the cash loan for the balance of project cost with the full faith and credit of the US government to pay off the loan if there is a default (a/k/a the Solyndra deal). Most wind deals have been funded using a 50%/50% investor and lender ratio. However, it appears that Record Hill may be close to the maximum 80% debt (too bad for the taxpayers). Commercial lenders have strict credit criteria and are not inclined generally to lend to projects where there are too many unknown risks and little if no collateral value (i.e. if a wind project fails due to mechanical operating failure, low energy generation and/or low prices what value does a project have?)
 
Investors have little or no project risks because they derive 100% of their return on investment from the tax benefits. As long as a project is "available" to produce power (IRS definition) the investor can claim the tax shelter on its tax return. A project does not have to produce power for the investor to claim the tax deductions. After the first 6 years the investor doesn't care if a project fails because they had their full investment and profit returned. That is why you see many of these projects with partnership agreements between the developer and the investor whereby the developer has the option to buy out the investor at a bargain price the end of year ten if the project remains viable.

This section will cover First Wind's $117 million DOE Loan Guarantee, as well as the $115 million outright gift it received from the Stimulus program.

Table of Contents

9/1/09 - Maine wind farm gets stimulus funds

9/1/09 - 'Clean' Energy

9/3/09 - 'Clean' Energy, II

9/11/09 - U.S. Representative Eric Massa (D-NY) calls upon President Obama to revoke First Wind stimulus gift

11/15/09 - Ex-partner of Boston wind exec charged

3/8/10 - Another $117 Million For First Wind

7/27/10 - Secretary Chu Announces Closing of $117 Million Loan Guarantee for Kahuku Wind Power Project

7/28/10 - Kahuku wind farm lands $117M loan guarantee

11/28/11 - Californians for Renewable Energy (CARE) Sues Energy and Treasury Departments Over Loan Guarantees

Contents

11/28/11 - Californians for Renewable Energy (CARE) Sues Energy and Treasury Departments Over Loan Guarantees

Department of Energy Approved Solyndra and Other Projects Allegedly Without Required Oversight, Say Plaintiffs

Inland Empire, CA (PRWEB) December 04, 2011

On November 28, 2011, CAlifornians for Renewable Energy (CARE) and Michael Boyd filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case# 1:11-cv-02128; to challenge more than two dozen alleged federal loan guarantees illegally issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate 26 loan guarantees for utility-scale renewable-energy projects, including guarantees to the now-bankrupt Solyndra Inc. and Beacon Corporation, because allegedly DOE issued them before putting in place regulations that would enable it to properly vet projects and make sure they are unlikely to fail.

“No matter how you feel about federal loan guarantees as a matter of policy, the reality is that Congress passed a law prohibiting DOE from issuing guarantees until it put regulations in place to protect the taxpayer from Section 1705 projects with no realistic chance of success,” alleged Cory Briggs, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

“The Solyndra and Beacon bankruptcies are Exhibit A for why DOE should have issued regulations before putting taxpayers on the hook.”

Michael Boyd, the president of CARE and a plaintiff, lamented the way that big business with connections to the White House under Presidents Bush and Obama where given such easy access to the public’s purse. He describes the loan guarantees as “corporate cronyism at its worst.” CARE works to promote public education concerning renewable energy and has been a consistent advocate for environmentally and community-sensitive energy projects that reduce greenhouse gases and that are commercially viable without inappropriate taxpayer subsidies.

For more information about the CARE suit, please visit Stimulus Complaint.

For more information about the lawsuit, please contact Cory Briggs at 909-949-7115 or at info(at)briggslawcorp(dot)com.

Robert Lundahl 
Freshwater Bay Pictures, LLC 
P.O. Box 429 
Solana Beach, CA 92075 
Phone: (415) 205-3481. Email: robert(at)studio-rla(dot)com

Cory J. Briggs     
Briggs Law Corporation     
San Diego County: 
814 Morena Boulevard, Suite 107, 
San Diego, CA 92110     
Inland Empire: 99 East "C" Street, Suite 111, 
Upland, CA 91786     
Telephone: 619-221-9280 (San Diego), 909-949-7115 (Inland Empire) 
E-mail: cory(at)briggslawcorp(dot)com

###

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/12/prweb9012666.htm

Download the complaint at:

CARE__DOE_Loan_Stimulus%20Complaint.pdf

First Prize

NE Book Festival

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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