Friday, 12 April 2013

Another green energy failure: FBI investigating company which was supposed to install hundreds of charging stations for electric cars in 20 U.S. areas

The handful of electric car owners in Chicago will have to wait for their "filling stations".

There seems to be no end to the failures in the "green" energy business. The latest greenie flagship project to fail is the "rollout" of hundreds of chargaing stations for electric cars in Chicago and 19 other U.S. areas. 

In February 2011 there were enthusiastic media reports about a bright new future for the miniscule number of electric car owners in Chicago and 19 other U.S. regions:

Chicagoans soon will be able to juice up their electric cars at charging stations at Willis Tower, five local tollway oases, O’Hare and Midway airports and at select I-GO, Zipcar, grocery store and shopping mall parking lots.
That futuristic scenario will become reality later this year, as electric cars reach dealerships and as San Diego, Calif.-based company 350Green installs 280 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the region.=

The rollout is funded by $1 million in federal stimulus money, plus $1 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 350Green invested $6.9 million to cover the upfront costs.

To years later, not one of the charging stations is functioning, and the FBI is investigating the 350 Green project. The FBI declined to comment, but it seems clear that the $1 million in federal stimulus money, plus $1 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity have gone down the drain - and God knows how many millions of public money have been lost on the other 19 similar projects elsewhere: 
 Several hundred charging stations were supposed to have been installed by 350Green before the end of 2011, but work stopped some time ago, the company said. Projects by the company in 19 other markets also have been halted. -

Two Chicago-area contractors working on the project, and others with direct knowledge of the situation, told the Tribune the FBI has been examining the 350Green project. The status of the investigation isn't clear. The FBI declined to comment.
Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the Tribune under the Freedom of Information Act show that 350Green submitted copies of checks to the city in order to receive state and federal grant money.
The checks show contractors were paid. But three contractors contacted by the Tribune said they hadn't received those checks and had been paid only a portion of what they were owed overall. In the hope of getting reimbursed, some have filed liens against retailers that agreed to host charging stations.

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