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April 19, 2024

InvEnergy’s Wind Farm Joins “WALL OF SHAME” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 12, 2016

InvEnergy’s wind farm joins “WALL OF SHAME”

(InvEnergy owes Champaign County $480,298 in unpaid taxes.)

Recently, we shed a spotlight on three parcels of land in Champaign County which have unpaid taxes in the California Ridge Wind Farm developed and partially owned by INVENERGY which is 90% owned by TerraForm Power, which is 100% owned by now-bankrupt SunEdison.

Today, another news article surfaced which gained our attention and can be read HERE.

It turns out that our previous announcement that InvEnergy/TerraForm Power owed $37,393 in late tax payments was only the tip of the iceburg.  Todays article is more like the whole iceburg.  We were informed that the News-Gazette published numerous tax ID numbers within the classified page “legal notices” section.   A large bulk of the parcels are occupied by California Ridge Wind Energy.

Champaign County Treasurer Dan Welch says, at this point, the county has collected 98.5% of this year’s property taxes. Most of the rest will be paid by bidders buying the debt at the tax sale October 21.

The county is still trying to collect $3 – $4 million dollars worth of property taxes.

InvEnergy/TerraForm power’s wind farm (California Ridge Wind Energy LLC) owes the MOST OUTSTANDING PROPERTY TAX BILL IN ALL OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY IN THE AMOUNT OF $480,298

If the news posting is correct, it means that California Wind Energy LLC is delinquent $480,298.

Excerpt from the states the following:

For some, it feels like a “wall of shame.”  “Unfortunately, I think a lot of people see it that way, but from a tax collector standpoint, we see it as a notification.”

If paying your property taxes is the law of this land, then InvEnergy or TerraForm Power are indeed lawbreakers.  Why should communities allow lawbreakers to build new projects within the borders?  When InvEnergy or another energy company comes knocking on your door for their new project, remember to check to see that they have a handle on paying the taxes for all of their existing projects.

Wow!  What should we do with these “non-paying bums?”

Is a “bum” the proper term to use when referencing InvEnergy/TerraForm Power/SunEdison?

The definition of a “bum” is as follows:

As a noun:
1. A tramp; a vagrant.
2. A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others.
3. An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person: The batter called the pitcher a bum.
4. One who spends a lot of time doing a particular recreational activity: beach bum; a ski bum.
v. bummedbum·mingbums
1. To live by begging and scavenging from place to place. Often used with around.
2. To pass time idly; loaf. Often used with around.
1. To acquire by begging; cadge. See Synonyms at cadge.
2. Slang To depress, dishearten, or dismay. Often used with out.
1. Inferior; worthless: gave me bum advice; did a bum job of fixing the car.
2. Disabled; malfunctioning: bum shoulder.
3. Unfavorable or unfair: got a bum deal on my final grade for the course.
4. Unpleasant; lousy: had a bum time at the party.
on the bum
1. Living as a vagrant or tramp.
2. Out of order; broken.

InvEnergy has failed to pay for the property taxes, which is a broken promise from the days when their spokesmen came to the Champaign County Board boasting and bragging how they were going to be great community partners and good neighbors and would be more than happy to pay all these new taxes and boost the budget of the county.

We are unsure if anyone wants to risk purchasing the unpaid taxes even though the rate of return if the taxes are eventually paid will be approximately 16% interest on the amount owed.  It would be a lot of money for a few entities to cover, but where there is big risk, there could be big reward.  TerraForm Power stock price is about 25% of what it was on 

APRIL 24, 2015:  TerraForm Power stock price = $41.68
Oct 11, 2015:  TerraForm Power stock price = $13.43
It appears, since TerraForm is only worth 32.2% of it’s value compared to 18 months ago, it seems to be a sinking ship.  “HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.”

Based on InvEnergy’s/TerraForm Power’s past performance, it is our opinion that no community should ever negotiate with non-paying bums.  If InvEnergy was our free-loading cousin living in our apartment above the garage, we’d “kick the bum out!”

Fact:  “InvEnergy’s CalRidge Wind Farm did a bum job paying their taxes on time this year.”
Fact:  “InvEnergy bummed out more than a few of the Champaign County taxpayers.”
Fact:  “InvEnergy’s/TerraForm Power’s California Ridge management people must have been bumming around instead of writing and sending these checks on time.”
Fact:  “98.5% of Champaign County property taxes have been collected”
Fact:  “2.5% of Champaign County property taxes have not been collected”
Fact:  “InvEnergy/TerraForm Power owes the highest amount of any unpaid tax debt in Champaign County”
Fact:  “InvEnergy/TerraForm Power falls in BOTTOM 2.5% of all property owners in Champaign County as far as on-time tax payments being rectified.”

Prediction:  “InvEnergy will have one or more “bum” wind turbines within the California Ridge Wind Farm in the next 12 months.”  We’ll be watching and counting the ones having major repairs and require huge cranes to dismantle and replace major components.

The Edgar County Watchdogs hereby request that InvEnergy or TerraForm Power or TerraForm Power’s parent company SunEdison send a messenger to give us a full explanation of why the property taxes have gone unpaid.

Note to the readers:  SunEdison is TerraForm Power’s parent company.  SunEdison has received 650 million dollars in subsidies and tax credits since 2000.  SunEdison value went from a 10 billion dollar company in July 2015 down to a 600 million dollar company just eight months later.

Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
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1 Comment
  • Judy Wilcox
    Posted at 10:30h, 12 October

    Invenergy did the same thing in Antelope County, Nebraska until a citizen brought it up at a County Supervisor meeting. In 2015 during construction of their Priarie Breeze projects the Bank of New York Mellon also put a DOT (Deed of Trust) on the leasees land during construction, these were removed later on. But I would say they could again have a Deed of Trust put on them again if bank needs the collateral.