Community Wind Farm Investors Losing their Shirts


Simon says: “just trust me”.


As the wind industry Ponzi scheme unravels around the globe, it’s so-called “community wind farms” that are taking a pounding.

In the US, a bunch of farmers got fleeced for $millions as a wind power outfit running two small wind farms went belly up on the prairie (see our post here).

STT has also had a go at unpicking the scale and scope of the financial precariousness at the BIG end of town in our posts:

The Wind Industry: You Know It’s a ‘Ponzi’ Scheme When its Targets Include Schools & Councils

Pacific Hydro’s Ponzi Scheme Implodes: Wind Power Outfit Loses $700 Million of Mum & Dad Retirement Savings

In the first of the above, we pointed to the efforts of Simon Holmes a Court to build an “empire” around 2 clapped out Suzlon/REPower 2MW turbines speared into Leonard’s Hill, using money siphoned from 1,900 gullible, greentard ‘investors’. That community calamity (see our post here) kicked off in 2011, but has yet to return a single cent to investors in that time.

For a little more background, here’s some work done by Bon (as it appeared in comments to the earlier post) on the question of Simon’s rollicking, commercial ‘success’:

In Hepburn Wind’s annual report for the year ended June 2013 the Notes to the Financial Statements, we find:

18 Dividends
There were no dividends declared or paid in the current or previous financial year.”

The annual report for the year ended June 2014 does not appear to refer to payment or non-payment of dividends although there could be a reference buried somewhere in the report.

To which, Hepburn Results in the Wind popped back:

Thanks Bon. I also checked the more recent Hep W 2014 Annual report. Nice green photos, and HaC is smiling in this one.

But board is clearly worried. They clearly cut back their own ‘community bribe’ so as to tinker with their bottom line loss so it did not look worse than the year before to their shareholders. It would logically be consistent therefore for the Feds to follow suit and to cut the REC bribe don’t you think, so as to tinker with their own negative balance sheet? You know, to follow the example set by Hep W.

Perhaps STT could do a forensic analysis? The Hep W’s also seem a wee bit concerned re maintenance costs and “mechanical issues” now the turbines are out of warranty. And I thought turbines were oh so reliable and the wind was free!

And thanks for the warning STT.

Ever helpful, Bon chimed in again, reporting:

Yes “Hepburn Results in Wind” and why wouldn’t Simon Holmes a Court and his mates be more than a little worried about being on their own in maintaining their two REpower 2.05MW wind turbines. REpower was rebadged after numerous turbines bearing its former name Suzlon started chucking their blades off, sorry I mean started liberating components.

I note that REpower has recently taken on another name, the new moniker is Senvion?

Compounding questions over the dubious ancestry of Hepburn Wind’s REpower turbines is recent research showing that the useful life of wind turbines in general falls well short of the 20 plus years claimed by manufacturers.

But I suspect the long suffering locals of once peaceful Leonards Hill might see any early demise of Hepburn Wind’s two noisy monsters as simply a matter of karma.

Karma, indeed!

STT’s said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: if you have so much as a nickel anywhere near a wind power outfit – whatever the size of it – grab it, and get out NOW.

As to Hepburn Results in the Wind’s request for a ‘forensic analysis’ of Hepburn Wind’s blistering results, it’s pretty hard to turn pages full of year-after-year, profit ‘doughnuts’ into figures of meaning, so, we’ll pass on that score.

However, in a TV cooking show “here’s one we’ve prepared earlier” moment, we’ll cross to Germany.

German Wind Turbine Investors Dissolve Operating Company After 13 Years Of Poor Returns, Technical Failures
No Tricks Zone
19 July 2014

There are lots of claims on how successful Germany’s renewable energy program has been. Feed-in tariffs mandated by the government guaranteed profits for windpark investors and operators. You couldn’t lose. So it seemed at first.

Unfortunately outputs promised by wind turbine manufacturers and proponents have fallen short of expectations. Moreover, high maintenance costs have in many cases eliminated profits and resulted in losses for investors. As generous as the subsidies may be, profit from wind can be elusive.

So it comes as no surprise when we here how a group of 60 limited partners near Ettenheim southwest Germany have decided to dissolve the wind turbine operating company they had set up in December, 2000. Story in German at here. It lost money.

The 60 limited partners unanimously voted on Wednesday to shut down and liquidate the Windpark Ettenheim GmbH & Co. According to Windwahn, the wind turbine had been supplied by Nordex and “did not yield the expected performance“, so says managing director Andreas Markowsky.

Windwahn writes:

It stood still for years, and finally it was taken down in the summer of 2013. In the meantime the concrete pad has also been removed. After the liquidation is completed, the area where the turbine stood will be re-naturalized under the supervision of forest authorities. …The wind turbine did not pay off.”

Windwahn writes that the turbine had been supplied by Nordex and came with a 5-year maintenance contract. But in the end, the turbine remained plagued by technical problems and the 60 partners all had to take a moderate loss on the investment: a bit more than 1000 euros per 2500 euro share.

