A congressional report has called into question a $102 million federal loan guarantee given to a 22-turbine wind farm in Roxbury developed in part by Brunswick-based Independence Wind. But company officials dispute the report, saying they acted in accordance with all federal guidelines.
Prompted by the collapse of solar company Solyndra, the federal House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform studied federal loans and loan guarantees to energy projects, according to The Associated Press. The report questions whether the Record Hill wind project adequately qualifies for the U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee, since the technology must be considered innovative. Rob Gardiner, president of Independence Wind, a partner in the project, said the project meets all qualifications and that the company is repaying the loans. The other partner in the wind farm project is New Hampshire's Wagner Wind Energy I.
The House committee has argued that the DOE was supposed to pick innovative projects for loans and guarantees, but department supporters said the use of new technology wasn't a congressional mandate, and that the department sought projects using technology that wasn't yet commercialized in the United States, according to The New York Times. Committee documents say the DOE has guaranteed $14.5 billion in loans under a so-called 1705 loan program, established under the 2009 recovery act. Solyndra, a California-based solar panel manufacturer, went bankrupt in August 2011 after having received $528 million in federal loan guarantees.
Former Gov. Angus King recently sold off his stake in Independence Wind to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest as he runs for U.S. Senate.