The promises of alternative energy generated from
industrial wind turbines are suspect when examined on the facts. The basis for justification for the entire industry is that
electricity generated from uneconomical technology is environmentally friendly. The public is supposed to accept higher costs
from inefficient and unreliable generation just because it is "green". Touting wind as a free source of energy is
dishonest. This old technology from skyscraper size industrial machines is anything but free. The media seldom reports that
industrial wind does not produce cost effective reliable electricity. Cowardly politicians who dare not oppose the industry
ignore indisputable and inescapable facts about wind.
Rational reasons against spending public expenditures for subsidizing
a technology that has never yet replaced a fossil fuel power plant is overwhelming. If industrial wind factories were a real
solution, why will not entrepreneurs develop their projects the old fashion way, with their own money?
that favors and protects the economic failure of wind projects is essential for the deception to continue. Even proponents
of the most radical global warming myths are taxpayers and consume electricity. Where is their outrage when costs increase
at exponential rates, from ill-conceived wind projects, with no ceiling in sight? For answers, an examination of the First
Wind Company provides a window on a culture of corruption that is indefensible.
First Wind has an application pending
before the SEC for an IPO. A review of their S1, S1A and additional supplement filings paints a very dire picture. Prospectus disclosures, must describe risky conditions for a security
offered to participants and buyers. The Boston Business Journal report, "In its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Boston-based company reiterated it could default
on an $80 million loan due next month. First Wind currently is negotiating with a consortium of banks to receive $240 million
in financing that would pay off a turbine loan that matures June 30."
Part of First Wind’s financial woes
is the failed Cohocton, NY project. Original admission that the 50-turbine development cost of $265,000,000 have escalated
by tens of millions after three seasons of refitting, repairs and substitutions. Clipper Windpower Liberty 2.5 MG turbine
is a total bust as a viable generating unit. Clipper stock (CWP.L) traded on the London exchange; hit a new low this week.
The NYISO lists the Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC (entity of ownership for the Cohocton First Wind project) as having a 2008 net
energy production of 10,155 MWh and zero kilowatt capacity for 2009. When pushed the NYISO admits that the project is "In
Service", which really means it is in the testing stage. No verified proof is available that any electricity generated
by this project is going into the grid for sale to consumers.
Leaseholder’s agreements have a minimum payment
amount with an extra small percentage for production. If First Wind were really selling electric into the grid, leaseholders
are owed money on that production. The fact that Cohocton leaseholders have not received any funds on generated electricity
is proof that the project is a failure.
Actually, the project consumes significant energy when not producing usable
electricity. Energy consumption in wind facilities lays out the different requirements of a wind turbine that eats up significant portions of electricity generated. When the
wind is not blowing or a project is not set up for the grid to accept energy, the facility is a net user of electricity.
June 2008, First Wind filed a complaint against the NYISO with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to exempt CPP from the Open Access Transmission Tariff that had been previously agreed
upon. The point is that First Wind seeks to transfer normal development costs onto the backs of the ratepayer.
First Wind received in the fall of 2009, $74.6 million in federal stimulus grants through the Department of Energy. These funds had
no restriction for use and no accounting disclosure followed. Democratic and Chronicle reporter Steve Orr wrote on September 2, 2009 about First Wind’s compliance with the NYS AG ethic agreement. "First Wind was one
of at least two clean-energy firms that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo investigated last year after complaints about
collusion between companies and improper dealings with local government officials."
Former U.S. Rep. Eric
J. Massa (D-N.Y.) wrote to President Barack Obama, calling the grants "very alarming" and saying the company "abused the public trust" and had problems with U.S. tax dollars going to what he
called "shell companies" for First Wind. Massa noted, "First Wind is under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office for alleged corruption. The
actual appropriation is going to Canandaigua Power Partners and Canandaigua Power Partners II, subsidiaries of First Wind."
is one of the most volatile issues in Western New York, and the award of $74.6 million dollars to corrupt companies that have
changed names time and again, forming new LLCs and new Inc’s but maintaining their business model of lie, cheat, and
corrupt at the expense of taxpayers, has stirred great unrest in New York’s 29th Congressional District," Massa
wrote to the president.
