United States

United States

Inappropriate and unappreciated

The author claims that recent Windpower Monthly articles regarding Zond had several errors. Editor's comments follow.

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I read your recent articles regarding Zond with interest and would like to correct certain lapses in fact and supposition.

First, Jim Dehlsen and I, as the two largest shareholders of Zond, decided it would be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to join with an aggressive, progressive company such as Enron. Our board agreed. Jim, who will turn 60 this year, after having founded and built one of the more successful companies in the renewables industry, decided to retire as chairman, but will remain a director of Zond and Chairman Emeritus, and is a director of Enron Renewable Energy Corp. He also will be a consultant to Zond, focusing his special talents on several important projects in Europe and Latin America. The choice of the word "out" to describe Jim's role at Zond is not only inaccurate, but given Jim's position as one of the pioneers and senior statesman of this industry, disrespectful.

Second, Zond sold its interest in the Vansycle project to an unrelated US based company in December, and has no interest in the project.

Third, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued a ruling with respect to the Iowa AEP law (Windpower Monthly, February 1997) that essentially upheld the state's right to require a utility to include renewables in its generating mix, but held that the utility could not be required to pay above the "avoided cost" for such power under PURPA. Zond led this battle at FERC and we believe the outcome benefits all renewables advocates. Pursuant to this decision, as the winning bidder in MidAmerica's request for proposals, Zond is engaged in negotiations with MidAmerica to finalise a power contract under which Zond will build a substantial wind facility in Iowa on land already permitted and for which extensive wind data has been taken. While it is not clear an agreement will result, Zond believes the negotiations are taking place in good faith. The comments about the negotiations being a "sham" and innuendoes regarding Zond's motives were inappropriate, inaccurate and unappreciated.

Fourth, the largest single wind turbine in the US is Zond's 750 kW Z-46, on which you have previously reported, not the machine referred to on page 20 of the February issue.

In conclusion, I would be grateful if you would make a greater effort to achieve accuracy in your reporting and, more importantly from my perspective, to modify your editorial policy such that the tone of your articles is less accusatory, pejorative, controversial, and often unpleasant.

Had Zond responded in January to attempts to communicate with top officials by both Windpower Monthly's correspondents in the US, omissions in our article, referred to here by Kenneth Karas, would have become apparent to us. Furthermore, the ruling on the AEP law (page 23-24) occurred on January 29, after the deadline for our February issue, and an action group, not Windpower Monthly, characterises MidAmerican's negotiations as a sham, as is clear from our article. No disrespect at all was intended to Jim Dehlsen in our (accurate) report that he is no longer chairman of Zond. We regret any inconvenience caused should our article in any way have mislead readers. -----Ed.

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