Solyndra of Maine: First Wind, "Incipient Event of Default"?

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US Grant
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Solyndra of Maine: First Wind, "Incipient Event of Default"?

First Wind has a solvnecy problem. Their debts and negative cash flow greatly exceed their assets and cash on hand. Their IPO sputtered and then failed back in 2010. Seeking help they have agreed to be purchased by EMERA the company that owns the TRANSMISSION LINES of BANGOR HYDRO.

This was all well and good until the STAFF OF THE MAINE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION recommended the Commissioners reject the merger between First Wind and two other companies, on the grounds that it would,
violate the state’s landmark 2000 electricity deregulation law ordering that transmission and production be separated in the State of Maine. The staff recommended on Jan. 13 that the agency give the thumbs-down to the deal.

“We deny approval of the ‘proposed Transactions’ as we find that the risk of harm to ratepayers exceeds the benefits,” the draft decision reads, “even if conditions intended to mitigate the risk of harm to ratepayers were imposed.”

Since inception First Wind has been dependent on special deals and subsidies from the Federal Government. It is estimated that First Wind has received some $300 million in Federal Subsidies and $500 million in Federal loan guarantees. The same Federal loan guarantees that Solyndra received. Without these subsidies First Wind would have ceased to exist.

Melvin Udall
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Angus and his manchild son

Angus and his manchild son are both involved, correct? Or am I confusing FirstWind with some other fling?

US Grant
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His son is employed by

His son is employed by FirstWind. Angus King has his own wind(y) company 'Independence Wind'. He is also 'Of Counsel' at Bernstein Shur Sawyer and Nelson, one of the 'In Kind' ($12,200 value) contributors to the Maine Citizens for Clean Energy PAC (The Renwable Portfolio Standard petition).

roxy04009
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Also curious is David Wilby's

Also curious is David Wilby's ownership of First Wind and serving as vice president while consulting on Gov Baldacci's "Task Force on Wind Power" and serving as Executive Director, Independent Energy Producers of Maine. David Wilby is also Chaiman of Greenprint of Maine - a land conservation group affiliated with Agenda 21. Petitioners from Greenprint/LEA/Loon Echo Land Trust were working at the latest Bridgton election gathering signatures for wind power in Maine.

WhoisJohnGalt 45
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I believe that Angus is also

I believe that Angus is also involved in another renewable energy venture named "Breaking Wind" ... it is based on the recent breakthroughs in methane capture technology.

US Grant
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First Wind is been granted a

First Wind is been granted a deferment...but they have less than 90 days to close the deal... some say less than 60 days.

When you start to see them demand that the PUC rule on the merger, you know they are very close to chapeter 11.

The merger amounts to a bailout.

Speaking of bailouts. If First Wind does go under the US Taxpayer holds the Federal Guarantee on their loans, all of which are held by European Banks. Ain't that funny!!! NOT!

woodcanoe
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This whole industrial wind

This whole industrial wind adventure has been one big bag of wind since the beginning. It is simply amazing how the supporters totally conned the Augusta powers that be.

If industrial wind is a viable concept, companies will step forward and invest in it. When taxpayers are asked to "invest in something" you can smell the rat a mile off. It is just another redistribution of wealth scheme like so many we have seen.

I can;t imagine how stupid the enviros must be to agree to the raping of the mountain tops, in their lingo, to promote this supposed "green energy" movement.

One dam on the Penobscot, or Kennebec river, would make more money than all these windmills put together will ever make....for the people that actually paid for them.

You see, selling energy is a business. But if you can get the taxpayers to pay all the costs while you pocket all the profits, that is nice work if you can get it. I wonder how much of a cut Baldacci has in this someplace.

WC

pmconusa
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Once we get rid of these

Once we get rid of these leeches then maybe someone will start on the idiots who want passenger rail service.

Ugenetoo
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It is simply amazing how the

It is simply amazing how the supporters totally conned the Augusta powers that be.

I think you missposted.
The word is BOUGHT, not Conned.

US Grant
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Reposted Here from "All the

Reposted Here from "All the news not fit to print: First Wind viloates PUC substance, integrity, and ethics."

