Financially challenged Edison Mission Energy appears to have found a buyer. According to several articles appearing over the last few days a deal with NRG Energy seems to be taking shape. Bankrupt Edison Mission Energy, which local residents know as the owners of the lawsuit plagued Pinnacle wind project, has requested an extension of it’s bankruptcy schedule in order to take advantage of the offer.
What this sale means for local residents is, of course, not clear. But then, with the financial security of Edison Mission Energy doubtful right from the first twirl of the 23 massive turbines set along the fragile Allegheny Front ridgeline, some might say any action has to be an improvement.
How seriously the new owners take the issue of turbine noise, which is impacting the quality of life for multiple families residing near the Pinnacle turbines and the subject of ongoing federal lawsuits, will demonstrate whether NRG Energy actually lives up to their statements that they know their “business decisions impact the greater community” and that they “strive to ensure our corporate strategy reflects our commitment to social responsibility.”
Reuters reported that “most of the wind capacity and a 500 MW gas-fired plant could be “dropped down” to NRG’s NRG Yield Inc subsidiary, which was formed to operate and acquire power assets under long-term contracts. NRG Yield debuted on the public markets this year.” The Pinnacle project construction was made possible by securing long term financial agreements with the State of Maryland and the University of Maryland. The two state agencies, in return for their financial commitment, would receive renewable energy credits which they could use to satisfy the demands of state renewable energy regulations. (Funny, but some folks actually believed the electricity from the West Virginia turbines was somehow piped directly to the U of MD. Sorry folks, but the only thing that directly moved in this transaction was hard earned money from the pockets of taxpayers to the for-profit wind company.
We wish NRG Energy well in this adventure and hope they live up to the promises made to the community by the now defunct developer – US WindForce LLC and bankrupt Edison Mission Energy. We also hope they remedy the turbine noise issue.
Past history tells us that it is almost too much to imagine NRG Energy will become fully transparent regarding actual turbine performance and the project’s full environmental impact, both of which are very important measures when considering future wind development in the Appalachian mountains … but one can always hope.
So why does a big international company continue forward, building wind projects during the recession? I am sure a deciding factor was collecting $44 million dollars from the US Treasury in August 2012. It is all about money.
One would believe it is wise to check the decommission plan and determine if EME, or Pinnacle Wind, LLC name is attached to the existing decommission plan and the bonds? It certainly gives Mineral County Commission opportunity to correct past errors.
The first decommission plan was created between US Wind Force, LLC and Mineral County Commission. US Wind Force, LLC is legal history. The original is dissolved but as reappeared as Laurel Renewable, LLC. Wind Force only developed the project, sold it to Edison Mission Energy. EME changed its name to Pinnacle Wind, LLC. If approved, NRG Energy may have ownership and management responsibilities. Now, who really is responsible for decommission? How does the public know the decommission plan was actually transferred? Is the plan still legal valid? Maybe the time is now to have the project bonded correctly.
Maybe it would be wise that elected officials should seek legal advice for a new decommissioning plan. County, state and federal agencies and officials cannot afford to continue business as usual attitude
In fact, Maryland taxpayers should be seeking accountability details behinds this 20-year electrical power purchase deal. What are the true costs for mandatory renewable energy power purchases? I suspect the only “green energy” is a costly financial exchange from paychecks, retirement pensions and savings accounts to the Edison Mission Energy multiple hidden legal license corporations. If the NRG Energy moves forward, could Maryland taxpayers be paying more for “Green Wind Energy” because they are obligated under a longer-term power purchase agreement.
It is also prudent for the Mineral County Commission to check if Pinnacle Wind, LLC tax bill is fully paid. According to County tax statements, in July 2013, the Pinnacle Wind taxes were $534,277.86.
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Latest updates. Reading the list you individuals are names, as well as government agencies, and business.
EME – Final FTI Second Supplemental Affidavit 20131125 DC
Nov 26, 2013 – Unsecured Creditors (the “Committee”) of Edison Mission Energy and ….. CP Power Sales Seventeen, L.L.C. …. Mission Wind Pinnacle, Inc.
Click to access 1618_49219.pdf