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Friday, October 29, 2010
Hawaii windfarm developer “could go under”
By Selected News Articles @ 7:47 PM :: 6725 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

by Tux Turkel Portland, Maine Press-Herald 10-29-10 (Excerpts)

(FirstWind spokesman John) Lamontagne acknowledged…that the company has yet to arrange financing for the 40-turbine wind farm it began developing earlier this month near Lincoln, Maine. The $150 million Rollins project is scheduled to be completed by spring, according to First Wind.

…A financial analyst and critic of the wind industry said Thursday's events threaten First Wind's survival, and that it may need to tap a new round of federal stimulus funds (The new Congress ain’t gonna vote any more stimulus.) to help pay for Rollins, which has a capacity of 60 megawatts….

William Downes, a Cape Elizabeth financial analyst, said he's skeptical that First Wind can attract the needed capital.

"I don't know where they're going to get the money," he said.

The Rollins project, Downes said, has the potential to be completed because it has a lucrative power contract that can be sold. It also could qualify for an extension of grants for renewable power, if the program is approved by Congress (not gonna happen). But unless Shaw and Dearborn put in more money, or First Wind finds a buyer, Downes said, the company could go under.

First Wind discloses this risk in recent financial filings. It says it has substantial, short-term debt and insufficient money to pay back loans. "Failure to comply with these obligations could result in an event of default under those agreements, which could be difficult to cure, or result in our bankruptcy," the company says.

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(This has been going on all week.  Local media in Maine is concerned about Maine windfarm projects.  When will Hawaii media become willing to step on the well-heeled toes behind Hawaii windfarm projects?)

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