[Fremont, California USA]
Odd and eerie inspection at the failed CPV (Concentrating PhotoVoltaic) firm’s headquarters.
|From GreenVolts Auction Inspection|
Ever since I retweeted the Auction HQ promotion of the GreenVolts Live Webcast Auction, I knew I just had to inspect the items up for bid and get to see their former Fremont headquarters and solar R&D facility.
CA Global Partners (formerly Cowan Alexander) will conduct the GreenVolts Auction on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 11:00am PST (Pacific Standard Time). While the inspection was Monday, the items are listed online in the preliminary catalog, and bidders are required to register for the Live Webcast Auction.
In truth, I did not know what to expect and wasn’t sure I would get to take photos. I even forgot to take a few photos outside the building. There were no outside signs for the auction inspection although I was greeted as I approached the main entrance.
Here is a Picasa slideshow of items and scenes that caught my interest during the inspection.
Sorry, I’m not sharing which items I may bid on in the auction!
Moving through the rooms and reviewing the various assets, I would have much preferred an official guided tour from GreenVolts as an operating entity. After I posted GreenVolts Jolts Concentrating PhotoVoltaic (CPV) Business Plans in 2009, an accurate depiction of the company’s CPV technology do over, GreenVolts never answered another question from me, and I did try numerous times.
I took uncomfortable heat for my post last year about the McKinley Children’s Center going solar with GreenVolts CPV. With extra care, I tried to separate fact from my own opinion, an opinion I shared with McKinley’s Chief of Administration in hopes of changing the non-profit’s choice of solar technology or financial arrangement or both. I only feel rather empty vindication about my attempts today. I hope West Hills Construction does indeed have the IP (Intellectual Property) escrow in place and has procured sufficient spare parts to maintain the systems for at least 20 years.
Before leaving the inspection, I presented my business card and chatted with one of auctioneers. I heard the Fremont facility had been in bad shape (“trashed”) and required a huge cleanup effort to prepare for the inspection. A warehouse of spare parts will also be auctioned in southern California. GreenVolts projects such as the Mission Falls Court Test Site and GV1’ (prime) are not part of the Tuesday asset sale. I understand efforts are underway to sell them as operating assets to parties with direct interests. However, if the efforts fail, the projects may well have the same fate as GreenVolts GV1: Demolition Man. The project land is leased after all.
Oh, and I do not believe for one second the explanation provided by ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB) in “ABB responds on why it decided to stop investing in GreenVolts” by Katie Fehrenbacher at GigaOM though I congratulate her for getting the statement. I think ABB finally came to their senses and stopped investing in an underperforming CPV technology that boasted “The Only Complete, Fully-Integrated Solar System” and dared to compare themselves with Apple.
I’m almost convinced now that GreenVolts was, in fact, a FRINGE event.