First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor, a former Enron executive, responded in a letter to Obama, saying that First Wind's New York wind farms have produced 133,370-megawatt
hours of clean, renewable energy, but never provided any proof of his claim.
How does a company like First Wind gain
favorable benefits and access to energy policy?
Reporter Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest provided
some insights in the article, Ex-PUC head enriched by utility company. "While he was Maine's chief utilities regulator, Kurt Adams accepted an ownership interest in a leading wind energy
company . . . A recent First Wind filing with the federal SEC for 2009 shows Adams’ $1.3 million compensation included
$315,000 in salary, $658,000 in stock awards, $29,000 of "other" compensation and $315,000 in "nonequity incentives."
latest First Wind SEC filing attempts to downplay the conflict of interests and breach of ethical conduct of Mr. Adams. Their explanation does not pass
the smell test. Such suspect business practices are standard behavior for First Wind. It has a long history of using political
insiders to gain special treatment.
Documented in the Citizen Power Alliance essay, Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud is the dark origins of First Wind, previously called UPC. The Boston Herald asked Brian Caffyn, founder of UPC/First Wind, about the arrest for fraud of his former Italian wind developer partner Oreste Vigorito. "I read about it in the papers, and I was very surprised," Brian Caffyn said from Hong Kong where he is in business
with Chinese interests.
The political cronyism between First Wind and the Obama administration extends to Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers and their involvement with the primary ownership interests of First Wind, hedge fund DE Shaw and private equity firm Madison Dearborn. Documented sources within the CPA article substantiate the trail of money and influence that flows from this wind developer
to the highest levels of government.
New York State a den of thieves
NYS operates as if it is
a suburb of Chicago. IDA (industrial development agencies) sell tax exemptions, state agencies ignore their own policy regulations
to advance wind development, the attorney general office looks the other way when conflict of interest practices lead to criminal
conduct and local public officials routinely take bribes for their vote and support of specific projects.
complaint to the Public Service Commission, the PSC bends over backward to have First Wind cover their paper trail discrepancies
or modify their filings.
Governor Paterson’s State Energy Plan calls for a " '45 by 15' clean energy goal would reduce the amount of electricity used in 2015 by 15 percent below forecasted
levels, while simultaneously meeting 30 percent of the State's remaining electricity needs through renewable resources."
First Wind is in business to claim their share of the booty. REC credits (renewal energy certificates) are the new
coin of the realm. It makes little difference if actual electricity is generated into the grid for sale to reap the financial
rewards of this slight of hand deception.
Carved in stone is a history of NYS favoring NYC over upstate. The latest
insult is the Power for Jobs hoax. The Buffalo News describes this initiative, "The agreement between Paterson and the Senate leaders would set aside slightly less than
a third of the electricity — at least 300 megawatts of the 910 megawatts available through the expanded Power for Jobs
program — for upstate businesses served by National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Rochester Gas
& Electric." The allocation difference goes to NYC. Assembly representative Joseph Morelle, opposition states, "it takes low-cost hydropower from Rochester and Upstate New York and ships it downstate . . . This
proposed shift would result in an increase of approximately $80 to $125 per year on the bill of the average RG&E residential
What does Western NY get out of this shady deal? You guessed it, more industrial wind turbine disasters
from developers like First Wind so they can erect their unsuccessful projects using out of state labor or even undocumented
The fallout from the Cohocton Project is a horror story in its own right. Real estate values plummet;
sales of properties are non-existent, "Wind Syndrome" health issues abound, an OSHA investigation of a construction crane collapse and final abandonment of residences because
of low frequency noise, shadow flicker and safety risks prevent continued use of one home.
The tragic destruction of
pastoral communities from insane government policy would fill volumes of books. Most people will never
show concern for rural areas or even the corrupt business practices of crooked wind developers. First Wind is just the best
example of the unholy alliance and revolving door of crony capitalism that is driving up the costs of electricity beneath
the lies of "Greening America" and job promotion. The public is asleep. Their righteous outrage is long overdue.
It is time to clean up the system from the dishonesty of industrial wind developers.
SARTRE – May 23, 2010