Game Over

game over

Hands up STT readers, who’s game to lend money to Infigen, Pac Hydro or Union Fenosa?

Ready to send your hard earned coin to Infigen – the crowd that backed up a $55 million loss in the year ended 30 June 2012 with an $80 million loss in the last financial year?

Our favourite whipping boys, Infigen –along with Pac Hydro, Union Fenosa and a band of similarly scurrilous scammers had all formed a disorderly queue outside the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) ready to pocket a fat pile of cash – OUR CASH – that is, from their mates at the CEFC.

A while back we covered the shenanigans at the CEFC in: The Oz – tilting at windmills: Part 2.  In that post The Australian talked about “high-risk loans”, referring to the fact that the wind outlaws were not being called upon by the CEFC to provide any valuable security for these so-called “loans”.

You know “security”, like the mortgage you had to give the bank over your little patch so that it would lend to you.

“High risk” is a term that sits perfectly in a sentence with words such as “lending” and “Infigen” and “Babcock and Brown”.

These corporate cowboys have nothing of value to offer real banks, so they all lined up to fleece us instead.

Up until about November last year wind farm developers were signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) with retailers, as if there was no tomorrow.

But, as the wheels started to fall off the Green-Labor Alliance late last year; and it looked like Tony Abbott had a fair chance of taking the title, the retailers baulked and haven’t signed a PPA since last Christmas.  They’re still keeping their Mont Blanc pens firmly in their top pockets.

The retailers might be greedy, but they aren’t stupid – none of them want to be left holding a pile of worthless RECs after the Coalition’s RET review.

STT hears that RET review team includes STT Champion, Angus “the Enforcer” Taylor – and that Origin, the Business Council of Australia and Maurice Newman will all be throwing their considerable weight behind the Coalition’s (as yet, unannounced) move to scrap the RET in its entirety.  Expect to hear more about it from Alan Jones this week.

Reputable banks were willing to lend to Infigen, Pac Hydro & Co while they were signing PPAs, because that agreement provides a guaranteed stream of cash in future (it incorporates the net present value of a future stream of electricity sales and, more importantly, REC income).

The PPA itself was, therefore, viewed by commercial lenders as a reasonable form of security for credit extended to the developer holding the PPA.

But, as newly signed up PPAs are now as rare as the Tasmanian Tiger, Infigen, Pac Hydro and their “chancer” mates have nothing of value to offer the banks.

The only thing they hold is a “licence” to enter some poor sucker’s land in order to stick up their fans, and a dodgy planning consent – neither of which are worth the paper they are written on.

So, if you can’t borrow money in the marketplace, why not hit up the Australian taxpayer?

But the “lender of last resort” for wind weasels – US, that is – has just been thrown a lifeline – as Tony Abbott put into effect the Coalition’s plan to shut down the CEFC.

The CEFC’s mandarins begrudgingly agreed to stop shoveling money out the door while the Coalition deal with the administrative steps required to close the doors and protect Australian taxpayers from the greatest economic and environmental fraud in Australian history.

Here’s regional rag, The Standard’s take on a wind-weasel-whinge – it sounds to STT a lot like the spoilt brat that had his favourite toy confiscated by Dad.


Oi – give me back my unsecured, taxpayer underwritten, low interest loans or ELSE.


Wind farms project stalls in midst of green energy pricing vortex
The Standard
Sean McComish
19 September 2013

NEARLY 100 wind turbines in south-west Victoria are facing delays because of national uncertainty around green energy.

Union Fenosa has 98 turbines planned in Hawkesdale and Ryans Corner, near Port Fairy, but is struggling to find a power retailer to buy into the wind farms because of uncertainty with the pricing of green energy.

There are 67 turbines planned for Ryans Corner and 31 for Hawkesdale.

The clock is also ticking on the $400 million project, with the permit scheduled to expire next year.

If that happens, the size of the wind farm could be drastically reduced because of rules giving nearby landowners the right to veto the turbines within two kilometres of their home.

Those laws have led to at least one wind farm, at Naroghid, being scrapped, while the Penshurst wind farm is also being redrawn to meet the requirements.

Union Fenosa Wind Australia legal manager Thomas Mitchell told The Standard energy retailers were still unwilling to sign up to wind farms because the industry was still in a state of flux from changes to the carbon tax and next year’s renewable energy target review.

“The entire industry is frozen at the moment and it’s very frustrating,” Mr Mitchell said.

“It’s been very difficult for us and our buyers to get a final idea on what electricity will be worth in the next 10 to 15 years.

“The energy sector is a keystone sector in an economy and all players in our industry need long-term policy certainty to green light our investments in essential electricity infrastructure.”

Mr Mitchell said the company was also looking to renew its permit, rather than replace it with a new one that would include the strict setback rules.

“We’re having a discussion with the planning department,” he said.

“We would need to redesign many parts of the project.”

Mr Mitchell also gave assurances construction would be done with minimal impact on local roads.

“We have already made voluntary commitments not to use certain roads for heavy traffic (Spencers Road and Commercial Road in Koroit) and we’ve provided information about our upgrades at Youls Road and about the process of preparing a traffic management plan,” he said.
The Standard

It’s not just 100 fans that have had their plans curtailed.  In Victoria there are over 1,200 turbines with planning approval and only 27 under construction at Mt Mercer.  There are no further construction efforts on the horizon.

The Mt Mercer project is run by desperados who don’t even have a PPA.  Without a PPA, these boys will be selling into the spot market at times when the dispatch price will be below average and quite often approaching zero – their margin will consist of the REC which they collect for each MW delivered – currently worth $35.

When the wind is blowing the dispatch price falls as wind power “floods” the grid and – because of the mandatory RET – crowds out cheaper sources, including truly clean Hydro.  But wind weasels with PPA’s can happily dispatch to the grid for a price at or even less than zero.  That’s because they collect a REC worth $35 per MW and also collect on their PPA at $90-110 per MW – for the full story on how the great wind power fraud works, see this post.

But – without a PPA – the “profit” at Mt Mercer will be the REC and the dispatch price, whatever that is.  STT expects that little adventure to end in a trail of turbine tears and wind weasel tantrums.

spoiled brat[1]

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    Boy, this is one kid that is not going to take abuse from turbines, or the government, lying down!

  2. Cliff Hardy Private Investigator says:

    Corruption runs deep in the Wind Industry STT, as exposed in your many insightful posts.

    Vestas and the Wind Industry have corroded further the decaying Green brand and greased the palms of operators on all sides of the political fence. Like the bet riggers in the football codes, they have touched many players in the windscam and will be pulling out all stops to keep the scam flying. Let’s hope there are a few honest brokers left in the new Government to stop this rort dead in its tracks.

    A forensic investigation of the health and tortuous economics of this scam is the only way to clear the air, Game over or not. A Royal Commission is required, no less, to hold the bastards to account.

  3. The noose is slowly tightening, thanks for keeping us updated, STT.

  4. It is about time it all came to a head. We will beat the wind weasels and greentards.

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