Tallahassee Reports has learned that the City of Tallahassee’s solar project is being financed and constructed by a private Belgium company that is registered in Cyprus, an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean.
This means that payments made by city residents, who have chosen to buy electricity from the solar project, will be leaving Tallahassee to support a foreign company.
When contacted by TR, city officials said that the location of Origis Energy Ltd., was not considered when pursuing the vendor.
City of Tallahassee public documents related to the popular project do not identify the foreign nature of the vendor. In fact, the names listed in public documents convey just the opposite.
The agenda for a September 28th, 2016 city commission meeting described the solar project vendor as Origis Energy USA.
In addition, the agenda stated the project name and contracting entity would be “FL Solar 1 LLC”.
A search of Florida business registrations reveals that “FL Solar 1 LLC” is a foreign registered limited liability company. There is no mention of Origis Energy USA in the their state of Florida registration.
The “FL Solar 1 LLC” registration shows that Guy Vanderhaegan and Samir Verstyn as managers.
Research indicates that Mr. Vanderhaegan is listed as a “Founder and Managing Partner” of Origis Energy Ltd.
Bloomberg financial reports that Origis Energy USA, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Origis Energy Ltd, a company founded in 2008 and is based in Limassol, Cyprus.
Further research indicates Origis Energy Ltd. originated in Belgium and recently received $100 million in funding from a European private investment firm named Baltisse. Baltisse is also located in Belgium.
TR also asked city staff where the solar panels for the project were being manufactured.
We were referred to an Origis company spokesman that stated in an email that the solar panels for the City of Tallahassee project are purchased from First Solar, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ.
However, the spokesman said that they “cannot comment on where they are specifically assembled or produced as they have manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and other countries.”
The First Solar website lists manufacturing locations in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Perrysburg, Ohio.