The Value of the Amonix failure

Epic Failure

Here’s your opportunity! 

 It’s all what I think.. and thinking seems to be all too rare now days..

 It’s still very early in the discovery process, and there is no doubt that there are certain people who will want this story to end as quickly as possible. I do think the more recent story out of Nevada has some gems in it, the article is careful to cover the political implications, and there’s a few quotes from Harry Reid who attempts to make the point that the funding of Amonix, and the two Companies that bought their unproven  7700- eight generation trackers  ‘NextEra, and Congentrix’ was a bi-partisan decision.  I think it’s Harry’s hope that people don’t dig too deep into Amonix, but with hundreds of acres of expensive and worthless equipment in the field, how will that be ignored? 

Webpages are out there still, the NREL promoting Amonix, and if your research comes to the same conclusions as mine, you’ll know that Amonix NEVER had a viable product EVER! As I’ve said elsewhere, the evidence is in the field, and what you will see next, is the hundreds of acres of this equipment will never be cost effectively rehabilitated.

The Department of Energy didn’t just hand Amonix millions, they also funded other companies to buy the totally unproven and untested Amonix 7700 CPV trackers. Fact is, there never was a proven Eight generation 7700 tracker.

Here’s some valuable learning…

LUX research

On the positive side, Eckstein sees concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) specialist Amonix as a leading contender to pursue an IPO within the next year, along with the CdTe module producer Abound Solar.
Top contender
“Amonix is a top contender,” says Eckstein. “Successful project developments in the coming year could open the door for an IPO, [while] Abound is swiftly following in the footsteps of First Solar.”

What I think we need ask.. is how did Eckstein get it so wrong?  And who are the fools that will listen to LUX Research Next? There’s more gems in the article below. But, what we might take away from all this is the largest question… Where are the people who ask good questions? who verifies these claims?

That old saying.. you need put 80% of your efforts into marketing and the promotion of your product and 20% into the product itself..  I’d say that’s going to prove fairly accurate in the case of Amonix.  

What we find on the internet is pages and pages of praise, awards, photo opportunities, praise from the President of the United States and other Politicians.

Do as much research as you like, you’ll be hard pressed to find even one person who asks a good question or expresses interest in verifying any of the information presented on the Amonix WEBsite that seems void of any real technical information.

And a certain Engineer with a Doctorates that gives a presentation on Amonix’s efforts to provide a 25 year life in the field.. Go to hatch, and you’ll find proof that this stuff wasn’t designed well enough to make it a year in the field without damage. Look at the theory of wind protection, give it to a high school science class and see if they don’t shoot the whole concept full of holes!

Fact is.. we are lead to believe that NextEra and Congentrix bought millions upon Millions of dollars of this stuff….. or really?  Are we to believe that these two companies are just as inept as the Department of Energy? Not a single person within their companies smart enough to research and find out that there really was no proper field test of the Amonix 7700 eight generation of tracker? Maybe their risk was made so low that they didn’t have reason to care?

It’s all a little strange that both of these companies have been absolutely silent regarding the many problems they’ve found in the field. It was reported to me by a reliable person that NextEra literally locked out Amonix and their contractors from the Hatch Power Plant once they understood that Amonix wasn’t able to fix the problems. I think the root of the problem was Amonix didn’t have the money to do so, but what you will likely learn in the next year is no one has enough money to fix what’s wrong with these two power plants.

As I may have said elsewhere, there is the possibility of setting the trackers in a fixed position, and using them as mounts for a more reliable and trouble free Solar PV technology. This may be a opportunity for another company, and it should be fairly well understood by now that you don’t need much of a plan to get money from the Department of Energy. Maybe you just call them up, drop by with a good sketch on the back of a napkin, and ask for a $15 million grant to produce a more detailed study?

Do a few google searches, an example is key words ‘Amonix IPO’.  read a few and ask yourself. Were these folks this wrong, or were they well paid for writing the article?

I will always cherish that email I got from Jon Ralston.. “you sir… are a real piece of work!”,  you make a lot of assumptions!

I’d like to counter that.. the entire media as I see it are a real ‘piece of lazy’, if the story isn’t handed to them, they won’t do it. The Las Vegas Sun? Go to their Website  and type in Amonix.. ask yourself.. how can the World’s largest CPV power plants that will cover hundreds of acres be shipped out of Las Vegas and not be worthy of a follow-up story? If you can’t count on them to do that, what good are they? Perhaps, it’s the sale ads that folks in Nevada find value in? Maybe the Sun needed permission to follow this story and didn’t get it? 

As I say, there’s so much to learn from Amonix, and that’s why I’ve put the effort into it. As Kermit the Frog once said “It’s good to be green.”

There is another company I’ve been following, their product is totally worthless, a grade school kid could do the basic calcs and tell you that the device is barely capable of running a light bulb! This company is run by another Harvard grad with a business degree.

He’s put all his effort into marketing, he has enough investors to build piles of junk that look fairly impressive.  With absolutely no need to prove the value of his product as of this date, he’s been able to hire more people, and he now claims the Department of Energy is interested in his company!

