Hoku Can’t Pay Its Electric bill in Idaho, Freezing Temps May Destroy $390M plant
Your ACT221 Tax Dollars at Work building the clean energy future, Hawaii ....
AP: BOISE, Idaho (excerpt) 12-30-2011
Idaho Power Co. told a struggling southeastern Idaho solar-industry manufacturer that the utility could shut off its power by Jan. 3 if it doesn't pay its $1.9 million electricity bill from November. ($1.9M per month of cheap Idaho electricity to make polysilicon for solar panels? Maybe these panels consume more electricity than they produce....)
Honolulu-based polysilicon maker Hoku Corp., which has survived so far with help from Chinese financiers, lodged a formal protest with Idaho Public Utilities Commission regulators after getting a termination of service notice on Dec. 22. The company's Hoku Materials unit told Idaho Power that it can't pay its November power bill until January due to cash flow problems.
Hoku says losing electricity would delay its Pocatello plant's commissioning and expose infrastructure to freezing just as winter sets in, causing "material harm." Southeastern Idaho's hopes that Hoku's $390 million plant will eventually add hundreds of green-energy jobs to the local economy have been replaced by uncertainty over whether the project will survive.
"If service is terminated, these high value systems may freeze, causing irreparable and material damage to Hoku's plant assets," Hoku lawyers told Idaho utility regulators in the complaint. "Any damage would need to be repaired, at additional cost, prior to continuing with the commissioning and operation of the plant."
Related: As Delisting Looms, Material Misrepresentation by Hoku Solar?
Dec 29: Hoku Accepts Weaker Polysilicon Supply Agreement With Chinese Company
Dec 20: Hoku Files for ‘Confidential Treatment’ with SEC
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