Markowsky says that the turbine had serious technical problems from the start. For example when winds were strong during stormy weather, the turbine stood still instead of producing maximum output. The limited partners even had to take Nordex to court in bid to be awarded compensation in the amount of 1.8 million euros. Windwahn writes that the case dragged on for 5 years, during which the turbine remained idle and did not deliver any power. Finally, the court awarded the limited partners 1.4 million euros in compensation.

The limited partners had the chance to reduce their losses by taking advantage of the re-powering bonus offered by the German government. Under the scheme turbine operators are paid a bonus to trade up their old turbines for newer, more efficient ones. However, the bonus has been scrapped by the German government, effective August 1, and the offer ultimately was passed up.

The 60 limited partners have had enough of the wind energy business.
No Tricks Zone


PSSST! Wanna make a small fortune out of wind farms?
Then start off with a very large one.

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 ajmarciniak.

  2. The Breakaways says:

    Thanks STT.
    Wind turbines are a con without doubt

    Reminds me of the (small) windturbine in the Mad Max opal mining town of Coober Pedy in remote South Australia. It is touted by windies as a pioneer of wind energy in Australia, allegedly commissioned in 1990.

    For most of the last 25 years it never worked at all. Obviously not a good wind-industry look to the annual parade of thousands of passing grey nomads and overseas tourists driving by in their campers or towing the latest monster caravan with regulation diesel churning 4WD.

    In recent times the Coober Pedy fan magically spins like a top in the absence of any wind whatsoever, whilst the diesel power station next door thrums away powering the turbine AND the local kettles and dugout lights at the same time.

    Like the wind industry as a whole, it is all about appearances and not about meaningful low carbon sustainable power production. Something the Hepburn Wind investors are finding out the hard way. Like many a green get rich scheme it was too good to be true…

  3. All the Greentard Weasel Grubs have been told many times to grab their money and run while there is time; but they’re all too DUMB to see the writing on the wall. They all listen to idiots like Christine Milne, Bill Shorten, the Clean Energy Council and the rest of the Windweasel Grubs.

    All the greentards deserve to loose their money for not listening to STT, Allan Jones, the wise Greek Senator from SA and the Blacksmith Senator from VIC, Steve Cooper and people like Dr Sarah Laurie – who have been publishing the true facts for a number of years now.

    The fan companies are already going belly up, so watch out Greentards.

    • 1952 Vincent Black Lightening says:

      Whilst I agree with your sentiment Bruce I am not sure if the ‘greentards’ and their wind idols are truly idiots. They are willfully blind. They know what they are doing. They do not care who they harm along the way. They cannot claim ignorance as an excuse. And as usual greed plays a role.

      1 They are strenuously ignoring existing and evolving science on adverse acoustic impacts on human health from industrial scale wind turbines. No better demonstrated in international wind industry/government collusion in the strategic avoidance of meaningful infrasound and low frequency noise standards
      2 They systematically denigrate and seek to gag anyone who raises genuine and valid questions about wind technology
      3 They are joined at the hip with a superannuation industry funding a flawed and technology whose advocates overstate what never can never be delivered in either energy outputs, economic returns or environmental benefits
      4 They destroy social and environmental harmony in rural communities in the pursuit of profit and ideology
      5 They are the ‘environmentally righteous’ and believe they are the only people on earth who care about the planet.

      Bob Marley’s lyric is apt, we are ‘observing the hypocrites as they would mingle with the good people we meet’. Milne and the Greens are indeed No Woman No Cry. They have transitioned from ‘organic’ to ‘astroturf’ with the slickness of a Monsanto genetic modification. Even founder James Lovelock is appalled by the Green worship of wind whilst they trash villagers and countryside.

      In truth Bruce they are not good people at all. They are hypocrites and liars. They can be bastards granted, but are not idiots.
      And those of them who know will surely get their money out of wind if they haven’t already. Good evidence for that is the number of wind projects that are already on-sold just prior or as soon as turbines are out of their warranty.

      mmm.. wonder who Hepburn Wind are going to sell too…? A faux green super fund perhaps who claim Holmes a Court as ‘an angel’ ?

  4. Terry Conn says:

    Excellent point Grant. While ‘wind power’ reeks havoc on the Australian economy the Chinese have worked out how to milk every last cent from gullible Australians. Not me, I’m resorting to using the relics of my rural youth, candles and kerosene lamps — I’m lucky, I know how they work and have a few dust covered antiques in the shed. I wonder how the inner city ‘progressive elites’ will cope – can’t imagine cold soy latte’s will be much of a hit!

  5. But what about the situation where the Chinese make the turbines, install the turbines, operate the turbines, distribute the electricity and own the poles and wires – along the way reaping government subsidies and now we see government guarantees for debt component (ACT Government)- should be able to eke out a profit.

    But the Australian public won’t share in that action.

    They are left with Pacific Hydro and Infigen

    • Don’t you mean they are left with Pac Hydra?

      It is guarding the entrance to the Windscam Underworld.

      The Hydra in Greek mythology was born by the earth goddess Gaia. It terrorised local villages and was knocked off by Heracles.

      The Pac Hydra and its poison blood are waiting for the final sword. Not much longer now.

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