The multinational corporation Iberdrola (aka Avangrid) — which is currently the target of multiple bribery, fraud, and corruption cases from California to Iberdrola’s home base in Spain; indeed all across Europe — now plans to develop an industrial wind project on Vermont land owned by New-Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands. Iberdrola / Avangrid has already successfully launched industrial wind projects elsewhere in Vermont, despite opposition from Vermont’s own Fish & Wildlife Department and environmentalists and communities across the state, and despite Vermont utilities making clear they are uninterested in buying any more Big Wind.
In an unprecedented move, Avangrid / Iberdrola has now offered to pay Grafton and Windham residents who vote for the wind project, a bald bribe that has even attracted the attention of the NY Times (“Vermont Wind Project Needs Votes, So Company Offers to Pay Voters”) and the scorn of editors at VT newspapers such as the Rutland Herald, who call it “corrosive,” and the Barre Times Argus, who calls it “an astonishing corruption of the democratic process.”
Based in Spain, Iberdrola is the fourth largest energy company in the world, and the largest wind company in the world. Ownership is mostly Spanish; however, the second-largest shareholder and a strategic partner is Qatar (an oil-producing Arab Emirate on the Persian Gulf). Company value is $66 billion, annual revenues $44 billion, profits in 2011 just under $3 billion. Its energy output mix includes gas (34%), nuclear (19%), coal (12%), and renewables (23%). In the U.S., Iberdrola is the second largest wind company. It also owns utility companies such as Central Maine Power, Rochester Gas and Electric, and New York State Electric and Gas. In Vermont, Iberdrola also seeks to develop the Deerfield wind project, which was tied up in courts until in 2014 the court ruled in favor of Iberdrola. In New York State, Iberdrola was sued by 60 residents living near its wind facility in Herkimer County because of health and noise concerns.
Iberdrola’s fraudulent and corrupt business practices are known the world over, and the company currently faces millions of dollars in fines, tens of millions in proposed fines, and a worldwide ban on World Bank financing. In California, state utilities authorities recently found Iberdrola “misled state officials” and overcharged the state by $371 million, during the state’s 2000-2001 energy crisis. Iberdrola/ Avangrid is being investigated by Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and a recent article in CT’s New Haven Register notes Iberdrola likely changed its US business name to Avangrid because of the “baggage” associated with Iberdrola being at the center of five recent cases of bribery, fraud, and corruption across the globe. Back home in Spain, Iberdrola was recently fined $27M for market manipulation.
Rutland Herald slams “bribe offered by Iberdrola to the people of Windham and Grafton”
In an October 2016 editorial entitled "A Fatal Taint," the editors of the Rutland Herald slam Iberdrola / Avangrid's "corrupting attack on democracy." Writes the Herald: "The bribe offered by Iberdrola to the people of Windham and Grafton ought to be reason alone for them to reject the project."
American Bird Conservancy Denounces Iberdrola / Avangrid Wind Proposal in Grafton & Windham
American Bird Conservancy has sent a letter to Grafton and Windham selectboards, expressing grave concern over high risk to bats and birds in Iberdrola / Avangrid proposed industrial wind site at Meadowsend Timberlands' Stiles Brook Forest.
NY Times covers Iberdrola / Avangrid Vote-Buying Scandal
Katharine Q. Seelye's October 12, 2016 New York Times article covers the Iberdrola / Avangrid vote-buying scandal in Grafton and Windham. "Many residents called the offer an attempt at undue influence," writes Seelye "if not an outright bribe."
Times Argus: Iberdrola / Avangrid “buying votes” in Grafton and Windham
"Sensing that the wind was blowing against them, Iberdrola has decided to pay off the voters. That is an astonishing corruption of the democratic process." An October 9th Editorial at the Times Argus pulls no punches in addressing the latest scheme of Iberdrola / Avangrid to influence Vermont voters.
Windham and Grafton Residents Outraged by Iberdrola’s Latest Actions
Windham and Grafton residents expressed outrage at Iberdrola / Avangrid’s latest offer of direct annual payments to registered voters. The company has offered direct annual payments to registered voters who choose to "opt in." The taxable payment is contingent on communities’ voting for the project, and has wide-ranging potential to skew the local vote, possibly including the vote for Vermont's governor which many see as a referendum on the future of industrial wind for Vermont's communities.
Windham Foundation comes out against Iberdrola / Avangrid industrial wind project
The Windham Foundation of Grafton, Vermont, publishes a letter in the Grafton News affirming the Foundation's opposition to the proposed Iberdrola / Avangrid industrial wind project at Meadowsend Timberlands' Stiles Brook Forest.
Gov. Peter Shumlin Hands over VT National Forest to Corrupt Foreign Company While Literally Giving the Finger to VT Residents
No, you did not read that headline incorrectly. On Monday, September 19, 2016, VT Governor Peter Shumlin flipped the bird to VT residents who were assembled on park grounds, as Shumlin sped past in his SUV to join corrupt foreign multinational Iberdrola / Avangrid in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $80 million Deerfield Wind project, the first ever commercial wind project to be built in a national forest. Iberdrola / Avanngrid, who faces no less than five recent cases of fraud and corruption around the world, millions of dollars in fines, tens of millions in proposed fines, and a worldwide ban on World Bank financing, is the same company who has partnered with New-Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands to install 28 other unneeded turbines, also on Vermont land, at Stiles Brook Forest.
