Exergy Development is a diverse and forward-moving company. We lead in our field, not follow. Unfortunately, some people might think otherwise, after last week’s stories on the Exergy Tour remaining bills and our placing on hold our current portfolio of Idaho wind projects.
As anyone who follows the renewable energy industry knows, this has been an interesting year. Rapidly falling natural gas prices, the virtual withdrawal of European banks from American projects, changing state regulatory policies and uncertainty about the extension of federal tax incentives have forced us to make some difficult choices to safeguard our business.
We had already paid over $1 million toward Exergy Tour expenses and still have some bills yet to pay. It is also safe to say we shall pay the remaining balance and we are disappointed our commitments temporarily outran our ability to pay them.
Reading through the news media coverage of Exergy over the past week, what seems to be known about Exergy is:
Æ We are 60 to 90 days behind on some of our Exergy Tour bills.
Æ We had to suspend development on a series of wind farms.
On the other side of the ledger:
Æ Exergy has completed $600 million in projects just in the last two years.
Æ Exergy currently has $1.5 billion in wind, solar, biofuel and biomass projects under development in 17 states, Argentina and Canada, over half which shall be online by the end of 2013.
Æ Our Minnesota wind project will be online this year and we’ll commence construction on our 400 MW Texas wind farm.
Æ We will commence construction of two dairy digesters in Twin Falls County later this year.
Æ Our proprietary wind turbine/storage and hydro technologies shall re-center the sustainable energy industry.
Æ And we sponsored a game-changing, top-quality bicycling tour that placed Boise and Idaho on the map as a nationally important bicycling community and greatly advanced women's cycling and athletics.
I in no way seek to trivialize our lateness paying our Exergy Tour bills; we are communicating and working with these folks. We know that suspending work on our Idaho wind farms represents lost investment and diminished opportunities for rural towns. Anyone who has run a business knows the experience of being behind and having to suspend projects. In our case, these projects were years and millions of dollars in the making.
Our decision to suspend work on the 116-megawatt Idaho wind parks was difficult but shows we are good stewards of our business. Any business must constantly analyze the regulatory, financial and business landscapes and reassess projects as necessary. While we have invested substantial amounts in these Idaho projects, we need to be prudent and we hope the regulatory conditions and federal incentives are more favorable in the future to move forward with renewables in Idaho.
Despite the difficulty, we are proud of our cycling sponsorships and our teams, which include Kristin Armstrong’s Olympic gold medal in the time trial and Lauren Tamayo’s silver medal in the team pursuit. Exergy sponsors cycling because it symbolizes both our company and the renewable energy industry: clean, hardworking, locally engaged and committed to excellence.
Exergy remains a financially strong company and we are pushing forward where we foresee profit and pulling back where we foresee loss. We have honored all of our commitments in the past and we will honor these as we continue our work of providing clean energy, jobs, local partnerships, inspiring athletics and investor profit.
James T. Carkulis is CEO of Exergy Development Group.