While Coloradans learned an expensive lesson about affordable green energy last year, it looks like Idaho-based Exergy Development Group may be shaping up to be the next instant classic in a series of government-funded renewable energy busts.
The love affair between clean energy and what many consider the world’s dirtiest sport took a strange turn earlier this month, when the USA Pro Cycle Challenge, Colorado’s bike race that claims to draw one million spectators annually, sued one of its main sponsors. Exergy promised millions to the race over a three year period, and is currently being sued for the $2.5 million they promised for 2013.
But as things are shaping up, Colorado’s professional bike race liability may be just a drop in the rainwater cistern for Exergy. It turns out that last year the Virginia-based turbine maker AES Corp. sued Exergy for failure to pay up to $37.9 million for 32 wind turbines. A few short weeks after this lawsuit, Idaho Power forced Exergy to suspend work on six wind facilities, effectively cancelling faltering projects that had been years and millions of dollars in the making. Exergy also faced a public relations nightmare as their hometown publicly accused them of failing to cover a $27,500 bill for the City of Boise police and waste removal for a race, a bill that the company eventually paid.
The USA Pro Cycle Challenge claims that even with the loss of Exergy’s commitment, it still has more sponsorship commitments than last year, including a Founding Partnership donation from our state’s “favorite” clean energy brewery.