[Mayflower Analysis] Is Wind Energy Really that Reliable? Part 3: Should the Mysterious A-Power be Responsible for Texas Outage?

Mayflower Writer Team | Reporter: Amy Q | Editor & Publish: Jamie

In 2009, A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd manufactured 240 wind turbines that could produce 600 megawatts to help Cielo Wind Power, LP builds a 36,000-acre-wind farm in West Texas, south of Panhandle to be exact. But what is this wind farm’s name? Where is this wind farm exactly located? Neither the company itself nor any media ever told us the answer.

What we also couldn’t know is if these A-Power manufactured turbines are still being used today. About 7,500 wind turbines were frozen during the storm, which further led to between 2.5 to 3.5 million people in Texas were left without power amid the frigid temperature. Could the 240 turbines made by A-Power among the 7,500 frozen ones? There is no direct evidence telling us that it was the case. There’s also no evidence showed any wind project that was affected by the outage has connections with A-Power. But that didn’t make A-Power any less suspicious.

Logo of A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd

Looking at Cielo Wind Power’s official webpage, eight “Selected Projects” and other 16 projects categorized in “Project Archive” are displayed. One or two almost meets the profile, but none of these 24 farms or ranches owns 240 turbines or is able to produce 600MW. What’s more, there is no sign of A-Power or China-based in the manufacturers as well. As if Cielo never worked with A-Power, as if U.S. and China never cooperated on wind energy.

Project Archive of Cielo

Strange for a project that cost $1.5 billion. Speaking of the $1.5 billion, A-Power said most of the money would be coming from commercial banks in China. While the NASDAQ listed company was also hoping to secure 30 percent, or $450 million financial assistance through the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in another way, from the stimulus fund.

This soon arose some people’s concerns. Then Democratic Senator of New York State, Charles Schumer, called for a review of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects, urged to stop offering stimulus money to the project. “I’m all for investing in clean energy,” Schumer said, “but we should be investing in the United States, not China,”

The investment was not the only thing Senator Schumer worried about. According to the joint venture, which included U.S. Renewable Energy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm: the project would generate about 2,800 jobs (including 330 construction and operation jobs in the United States). But in fact, the project will create just over 300 American jobs, and most of them will be temporary construction jobs. Back in China, 2,000 Chinese jobs would be created by the deal.

Mr. Lu Jinxiang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Energy Group (APWR), rang the Nasdaq opening bell at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on April 16, 2008

These concerns were not groundless. A report written by Prescience Investment Group, a registered investment advisor, in 2011, specifically warned the auditor and the SEC (Securities And Exchange Commission) to be “especially cautious.” Prescience Investment believed that A-Power’s “revenue and profit may be overstated in its SEC filings.”

Given the facts Prescience presented, APWR reported $25 million of revenue to Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), which was significantly lower than the $311 million it was reporting to SEC; offered enormous bonuses on an all-or-none basis for achieving lofty performance goals; had numerous additional undisclosed companies owned and/or operated by A-Power’s CEO Lu Jinxiang.

According to the same report published on Seeking Alpha (a crowd-sourced content service for financial markets), A-Power hadn’t been founded in 2003 as it claimed itself to be. The company that was founded in 2003 was Liaoning GaoKe Energy Group Co., Ltd. A-Power’s real origin was a Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle, A.K.A. “Blank Check Company,” named Chardan South China Acquisition Corporation organized in 2005. And GaoKe was the attractive candidate identified by Chardan. A-Power wasn’t formed until 2008 when the acquisition was consummated.

Logos of Shenyang Power Group and Liaoning GaoKe Energy Group Co., Ltd.

Though all facts are indicating that A-Power is a past, unfortunately, its “legacy” is likely to be passed on. And Guanghui Energy Company seems to be the successor. Foreign Policy, an American news publication focused on global affairs, reported on June 25, 2020, that a Chinese-owned company (referring Guanghui) was building a wind farm in Texas near the Air Force’s largest pilot training base.

The developer, GH America Energy, a subsidiary of Guanghui Energy Company. And notice this, Guanghui is a firm owned by a former Chinese army officer and the richest person in China’s embattled Xinjiang province. This Blue Hills Wind Project just a few dozen miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and near Laughlin Air Force Base.

Chinese-Owned Wind Farm Proposed Near U.S. Military Base. Source from Foreign Policy

All these dangerous elements combined raised eyebrows in the congress. For now, there’s no way to prove that A-Power should be responsible for the Texas outage, but we have every reason to be careful about what’s been hidden and what’s coming next. We will find another time to talk about Guanghui Energy and the Blue Hills Wind Project. But in the meantime, stay alarmed and stay skeptical.

Previous Articles:

Is Wind Energy Really that Reliable? Part 1: New Hampshire Wants It While Texas Suffered From It

Is Wind Energy Really that Reliable? Part 2: How CCP got Involved in Texas’ Wind Industry

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