Well ... Here we go again .... As if the lessons of 38 Special weren't still clear, like an Anvil from the Acme Corporation
From the Fine Folks @ The Providence Journal ....
By Kate Bramson
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An early-stage company, rTerra PV Solutions, won final approval Thursday from a subcommittee of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation for a $300,000 loan from the state’s Renewable Energy Fund.
The company, which is headquartered in Middletown, expects its flexible mounting system for solar panels can lower material and labor costs for installing solar panels.
The loan was approved by a unanimous vote of the corporation’s access to capital subcommittee, according to Oscar T. “Tim” Hebert, a member of both the corporation’s board of directors and its subcommittee. The subcommittee met in an executive session with a company executive Thursday morning to go over issues that arose at the last Commerce Corporation meeting, which was Jan. 27, Hebert said. The committee was satisfied that company executives are committed to investing in the company and remaining here in Rhode Island, Hebert said.
The loan will be paid out of the state’s Renewable Energy Fund, which is funded by a renewable energy surcharge of $0.0003 per kilowatt hour on electricity used by customers in Rhode Island. The company had applied to the fund’s “early-stage commercialization program,” which is intended to encourage the development of “emerging technologies in the renewable energy space.”
In a Providence Journal article dated January 28,
"Loan repayment would trigger once the company has positive cash flow for six consecutive months, according to the Commerce Corporation. The company forecasts that would be by July 1, 2015."
And if that never happens? Besides, its Solar Power ... What could possibly go wrong? Ask the Feds about Solyndra ... or the State of Massachusetts re: Evergreen Power ... I've listed a link below from Greentech Media which will give you a complete picture of the "Green Space"
Government should not be loaning\investing money to private industry, period. We continue, as a nation, to privatize success and socialize failure through the use of taxpayer funded "investments" in private ventures. This is (very) thinly disguised crony capitalism.
- Private Equity exists to fulfill the role of market driven investments. If the technology is attractive, sufficient private capital exists to fund its growth
- Rhode Island State Government simply does not have the smahts, or the talent, to be an appropriate judge of investments ...
- And Rhode Island State Government should not be picking winners and losers using taxpayer money as risk capital
- As seems to be the EDC's MO, 300,00$ is the maximum investment allowed by the governing regulations (Sound Familiar?) And doesn't everyone always qualify for the Max?
- It appears that there will be little or no transparency as to the specifics of the arrangement, as in, the underlying financials, personal guarantees, board representation, etc At the time of submission, I have been told that a formal written request must be submitted for evaluation to the EDC RI Commerce. Prior history would suggest that this request will be denied ... Witness the "Executive Session" where the final decision/analysis was reached. More on this to come ....
So I repeat my mantra from the early days of 38 Special ... No Equity, No Board Seat, No Personal Guarantee .... No Future
Some Important Links ....
2013 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND PROGRAMS
GreenTech Media: Failed Solar Companies
EcoRI News Article
January 28 Article - Providence Journal
February 6 Article - Providence Journal