Wind Power Industry Convenes in San Diego Amid Howls Over Which Way Stimulus Funds Are Blowing

The movers and shakers in wind power are gathering in San Diego this week for what some renewable energy advocates view as the U.S. industry’s most important annual meeting—the Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit. They may be in for a chilly reception, though, with recent news accounts that foreign energy companies have been reaping a windfall in U.S. economic stimulus funding.

More than three-quarters of the $2 billion in federal stimulus funding that’s been awarded to help create green jobs in the U.S. has gone to foreign-owned companies, according to a front-page story published yesterday by The San Diego Union-Tribune. An analysis of wind-energy grants was initially released in October by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit at American University in Washington D.C.

The Union-Tribune published a follow-up report, prepared by the nonprofit Watchdog Institute at San Diego State University, that focused on grants that went to foreign wind energy companies with offices in San Diego County. The list includes Eurus Energy America, the La Jolla-based subsidiary of a Japanese company that got $91 million to build a wind farm in western Texas; enXco, the U.S. headquarters of a French-owned company that got $69.5 million to develop a wind farm in Indiana; and the Canon Power Group, with offices near Torrey Pines, which got $19 million to expand its wind farm near Klickitat, WA.

Several wind industry executives explained in the report that development of their U.S. renewable energy projects would have come to a standstill without the funding provided through the … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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