Letter: What to expect from solar farm


The Bloomberg reporter accused of inaccurate reporting by Kevin Smith, Lightsource bp CEO, in his column, “Misinformation about solar project,” responded with the following points:

• “We haven’t corrected anything in that story and haven’t received any requests to do so in the year or so since it was published.”

• “The Crescent Dunes plant was irreparably damaged years ago”

• “Our reporting showed that it won’t be able to produce power or repay its debt to Treasury without a miracle.”

• “I’ve always liked Kevin but he seems to have an agenda with this op-ed that disparages a story we confirmed through multiple sources.”

The disparaging of accurate reporting offers a preview of what to expect from Smith in reference to integrity.

When serving as CEO of SolarReserve, Smith promised Crescent Dunes would generate 4,600 jobs, pay 40 million in taxes, and a 25-year commitment. The promises laid out in an interview, https://youtu.be/SaqrixjZbwY, were never fulfilled. This example offers a preview of what to expect for the proposed Birch Solar project.

For Birch, Smith promises landowners a 30-year commitment and $81 million in paid taxes. As engineering advances make solar conversion technologies more efficient, Birch will become financially unsustainable leading Lightsource bp to conclude that Birch needs closed thus reneging on the commitments to taxpayers and landowners.

Birch is a standalone entity, “Birch Solar, LLC” separate from Lightsource bp making it easier to limit exposure to financial, environmental and safety problems. Through the LLC structure, Lightsource BP minimizes disclosure requirements and will be able to close Birch without major penalties. The next Crescent Dunes is Birch.

Stop Birch Solar before we become the next victim!

Dr. Mark Wellman, Shawnee Township

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