ERIC BRYANT, Office of the Public Advocate:

"...The rules broken by Petitioners and their counterparties to the pending transactions are not about missing a deadline or failing to three-hole punch data responses. They're rules of substance, integrity, and ethics."

Tony Buxton for Industrial Energy Consumer Group:

"...It makes this kind of proceeding into something other than a legal proceeding. And that's wrong. We realize there's a lot
at stake for some people here, but we have a process for that to come forward and people are bound by what they say and what they do. And we are not only disappointed, we are shocked that this kind of thing could happen at this Commission. And we think the only remedy because of the taint in the Petitioners' filing of incorporating comments that the Petitioner knew were not proper and those having gone to the Commission already, the only remedy is to require those to be rejected and to dismiss this case. If the parties want to go out and put together another deal and come back with another deal, that's their privilege. But to reward them by changing this proceeding to somehow accommodate what they have done here is exactly the wrong thing to do. Thank you.”

ALAN STONE, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott

MR. STONE: "I've been practicing law before this Public Utilities Commission for 37 years, and it's one of the most favorite things I've ever done in my life until this week. I have never seen an abuse of process like has occurred in this case in my history of practice before this Commission, perhaps with the exception of a person who was convicted of a crime.

Administrative agencies, according to the United States Supreme Court, are based on concepts of fair play. We come to this agency with a trust that this Commission and the staff are going to require the parties to play by the rules and play on a level playing field and not proceed in a case in a manner that all they seek to do is win at all costs regardless of what they do. It is so clear what has happened here, as aptly summarized by Eric, by Charlie, and by Tony. It literally makes me sick.

There is no way that we can proceed in this case. The record is tainted. We can't just simply re-open the record to allow them to change the deal when they want to change the deal because they're losing. I mean, to reward, as Tony said, the Petitioners and First Wind and APUC would be terrible, in a word. It would undermine the confidence in this agency, and what this Commission is trying to prevent with regard to this deal is undermine the confidence in the market. You don't
undermine the confidence in the agency.

This is only one group of people's fault. It was a deliberate action. If this were a court of law, this case would be dismissed in a moment. You can't get to a jury five minutes before and say, oops, I screwed up, I should have put more evidence in and then inflict some conduct that causes a mistrial and expect to start all over again. No court would allow that. They would dismiss it with prejudice, and that would be the end of it. And they would impose sanctions and serious ones.

...So the way forward is to simply say no, this deal we've been looking at, this transaction, is only an economic deal to benefit First Wind and Emera. It's not a reliability issue. The question is harm. Well, we know how harmed we're going to be now. If you can't trust these people to comply with the fundamental rules of this Commission, how can you trust them to do anything in the ratepayers' interest? They've proven this point. Mr. Harwood can have all his responses to everything that we've said, but I think the truth will shine through clearly and does. So I join on behalf of Houlton Water Company with the motions that have been made to dismiss this proceeding with prejudice and, in addition, so the record is clear, to strike Petitioners' comments and exceptions in their entirety. If the -- when I say dismiss with prejudice, if there's some other deal that comes together later on that is significantly different from this deal and that is not just a re-packaging to get around a denial, then maybe this Commission might look at it, maybe they won't. But that's for a future date. Right now the remedy is to dismiss it with prejudice.

Thank you.”

US Grant
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A reading of the last

A reading of the last available filing with the SEC (10/27/2010) reveals at the outside June 30, 2012 First Wind has $83.2 million due:

"New York Wind Loan. In March 2009, our New York Wind subsidiary borrowed $95.5 million under a 364-day, non-recourse term loan facility with Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, New York Branch, and HSH, and obtained a letter-of-credit facility of up to $10 million. Proceeds of the loan facility were used to repay $95.5 million of turbine supply loans then outstanding. We repaid approximately $22.3 million of this loan in November 2009 and approximately $20.6 million in December 2009 with a portion of proceeds from an ARRA grant. Additionally, we repaid approximately $1.7 million in December 2009 as part of our scheduled principal payments. On December 28, 2009, we amended the New York Wind Loan to extend its maturity to June 30, 2012." p. 77

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1434804/000104746910008890/a21958...

woodcanoe
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......"We repaid

......"We repaid approximately $22.3 million of this loan in November 2009 and approximately $20.6 million in December 2009 with a portion of proceeds from an ARRA grant.........On December 28, 2009, we amended the New York Wind Loan to extend its maturity to June 30, 2012.".......

