Friday, July 31, 2020

Huge Obama-Backed "Green" Project Goes Bust -- Add One More To The List -- July 31, 2020

Two of the best posts ever regarding the reality of "green" / renewable energy in the US were:
The posts contained the very long list of failed "green" / renewable energy projects which were backed by the Obama administration and paid for with our tax dollars. It was a huge waste of money in the minds of many, but I'm still convinced that was one of the best money-laundering schemes ever devised to move money from taxpayers to the president's political campaign. #BlackLiveMatter has taken a page from that playbook. But I digress.

At the two links above, one can see the list of failed "green" projects.

Add one of the largest to the list: Tonopah Solar Energy LLC. From Reuters:
The owner of a big Nevada solar-thermal power plant that received $737 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Energy filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, according to a court filing, potentially leaving U.S. taxpayers with a whopping bill.
The project’s failure is a blow to the DOE renewable energy loan program, which had already been criticized by Republicans as a waste of money after it backed failed solar panel maker Solyndra during the Obama administration.
Tonopah Solar Energy LLC still owes $425 million on its DOE loan, but reached a settlement under which the department will recover at least $200 million, it said in court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The deal is subject to court approval.
In a statement, DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said the settlement decision “was made after years of exhausting options within our authority to get the project back on track.”
A senior Trump administration official said the settlement “secures taxpayer money that was squandered by the previous administrations’ failed energy pet projects.” 
I don't recall ever seeing a Reuters article describing an Obama failed project resulting in a whopping bill for US taxpayers.

That alone tells me how big a deal this was.
Tonopah is owned by SolarReserve, the startup that developed the plant, Cobra Energy Investments LLC, a division of Spanish infrastructure company ACS, and Banco Santander SA, according to court papers.
Tonopah’s 110-megawatt plant in the Nevada desert was billed as the first to be able to store solar energy. But its technology, which uses more than 10,000 mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on a tower to create steam, was both unreliable and expensive.
Soon after it began operating in 2015, the facility suffered a string of leaks in its hot salt tank, a key component of its energy storage system. It has not operated since April of 2019. 
I recall posting many links to many articles about this failed project. 

I had forgotten the Spanish connection.

One wonders if the land will be reclaimed and returned to its natural state, or if the bankruptcy deal will allow the owner to try to get the project back on track.

I've updated the previous posts to include Tonopah / SolarReserve.

Just think, if the country is crazy enough to put the Obama administration back in power this November, 2020, we can re-live these debacles all over again.

This is the new list (I assume there are further updates or companies I missed):
  • Tonopah Solar Energy LLC / Solar Reserve ($737 million) -- added July 30, 2020
  • Evergreen Solar ( Lost $25 million)
  • SpectraWatt ( Lost $500,000)
  • Solyndra ( Lost $535 million)
  • Beacon Power ( Lost $43 million)
  • Nevada Geothermal ( Lost $98.5 million)
  • SunPower ( Lost $1.2 billion)
  • First Solar ( Lost $1.46 billion)
  • Babcock and Brown ( Lost $178 million)
  • EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ( Lost $118.5 million)
  • Amonix ( Lost $5.9 million)
  • Fisker Automotive ( Lost $529 million)
  • Abound Solar ( Lost $400 million)
  • A123 Systems ( Lost $279 million)
  • Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ( Lost $700,981)
  • Johnson Controls ( Lost $299 million)
  • Brightsource ( Lost $1.6 billion)
  • ECOtality ( Lost $126.2 million)
  • Raser Technologies ( Lost $33 million)
  • Energy Conversion Devices ( Lost $13.3 million)
  • Mountain Plaza, Inc. ( Lost $2 million)
  • Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ( Lost $10 million)
  • Range Fuels ( Lost $80 million)
  • Thompson River Power ( Lost $6.5 million)
  • Stirling Energy Systems ( Lost $7 million)
  • Azure Dynamics ( Lost $5.4 million)
  • GreenVolts ( Lost $500,000)
  • Vestas ( Lost $50 million)
  • LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ( Lost $151 million)
  • Nordic Windpower ( Lost $16 million)
  • Navistar ( Lost $39 million)
  • Satcon ( Lost $3 million)
  • Konarka Technologies Inc. ( Lost $20 million)
  • Mascoma Corp. ( Lost $100 million)
One wonders if we should add the Brown Bullet Train to the list? In terms of dollars lost, I think the BBT would be head and shoulders above the rest.

For other posts on this solar energy project, click on "Solyndra" or use the search engine to search for "Tonopah."

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