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Sunday, December 14, 2014
NextEra: The Green Corruption Files
By Selected News Articles @ 6:20 PM :: 4607 Views :: Energy, Tax Credits
 

Lewis Hay Chairman and Chief Executive officer of NextEra Energy, Inc.: Part of President Obama’s Multi-millionaire, Billionaire Jobs Council Club

by Christine Lakatos, Green Corruption Files, January 23, 2013

...Lewis “Lew” Hay, III is executive chairman of NextEra Energy, Inc., and it is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.” Despite the fact that Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain in 2008,” he quickly learned which side his power company could generate the title of the "Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans." Hay too joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011, along with the other two I have tackled in this series, “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Job Council” –– Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt CEO of General Electric has raked in $3 billion and counting, meanwhile John Doerr, along with his “climate buddy" Al Gore's, VC firm Kleiner Perkins is tied to at least $10 billion of stimulus funds. Both General Electric and Doerr were key contributors to what went into the 2009 Stimulus.

In my opening, I had stated that “NextEra Energy’s Green Money” was at least $2.3 billion, but that’s just from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 1703 Loan Guarantee Program, of which I recorded in another green energy, crony corruption post last summer. We’ll revisit the DOE and Big Wind, but for now there is more you should know about NextEra…

NextEra Energy, Inc. is one of the oldest, third largest, and arguably one of the most solid power companies in the world, with “2011 revenues [that] totaled more than $15.3 billion.” And NextEra Energy Inc. has two primary subsidiaries:

  • Florida Power & Light is the third largest electricity producer in the US, of which a September 2009 report states: “it's a political dynamo, making millions in political contributions and lobbying assiduously to achieve its goals." 
  • NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator of energy from sun and wind resources in North America. The company also has the third largest fleet (8) of nuclear powered electricity generating plants in the United States.

NextEra: Biggest User of the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit

As a follower of NextEra, I found a fascinating analysis by John Fund of the National Review Online which states, “Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of wind-energy facilities that could compete with conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax credit [PTC] gives wind an advantage over all other energy producers. But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest power producer. Through skillful manipulation of the credits, NextEra from 2005 to 2009 'paid just $88 million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,' Business Week reports. That’s a tax rate of just 1.25 percent over that period, when the statutory rate is 35 percent.” ...

...we can confirm the third jobs council member, Mr. Hay as a winner of many of these federal grants. November 20, 2009 is when nearly $100 million was "awarded to NextEra Energy Resources to expand the Northern Colorado Wind Energy farm in Peetz, Colorado." This was “funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in lieu of a production tax credit,” and the turbine manufacturer is a German company [docket #1825 for Northern Colorado Wind Energy, LLC –– $99,900,326]. Also, July 26, 2012 NextEra Energy Montezuma II Wind, LLC snagged $50 million 1603 grant for "wind in California" [docket #1399 –– 50,101,558].

NextEra: A Gust of other Stimulus Grants

In 2009, the DOE started dishing out between $3.5 and $4.5 billion from the "Smart Grid Investment Grant Program" –– a program which recently proved to be "highly susceptible to fraud and waste" –– that was awarded to select utility companies for particular smart-grid projects, as part of the 2009-Recovery Act. After a recent analysis of the Kleiner Perkins portfolio and recheck of Silver Spring Networks, one of their shining green investments, I found that of their 26 customers, half are foreign, while the other half are American. And, all but one of the thirteen U.S. utility companies scored large smart grid grants, which means Silver Spring is tied to at least $1.3 billion of these government handouts (full story can be found in Part Two of this series).

In April 2009, Florida Power and Light, Silver Spring, General Electric, and a few others joined forces on a smart grid project in Miami dubbed at that time as "Energy Smart Miami," of which they were seeking stimulus funds to power it up. And on October 2009, FPL, one of those lucky Silver customers, was awarded the maximum grant amount of $200 million for Energy Smart Florida, which means they got the money. However, FPL also snagged their fair share of millions in 1603 grants as well.

  • June 2, 2010, Florida Power and Light received a 1603 grant worth over $62 million for “solar electricity in Florida” [docket #2082 –– $62,371,777].
  • January 28, 2011, Florida Power and Light received another 1603 grant worth over $123 million for “solar thermal in Florida” [docket #2270 –– $123,767,270].

According to a 2010 analysis by Edgar A. Gunther, FPL had already been on its way as the number one winner of the 1603 Treasury cash grants, recording two I missed: $43.9 million for the DeSoto solar plant in January 2010, which President Obama personally visited, and in June 2010, $18.4 million for the Space Coast solar plant. Ironically, SunPower Corporation is part of both these projects –– a company were we find a large $1.2 billion DOE, which is "Twice As Bad As Solyndra," and tied to the number ONE recipient of the 1705 loans, NRG Energy Inc. Thus it has double the amount of cronyism and corruption –– meaningful political connections to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats –– and warrants a future bombshell "green corruption" post.

NextEra: Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loans

Mr. Hay and NextEra was part of our Special Seven series –– those that are not only part of the DOE's risky investments (some also scored millions, if not billions, from the 1603 Grant Program) –– which also received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process. We chronicled NextEra Energy's piece of the DOE pie –– $2.3 billion, detailing the two huge projects they are involved with.

Genesis Solar Project –– $852 million DOE loan

In August 2011, NextEra Energy Resources received a partial loan guarantee of $852 million from the DOE for its Genesis Solar project in Blythe, California. This was one of the few 1705 loans that were not considered junk rated, as S&P placed it at a “lower medium grade.” And it was estimated to create approximately 800 construction jobs and 47 operating jobs.

Desert Sunlight –– $1.46 billion DOE loan

In September 2011, the DOE approved a $1.46 billion partial loan guarantee for the junk-rated Desert Sunlight project in California, estimated to create 550 construction jobs and 15 permanent.

A day after the loan was approved, First Solar, the project developer/owner sold Desert Sunlight “to affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), and GE Energy Financial Services.” It was also announced, "First Solar will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements.” NOTE: This project was part of “$3 Billion First Solar Swindle" –– my research from last summer.

Apparently, these two green-energy deals cost taxpayers approximately $2 billion of Recovery Act funds–– meant to stimulate the economy and create jobs –– yet we only got 1412 jobs out of the deal, of which 62 are permanent.

Well at least First Solar kept their job, and Mr. Hay too....

No matter how you slice it, whether we are sending money abroad or fueling corporate welfare here in the United States as well as the egregious practice of crony capitalism, the 2009-Recovery act is a lie, a travesty and a scam, favoring wealthy financial backers of President Obama and the Democratic Party as well as those with influential political connections to both. And with a president that's dead set on pushing a fierce and radical climate change agenda and funding green energy with taxpayer money, no matter the long list of failures, there is no end in sight to this green corruption scandal.

Besides NextEra Energy taking full advantage of the federal production tax credit (PTC), we now can confirm that the Bank of Obama has rewarded this conglomerate of a power company, and his millionaire job council buddy Lewis Hay, with two large DOE loans ($2.3 billion); one large stimulus smart-grid grant ($200 million); and six 1603 stimulus grants totaling $398.5 million. Thus NextEra's green tab is on its way to $3 billion of taxpayer money, and that's not factoring in the PTC....

read ... Green Corruption Files

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