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Could the Ocotillo Wind Facility be Brought Down by the “False Claims Act”? Does Ontario have one?

(Donna’s notes: It appears from this article, that not only was Pattern Energy and their “experts” guilty of misleading and fraudulent claims, but that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was fully aware of the fact that this wind facility would not perform as expected.  Another example of government agencies — similar to Ontario’s MNR and MOE — being complicit in the deception of the wind industry.) 

Tip of the hat to the Ocotillo Wind Turbine Destruction page.

Was it Fraud?  Experts Raise Serious Questions After Extremely Low Energy Production at Ocotillo.

Miriam Raftery — East County Magazine — April 30, 2014

Elected officials suppressed key report, failed to halt project or recover taxpayer dollars

“It was heartbreaking to see this project desecrate such a historically and culturally significant landscape, and it’s even worse when you find out that it was built on false claims by the developer, and with the assistance of the BLM. “– Anthony Pico, Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

An international wind energy expert has concluded that Pattern Energy appears to have defrauded the federal government in order to obtain lucrative tax subsidies for a wind energy development in southern California that has failed to live up to the developer’s claims.

“I believe we have a clear case for the False Claims Act,” Nicolas Boccard told East County Magazine, after reviewing full first-year wind production data for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on U..S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land. The project produced only about half of the energy that Pattern claimed it would produce—far below levels deemed viable for a wind project, a second expert confirms.

These dismal results are no surprise to Boccard, who predicted in a report written before construction of the project was completed that Ocotillo lacks sufficient wind speeds to sustain a viable wind energy project.

So were Pattern’s lofty wind speed claims nothing more than spin?

Boccard, an international energy expert and assistant professor of economics at the University of Girona, Spain, has written and published in Energy Policy prior reports exposing exaggerated wind production claims made by energy companies in Europe. The Ocotillo report authored by Boccard was commissioned by the Desert Protective Council but its findings have since been independently validated by multiple experts.

Concerned tribal leaders, environmentalists and residents initially kept the Boccard report on Ocotillo confidential, but did share copies only with their public officials– members of Congress and the Legislature, who failed to take action to prevent the project from being built—with one exception; one Congressman sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department asking that funds for the project be halted pending an investigation of wind speeds, but the agency failed to act. The other political leaders appear to have done nothing to investigate the fraud allegations before the project was built. Confronted with the year-end wind speed data, however, a second Congressional member has now taken action, asking the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate fraud claims.

The citizens’ coalition also provided evidence strongly suggesting fraud to the North American Development Bank, which financed the project, but the evidence was ignored. Documents obtained by East County Magazine, which were provided to NADB, suggest that Pattern falsified maps to make it appear that wind turbines would be built atop windy ridges 3,000 feet higher in elevation than the flat desert sands on which the project was actually built.  Continue reading here…..

Related articles:

A Tale of Two Wind Facilities — Ontario, Canada and Ocotillo, California

Pattern Energy’s Wind Field in Ocotillo, California — A Case Study In Environmental Devastation 

Pattern Energy — A Model Example of the Corruption and Lies Put Forth by the Wind Industry




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