It’s not $543 million like Solyndra, but I could live on the $43 (DOE) Million that was given to BEACON POWER for yet another failed Energy Project. This time it’s a 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant that absorbs power from the grid when the demand drops, and infusees it when demand increases in the Stephentown, NY Plant. The company is based in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts and according to the REUTERS STORY, they have $72 million is assets, and a debts of $47 million, so why are they filing bankruptcy ? I honestly can’t find the answer except they say the company is running on empty and can’t pay it’s operating expenses. DOE (Department of ERRORS) spokesman, Damien LaVera claims that the “taxpayers are not in jeopardy of losing this money and first in line to be repaid”. That makes me feel better.
As recent as October 21, 2011, in Mass High Tech Business News, Beacon Power was notified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), that changes were approved on how they would be compensated by utilities that were using their services. ( So here is why I’m Using Green Ink.) Keep in mind this was released on October 21 and they filed for Bankruptcy on October 3oth. Here is a quote from Judith Judson, Beacon Power VP of Asset Management, “We have Shovel Ready energy storage projects along with associated potential jobs, that have been waiting for financial commitments from investors. With this final rule, we hope to see a much greater willingness by the private sector to support these new technologies. We urge FERC and the grid system operators to work toward timely implementations of the rule.” Do you think that the Asset Manager knew they would file Bankruptcy in 10 days, or was it a surprise to her on that Sunday Morning?
From my research, I don’t believe that Beacon Power was a fake company that had an agenda to bilk taxpayer money and run. What I do suspect is that they got complacent and lazy once securing the DOE Loan. An entity called the NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (NYSERDA) contributed $2 million towards this same project as well. In a May 24, 2010 article from The Investors Relations Group, NYSERDA was providing funding for infrastructure for interconnections and even a Visitor’s Center with the President, Francis Murry Jr, saying that this relationship with Beacon will “Greatly diminish green house gases and energy use“. So far all the right “Buzz words” have been used and that is usually what will bring in the DOE (Department of Embarrassment) Bucks.
My Gut Feeling is that the reason for so many failures on these so called Solar/Green Energy companies going bust is that they have “NO Skin in the Game”. They rely on DOE Bucks and private money to fund their ideas. If I had an idea that required some big Money to build, and my wallet was not opened to be part of it, do I care if it fails, after all, No skin off my back? I reinforce my claim because of a SAFE HARBOR disclaimer that was published in several press releases by Beacon Power. I encourage you to read the entire statement , but here are a few of the highlights that lead you to believe that failure is not their fault.
They use statements that may “Not be Historical Facts” but considered “Forward Looking” and contain the current Views of Beacon Power, but only with unknowns in the future. To me that is saying we are speculating that this is true, but don’t hold us to it. With words like “will, believe, expect, plan , anticipate” , “Investors should not rely on Forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Beacon’s expectation”. Hello, DOE, (Department of ENDLE$$ ), did you read the disclaimer? This is Risky Business and you are gambling with MY MONEY. It continues, “These factors include a short operating history, a history OF LOSSES, and ANTICIPATED CONTINUED LOSSES from operations and other challenges……….” Hey I’m ready to sell my house so I can get in on some of this. The balance of the ” Safe Harbor” declaration , pretty much blames any kind of future failure on everybody but Beacon Power.
I stand by my statement that these Solar/Green Energy Projects are Scams and wrought with Political Incest. In closing, this is on the Beacon Website under “PARTNERING” “Definition: a mutual beneficial relationship based on Shared Objectives, TRUST, & Commitment- the purpose of which is to enhance the capabilities and success of the PARTNERS”. Hey, we’re all partners here.