Sept 17, 2011
SHOW ME THE
by Todd Shepherd
This site has tried to cast an appropriately skeptical eye (as opposed to regurgitating positive press releases) towards boasting greenies and boasting government alike when it comes to the industry supposed to be our jobs savior.
For example, in 2008, your affiant published a story that the solar panels toured by President Obama on top of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (just prior to signing the stimulus bill) would need 110 years to pay for themselves. And the math wasn't even mine, it was that of the VP of operations for the museum, Dave Noel, who told the Denver Business Journal:
"We looked at first installing it ourselves, and without any of the incentive programs, it was a 110-year payout," he said. "The [museum's] board was supportive of the program, but said it had to make sense financially."In other words, the museum didn't want to waste their money, but had no qualms about wasting yours. And unfortunately, solar panels at best usually have a life span of 30 years.
The exchange exposed the precarious nature of the economics of solar energy two years before Xcel decided to scale back their "solar rewards" program which encourages end-consumer purchases.
And now, the emerging Solyndra scandal demands a re-examination of the immediate potential of green energy, and whether Colorado could be home to the next green scandal. Knowing what we know now regarding the White House and the rush to dump money at Solyndra's feet, Abound Solar in Fort Collins deserves fresh scrutiny because in the summer of 2010, Abound received a guarantee of $400 million in federally backed loans.
First, a recent Denver Post article says while the original job creation goal of Abound was 300 jobs here in Colorado, only between 80-90 have actually been filled. And a recent Bloomberg article shows that the competition in the solar market isn't getting any easier.
As reported first in these pages, Abound Solar shared a very cozy relationship with former U.S. Representative Besty Markey, as well as gang-of-four political heavyweight Pat Stryker, with Abound running ads thanking Markey for her vote on "cap and trade."
Next, as reported by The Weekly Standard, Abound once employed (and may still employ) Russell Kanjorski, who has fingerprints all over the fleecing of a $9-million federal grant in Pennsylvania.
But finally, HotAir.com reports, "The Department of Energy and Abound Solar declined to release their loan application, citing proprietary reasons."
It's time for Abound to show us the loan. Much in the same way politicians running for statewide office give their tax returns to The Denver Post with an understanding that certain private elements won't be disclosed, Abound could do the same. Allow the Post to review the Documents with the understanding they will not disclose proprietary technology that could compromise the company's ability to build or maintain a competitive edge. But allow them to review the financials, and the rules surrounding them.
There's little doubt that the executives and employees of Abound believe in the ability of sunlight to power the nation's future. Let's hope they believe in the power of sunlight as a disinfectant as well.