The Tallahassee Democrat has published an opinion piece by Acting City of Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad that contradicts facts in the public record about the foreign ownership of the City of Tallahassee’s soon to be completed solar farm.
Goad states in the opinion piece that Origis – the developer and owner of the solar farm – is “a private U.S. company with projects across the nation…”
However, as TR has previously reported, Origis Energy is a foreigned owned company with financial ties to Belgium and Cyprus.
The company created by Origis Energy, “FL SOLAR 1 LLC”, to collect payments from solar customers in Tallahassee, is listed with the state of Florida as a “Foreign Limited Liability Company.” In this case, this indicates that the company originated out of the state of Florida.
See the image of the registration below:
The “FL Solar 1 LLC” registration shows Guy Vanderhaegan and Samir Verstyn as managers and the annual report shows the company was originally registered in Delaware.
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.
The City of Tallahassee has been reluctant to discuss the foreign nature of the popular solar project.
There has been no mention of the foreign ownership of Origis in the City of Tallahassee media blitz about the solar project.
In addition, TR could find no information provided to the city commission about the foreign ownership of Origis during the procurement process.
The reluctance of the City of Tallahassee to discuss the foreign ownership of the solar project could be about jobs and the local economy.
An Origis representative recently told TR that no local recurring jobs would be created by the project which is projected to be operational for approximately 20 years.
In addition, the millions of dollars that were previously paid by city electric customers to the city-owned electric utility, and benefited the local economy, will now be paid to a foreign company.
The impact of a foreign owned renewable energy project on local economies has been investigated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The NREL research found that locally owned renewable energy projects create more economic benefits because local projects are more likely to use local labor and materials, provide benefits to local shareholders, and borrow from local banks.
The local media, until now, has remained silent on this controversial issue.
However, with the Tallahassee Democrat promoting a factual incorrect opinion piece about the solar project, maybe other media outlets will feel obligated to weigh-in.