Sounds just like your typical PONZI scheme to me. Borrow from a "new" investor" to pay off an older one!

This company, and the entire apparatus that backed it, demonstrated a monstrous amount of audacity in putting together a scheme that would let them get their hands on lots of other people's money.

Those who lived in , or spent some time, in Aroostook County back in the mid 1960's will remember a scam that took place in the County during that time. Lots of people thought that Fred Valshing's "sugar beet" scam was the worst thing that ever happened in Maine. These guys make Valshing look like a kindergarten student by comparison.

The only thing they had, more than audacity, was tons and tons of BS! There has been so much total BS flung around by all of the backers, and the new millionaires behind all of this that it has prompted me to create a new name for it, that would put it right alongside Obamas best efforts.

I think I am going to call it "Bullwyndra"!

WC

Roger Ek
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Is there anything in the

Is there anything in the public utilities law that requires power generators to report what they generate? If so, is it available to the public? Various estimates claim that wind power must receive 22 to 26 cents per KWH to break even. Where are they selling what they make? All businesses survive on cash flow. It comes from sales of product.

David Allen
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Roger, in Maine, they sell

Roger, in Maine, they sell into the ISO-NE market. The average wholesale price for electricity in that market is less than 5 cents/kwh. Since they qualify as renewable, they can also sell their "renewable energy certificates". Currently the market for certificates is less than 2 cents/kwh, so they are probably selling their electrons for less than 7 cents a kwh. One First Wind project in Maine has a contract with CMP (ordered by the MPUC) that is somewhat more than that, but not too much. The deal with Emera would inject several hundred million into the company.

US Grant
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Roger, Wind power must

Roger, Wind power must recieve a minimum of $80 per megawatt hour (8 cents a kilowatt hour) to break even.

US Grant
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After doing further work

After doing further work during the weekend, First Wind may be in Incipient Event of Default.

"Incipient Event of Default" means any act or event which, with the giving of notice or passage of time or both, would constitute an Event of Default.

One can assume that FW's corporate borrowings are predicated on loan documents which contain provisions that include:

1) minimum financial performance (positive cash flows);

2) take out/pay off of short term debt at maturity;

3) positive performance of contingent based events to meet financial obligations.

If FW's June 2012 maturities or earlier pay offs are/were predicated on Maine PUC approval of the Emera partnership then the rejection of the approval would meet the definition above.

FW probably has a 90-120 day stipulated period to complete the partnership deal in its loan documents following approval. Typically companies get 90 days to pay off construction loans with long term financing after a project has been completed. Terms and conditions of the construction financing stipulate that an Incipient Event of Default would occur if the long term financing is delayed or falls apart.

Since the EMERA deal would provide a cash infusion and borrowing power to First Wind some banks, borrowers or contractors may be allowing First Wind to delay payment beyond normal terms of payment.

Also, Frist Wind pushed the PUC to expidite the approval of the deal. This is behavior that smells of problems.

US Grant
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First Wynldra has received

First Wynldra has received $471 million in ARRA ITC grants through 2011.

Roger Ek
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I had to look it up to be

I had to look it up to be sure.

"American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Summary of ...
utahcleanenergy.org/policies.../arra_clean_energy_stimulus_summar...Dec 29, 2009 – ARRA allows project developers to apply for a grant from the Treasury Department in lieu of the ITC"

OK; The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows a company to apply for an early tax refund. This refund could arrive months earlier than the one they would have gotten under the Investment Tax Credit. This is money they would have gotten back anyway.

It's like the loan you get from H&R Block in anticipation of your income tax refund.

US Grant
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Not quite Roger. A tax

Not quite Roger. A tax refund is of money you lent to the government that you did not need to pay.