California finds Iberdrola guilty of overcharging state $371 million
The Los Angeles Times reports that a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Judge has found Iberdrola (aka Avangrid) guilty of overcharging California consumers during the state's energy crisis of 2000-2001, that "the public was clearly, palpably, seriously harmed by the energy crisis," and that Iberdrola "misled state officials" to the tune of $371 million.
Iberdrola, fined $27M for market manipulation, lodges appeal
With five recent cases of fraud and corruption around the world, millions of dollars in fines, tens of millions in proposed fines, and a worldwide ban on World Bank financing, multinational Iberdrola is appealing its $27-million fine from Spain's National Markets and Competition Commission. Only time will tell if Vermont lawmakers will decide that they want nothing to do with the corrupt company, or with New-Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands, who together have proposed to install 28 unneeded turbines on Vermont land, at Stiles Brook Forest.
Vermont lawmakers want to ban industrial wind energy
Industrial wind projects -- such as the Stiles Brook Forest turbines proposed by corrupt multinational Iberdrola (Avangrid) and New-Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands -- are now facing opposition not only from environmentalists and communities, but from lawmakers from all across Vermont. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate want to ban any future industrial wind projects. Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex-Orleans, introduced a bill on the first day of the session earlier this month. Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Irasburg, introduced another on Wednesday.
Now synonymous with fraud and corruption, Iberdrola changes name of its US holding company to “Avangrid”
At the center of five recent cases of fraud and corruption around the world, the Spanish and Arab-owned Iberdrola seeks to distance itself from its own name. How long until the New-Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands is forced to do the same?
Wind farm developer went to prison for wire fraud, money laundering
There must be something in the air. Just weeks ago it came to light that Iberdrola, the multinational corporation behind Meadowsend Timberlands' proposed Stiles Brook Forest industrial wind site, is the target of multiple fraud and corruption cases across Europe. This week we find the CEO of the company hoping to build [Oklahoma's] first wind farm west of Springdale embezzled about $785,000 in Oklahoma a decade ago, according to federal and state court records in Oklahoma.
Vermont Utility CEO explains why industrial “green” energy plan is DOA
One of the more appalling aspects of the proposed Iberdrola / Meadowsend Timberlands industrial wind project at Stiles Brook Forest: Iberdrola currently has no buyer for the energy they (might) produce, and would likely have to sell it "elsewhere" (read: NY), because Vermont utilities have made clear they are uninterested in buying any more Big Wind. Turbine_BurningIn a new interview with Vermont Watchdog, Dave Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, explains why Vermont’s so-called "green" energy agenda (ie, foreign multinationals blowing up VT ridgelines) appears to be dead on arrival.
BREAKING: Iberdrola the Target of Multiple Fraud and Corruption Investigations in Europe
It seems Iberdrola's chickens are coming home to roost, not only in Grafton and Windham, but also in Connecticut and across Europe. The Spanish- and Arab-owned megacorporation into whose bed Meadowsend Timberlands has crept, while offering Grafton and Windham money to do the same, is the target of multiple fraud and corruption cases across Europe. According to a new article in CT's newspaper of record, The Hartford Courant, an investigation by CT's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has revealed that Iberdrola has five recent cases of fraud and corruption around the world, with millions of dollars in fines, tens of millions in proposed fines and a worldwide ban on World Bank financing.
The selling of southern Vermont: Iberdrola & Meadowsend Timberlands meet with Grafton and Windham
"[The] turbines would produce 96.9 megawatts of electricity, which is estimated to be enough to power all the homes in Windham and Bennington counties," an alternately hostile and exasperated Windham crowd was told Tuesday evening, as they gathered to hear the latest from Iberdrola and Meadowsend Timberlands (video here). That none of the energy produced at Stiles Brook Forest will actually go to Vermont utilities–who have made clear that they neither require nor welcome more industrial wind power — but will likely be sold instead to New York, remains an issue that Iberdrola and Meadowsend reps do their best to downplay.
Iberdrola & Meadowsend Timberlands: Putting a price on Vermont’s environmental future
On Monday night in Grafton, using figures based on hypothetical maximum-use scenarios, dangling 6- and 7-figure payouts, multinational corporation Iberdrola did their best to quiet environmentalist and community opposition to the unprecedented size and short-sightedness of the proposed Stiles Brook Forest industrial wind project whose largest beneficiary is NH-based land owner Meadowsend Timberlands.
Iberdrola cited for violations, may lose right to operate Groton wind farm
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (‘SEC’) has announced hearings to determine whether to suspend and revoke the Certificate of Site and Facility granted Groton Wind LLC, wholly-owned and managed by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. Iberdrola’s Groton Wind has been cited for the following violations: Unauthorized relocation of the project’s operations and maintenance (‘O&M’) building; Unauthorized relocation of two of the Gamesa G87 turbines; Failure to comply with the NH State Fire Code; Failure to comply with the NH State Building Code; Safety and Maintenance concerns; Inadequate Environmental, Health, and Safety Plan.