International Wind Speculators
Questions for UPC Wind Partners, LLC
1) Where is your company headquartered? It is our understanding that your parent corporation, UPC Group, is a European company founded in Italy in the 1990s that established a branch office in Newton, MA in 2001 to speculate on the emerging wind power market in the US. Now you are operating in multiple localities under a host of euphemistic LLCs shell corporations. As a "moving target" in the highly volatile field of wind speculation, information about your activities changes rapidly. As a result, information on this page may be outdated soon.
2) Has your company ever installed a wind turbine in the US? It is our understanding that you have just completed installation of your first turbines. You have part ownership in one small 30 MW wind farm project in Hawaii and, operating under the name "Evergreen Wind Power, LLC", have just finished a controversial project in Mars Hill, ME.
3) In addition to Cohocton (Lent/Pine and Dutch Hills) and Prattsburgh, you have other proposed projects in Vermont and Maine. What is the status of these projects? It is our understanding that both have been received poorly by significant portions of their respective communities. In Sheffield, VT, UPC has recently submitted a revised proposal for a much smaller project, down from 26 to 16 turbines, in response to community concerns. In Maine the proposed 38-turbine Stetson Mountain project is even larger than the company's Mars Hill Wind Farm, which came on line earlier this year. That would make it the largest wind farm in New England. It's fairly small, however, compared with the plan proposed for Cohocton which calls for 52 Clipper 2.5 MW turbines on taller towers. Interestingly, projected tax revenues in Maine are estimated to be twice as much per rated MW as those being offered to Cohocton.
4) Can you tell us where we might go to see installed 2.0 MW wind turbines of the sort you first proposed for Cohocton? It is our understanding that the first 12 of Spain's 2.0 MW Gamesa Eólica G87 turbine units to be placed onshore in the United States have recently been installed in remote Bear Creek, PA. We've recently received information that you are actually planning to install much larger 2.5 MW Clipper turbines in Cohocton but withheld sharing these plans with the general public until very recently.
5) How are your projects financed? Although the financing of wind projects is not revealed to the public, it is our understanding that a significant portion of your funding may be provided by taxpayers in New York and other states and that investment money will be in the form of "junk bonds" sold through large brokerage firms as possible high-yield short-term investments by those interested in speculating on wind.
6) Do you plan to respect local zoning laws with respect to wind turbines if and when you have installed them? If so, why have you regularly transgressed local laws in the establishment of test towers in Cohocton, NY and elsewhere?
Hawaii Project: According to the Times Argus (VT), UPC first broke ground on U.S. soil in September 2005 at Ukumehame, a state-owned conservation land area on scenic mountains in Maui, Hawaii. When completed, the $65 million, 20-turbine wind project will be the largest in Hawaii. UPC bought controlling interest in the planned 30-megawatt wind farm from Hawaii Renewable Development, after it changed hands from Zond Pacific, Inc. to Enron Wind to GE Wind to HRD in the span of five years. A wind generation facility has been proposed for the current site dating back to the 1980s.
UPC Wind is obviously a company that is trying to expand rapidly while the tax climate is favorable to wind power development. The information we have provided above is therefore subject to change with time. We will do our best to stay abreast of these changes as they develop.