The cash paid to First Wolyndra comes directly from you the taxpayer. Well, in this case in the form of issuing more debt to pay First Wolyndra. And only these types of investments get the ITC, plus excellerated depreciation, plus production tax credit, renewable energy credits, capacity payments, forced ratepayer cash through renewable energy standards, expidited permitting rules, extra renewable energy credit payment from the State of Maine, TIF deals, and depreciate the value of the turbines to reduce the real estate tax payments.

Wolyndra: Companies designed and run by lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians to suck cash from taxpayers and ratepayers that produce and inferior product we do not need at a more expensive price.

Mainelion
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How many clean, reliable

How many clean, reliable hydro dams that would produce inexpensive power could we have built in Maine for the amount of money that we have given to wind power? The dams would have produced power for a hundred years. Anyone want to bet on how many wind turbines will be left in Maine in 20 years?

US Grant
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Mainelion, interesting that

Mainelion, interesting that you should ask.

Maine did a study in 1992 just using the old US Geological Survey maps that concluded that there were potentially 725 megawatts of small hydro yet to be tapped.

Perhaps it is time to redo the study using more modern methods like this:
http://hydropower.inel.gov/prospector/index.shtml

Islander
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How many dams did Angus have

How many dams did Angus have removed? Here is a great example of tidal power using bridges, no dams or fish ladders needed.
http://www.energyinsight.info/tidal_power_bridge.html

thistle
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Blowing in the wind: Maine’s

Blowing in the wind: Maine’s energy past and future


An aerial photo, taken March 18, 2012, of First Wind's 60 megawatt, 200 wind turbine Rollins Wind project, 8 miles east of Lincoln.

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Posted March 30, 2012, at 12:58 p.m.

...Maine is the largest source of wind energy in New England. The 205 commercial wind turbines spinning on Maine mountaintops, ridgelines.., coastal islands are rated to produce enough juice to light more than 6 million 60-watt bulbs.

Federal subsidies that fueled wind power’s dramatic national expansion are at risk of expiring.... And in Augusta, the LePage administration wants lawmakers to revisit key policies written by their decidedly pro-wind predecessors....

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/30/energy/blowing-in-the-wind-maines-...

Editor
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Maine's largest wind

Maine's largest wind developer handed a defeat
The Associated Press
4/21/12

BANGOR — Maine's largest wind energy developer has been handed a defeat in its proposal for wind turbines on Bowers Mountain, but hopes to return with a scaled-back proposal.

The Land Use Regulation Commission voted 5-0 Friday to reject First Wind's proposed 27-turbine project. Bowers Mountain is in Penobscot County, near Springfield.

First Wind...announced it has financing to proceed with a 34-megawatt, 19-turbine project in Hancock County....

http://www.kjonline.com/news/Maines-largest-wind-developer-handed-a-defe...

Robert Reed
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Why hasn't anyone offered a

Why hasn't anyone offered a comprehensive economic outlook for the industry....cost to acquire land, permitting, construction, maintenance vs what power is actually generated and the revenue....people need to see something concrete.

Bruce Libby
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Why? Because the truth would

Why? Because the truth would be very painful or at least very disconcerting , sort of like buying a Rolex on a street corner in NY!

Melvin Udall
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Will Angus's Campaign Theme

Will Angus's Campaign Theme Song be "The Windmills of My Mind?"

Editor
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wmtw.com Towers, blades due

wmtw.com
Towers, blades due in port for Maine wind farm
Project to provide energy for 18,000 homes

SEARSPORT, Maine - Towers for wind turbines to be erected at eastern Maine's Bull Hill project are due to arrive in Searsport.

Some of the towers that will support the project's 19 turbines, and blades that will be propelled by the wind are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.

Business leaders and representatives from the project's owner, First Wind, will be on hand at the Penobscot Bay port for the ship's arrival.

http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/Towers-blades-due-in-port-for-Maine-wind-...

Download Project Details in PDF format

charlie neville
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How does this factor into the
UncleJaque
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This just in from

This just in from Breitbart:

Worse Than Solyndra: Obama Admin Buying Maine Senate Seat with Crony Energy Loans

Is Obama using the "wind power" scam to buy himself another seat on the US Senate?

Something really stinks about this whole racket!

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