Do NOT Invest in Wind, (Unless You Want to Lose Money)!

Community Wind Farm Investors Losing their Shirts



As the wind industry Ponzi scheme unravels around the globe, it’s so-called “community wind farms” that are taking a pounding.

In the US, a bunch of farmers got fleeced for $millions as a wind power outfit running two small wind farms went belly up on the prairie (see our post here).

STT has also had a go at unpicking the scale and scope of the financial precariousness at the BIG end of town in our posts:

The Wind Industry: You Know It’s a ‘Ponzi’ Scheme When its Targets Include Schools & Councils

Pacific Hydro’s Ponzi Scheme Implodes: Wind Power Outfit Loses $700 Million of Mum & Dad Retirement Savings

In the first of the above, we pointed to the efforts of Simon Holmes a Court to build an “empire” around 2 clapped out Suzlon/REPower 2MW turbines speared into Leonard’s Hill, using money siphoned from 1,900 gullible, greentard ‘investors’. That community calamity (see our post here) kicked off in 2011, but has yet to return a single cent to investors in that time.

For a little more background, here’s some work done by Bon (as it appeared in comments to the earlier post) on the question of Simon’s rollicking, commercial ‘success’:

In Hepburn Wind’s annual report for the year ended June 2013 the Notes to the Financial Statements, we find:

18 Dividends
There were no dividends declared or paid in the current or previous financial year.”

The annual report for the year ended June 2014 does not appear to refer to payment or non-payment of dividends although there could be a reference buried somewhere in the report.

To which, Hepburn Results in the Wind popped back:

Thanks Bon. I also checked the more recent Hep W 2014 Annual report. Nice green photos, and HaC is smiling in this one.

But board is clearly worried. They clearly cut back their own ‘community bribe’ so as to tinker with their bottom line loss so it did not look worse than the year before to their shareholders. It would logically be consistent therefore for the Feds to follow suit and to cut the REC bribe don’t you think, so as to tinker with their own negative balance sheet? You know, to follow the example set by Hep W.

Perhaps STT could do a forensic analysis? The Hep W’s also seem a wee bit concerned re maintenance costs and “mechanical issues” now the turbines are out of warranty. And I thought turbines were oh so reliable and the wind was free!

And thanks for the warning STT.

Ever helpful, Bon chimed in again, reporting:

Yes “Hepburn Results in Wind” and why wouldn’t Simon Holmes a Court and his mates be more than a little worried about being on their own in maintaining their two REpower 2.05MW wind turbines. REpower was rebadged after numerous turbines bearing its former name Suzlon started chucking their blades off, sorry I mean started liberating components.

I note that REpower has recently taken on another name, the new moniker is Senvion?

Compounding questions over the dubious ancestry of Hepburn Wind’s REpower turbines is recent research showing that the useful life of wind turbines in general falls well short of the 20 plus years claimed by manufacturers.

But I suspect the long suffering locals of once peaceful Leonards Hill might see any early demise of Hepburn Wind’s two noisy monsters as simply a matter of karma.

Karma, indeed!

STT’s said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: if you have so much as a nickel anywhere near a wind power outfit – whatever the size of it – grab it, and get out NOW.

As to Hepburn Results in the Wind’s request for a ‘forensic analysis’ of Hepburn Wind’s blistering results, it’s pretty hard to turn pages full of year-after-year, profit ‘doughnuts’ into figures of meaning, so, we’ll pass on that score.

However, in a TV cooking show “here’s one we’ve prepared earlier” moment, we’ll cross to Germany.

German Wind Turbine Investors Dissolve Operating Company After 13 Years Of Poor Returns, Technical Failures
No Tricks Zone
19 July 2014

There are lots of claims on how successful Germany’s renewable energy program has been. Feed-in tariffs mandated by the government guaranteed profits for windpark investors and operators. You couldn’t lose. So it seemed at first.

Unfortunately outputs promised by wind turbine manufacturers and proponents have fallen short of expectations. Moreover, high maintenance costs have in many cases eliminated profits and resulted in losses for investors. As generous as the subsidies may be, profit from wind can be elusive.

So it comes as no surprise when we here how a group of 60 limited partners near Ettenheim southwest Germany have decided to dissolve the wind turbine operating company they had set up in December, 2000. Story in German at here. It lost money.

The 60 limited partners unanimously voted on Wednesday to shut down and liquidate the Windpark Ettenheim GmbH & Co. According to Windwahn, the wind turbine had been supplied by Nordex and “did not yield the expected performance“, so says managing director Andreas Markowsky.

Windwahn writes:

It stood still for years, and finally it was taken down in the summer of 2013. In the meantime the concrete pad has also been removed. After the liquidation is completed, the area where the turbine stood will be re-naturalized under the supervision of forest authorities. …The wind turbine did not pay off.”

Windwahn writes that the turbine had been supplied by Nordex and came with a 5-year maintenance contract. But in the end, the turbine remained plagued by technical problems and the 60 partners all had to take a moderate loss on the investment: a bit more than 1000 euros per 2500 euro share.

Markowsky says that the turbine had serious technical problems from the start. For example when winds were strong during stormy weather, the turbine stood still instead of producing maximum output. The limited partners even had to take Nordex to court in bid to be awarded compensation in the amount of 1.8 million euros. Windwahn writes that the case dragged on for 5 years, during which the turbine remained idle and did not deliver any power. Finally, the court awarded the limited partners 1.4 million euros in compensation.

The limited partners had the chance to reduce their losses by taking advantage of the re-powering bonus offered by the German government. Under the scheme turbine operators are paid a bonus to trade up their old turbines for newer, more efficient ones. However, the bonus has been scrapped by the German government, effective August 1, and the offer ultimately was passed up.

The 60 limited partners have had enough of the wind energy business.
No Tricks Zone



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s