We could easily correct a lot of this waste and abuse if only we had a few reporters out there that didn’t have butts shaped just like the seat of their office chair. If only they had the critical thinking skills to ask… “so it seems you are claiming about 1000 times more energy out of your machine than you put in?”  God knows the DOE doesn’t make time for that level of analysis BEFORE they hand out Promise Notes and assign them to you to repay..

Do watch Martha again… now we ask.. did she have a reason to be so nervous giving Her TED talk?  No, this is not a stupid woman.. but likely caught up in all of this in the pursuit of a paycheck..

OK, 80% of a post is in the editing.. I have yet to do that, but wanted this up ASAP..

Have a great day, and do thank that idiot you know that votes for anything green. I do love solar PV by the way… and I am angry that the Department of Energy has done so much to totally destroy it’s reputation.  As I said elsewhere, I’m glad Spain doesn’t have a big Army, when they figure out they bought a pig in a poke on the DOE’s recommendation, they’re going to be really pissed off.. you do know they too bought a big field full of junk..

Can I say this too much?  El Paso Electric has the blue print for what should be a requirement. Richard Turner who heads up their Alternative Energy Investments has lead the way in setting up access to the power meters that lay between the Solar PV power plants, and El Paso Electric Customers. Any interested party can compare how these plants perform, and you will note just how sickly the Hatch power plant has performed. Thank you Richard Turner and the department of talented people you lead.  I do hope other power companies will see the wisdom of following the Example EPE sets.. WE need note that we are NOT the only people ‘forced’ to make green investments, the power companies are too.

When we are ‘forced’ to invest, shouldn’t there be some penality for those who forced us to make an unsound investment? One that was never really researched? Best we can do is forget all about their party, just vote them out, it’s the only tool we really have..      


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6 Responses to The Value of the Amonix failure

  1. Bill knighton says:

    Ever notice how the dot comers and their descents a decade later waste no opertunity to brag about their failures and how great a thing failure is. We don’t see the investors and tax victims represented at Ted or NPR during these orgies of failure induced congratulation. Imagine the creditibility of someone who fails this way in big green. You are correct we will be seeing them around.

  2. Bhagwan says:

    George, great post!!
    Thanks for what you do!!!!
    Wish the little person like me could do more to change things, other than vote.
    Suggestions for readers to spread the truth would be helpful.
    Side-note, I can’t take watching Martha one more time, it’s painful. 🙂

    • George B. says:

      Thanks Bhagwan,

      Here’s what I think we MUST do… We need to write our elected officials and ask to please keep a MOST inept Department of Energy out of picking the winners and losers in AE..

      As I’ve said before, I think we’d be hard pressed to find an experienced garage mechanic that wouldn’t have been very >SKEPTICAL< OF the Amonix claims. Those who BLINDLY support the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY handing out our money and playing Santa Claus is hurting America's credibility and doing much to injure the whole AE industry. Cogentrics apparently has a "hand to play out" in this game, they are claiming that their plant is opearting just fine, and they are meeting the terms of their power production contract. That contract is not public, and we should demand they are made public when our money is used, it's not the DOE's money, it's ours. We note that being a skeptic is not fashionable in the Gang Green Crowd, and apparently not in the Obama administration either. A bumper sticker? 'Anyone can do the DOE' George

  3. Greg says:

    I”m always wary of people that feel they need to use 3 names.

  4. Bob Frank says:

    As a previous employee I thought this was a very well written article. I thought Amonix was set up as a Ponzi from the very beginning. It was all about getting the IPO money and running versus trying to design, manufacture & install a viable product before the walls caved in. It was more about building a pedigree of employees (Harvard, MIT, Etc.) for the IPO then running a company. For the record I resigned and hold no animosity towards Amonix but it was sad to see a lot of good conscientious people displaced. I can tell you that the original Director of Quality communicated “ALL” these issues that now clutter the landscapes to senior management including the board and was let go because of his effort to fix what was wrong.

    • George B. says:


      Here’s a page worthy of review

      I do think it’s very interesting to study the comments made by Steven Chu I share that on this page. His announcement that the Amonix 7700 power plant in Alamosa is PROVEN technology. Does he sound exactly like that typical Marketing guy that wants to sell it and get his comission.. even if the product doesn’t exist yet? It does cause us to question who all was working on that IPO, and who all would benifit?

      If technical minds attempt to make an acessment of Dr. Chu’s performance, they find him in ‘Marketing Mode’. We assume he has the basic concepts of CPV down, and that he understands that it isn’t an easy technology. We reflect on Martha’s comments found on the DOE’s NREL pages, she mentions that one of the folks in the NREL left to join Amonix and of course she ties it to the conviction that the new Multi Junction Cell is near God Sent! Those who have worked projects like this will make note.

      There’s reason to suspect that both Steven Chu, and Martha roles were well defined by their leadership. If not, we need access how inept they are, and why they are fit to do more than work for speedy lube in the future..

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