The Wall St. Journal article By DAVID C. PARRISThe U.S. Energy Information Administration says the company behind Skyland, Skyland-Voltage and Skyland Precision Power Products is responsible for at least four major power system failures in the past five years.
Skyland Energy Solutions, formerly known as Skyland Power Systems, was bought by Skyland Corp. in 2011.
The company is the owner of the Skyland solar thermal plant in Florida, where it has installed 1,300 solar thermal systems and another 800 on the rooftops of houses.
The U.N. Environment Program says the plant, which is the world’s largest in terms of solar capacity, is responsible, in part, for a spike in deaths from COVID-19-related respiratory illnesses in the United States.
Skylands solar thermal plants are now generating enough power to power about 1.3 million homes.
The plant’s safety record is troubling.
In December 2016, Skylands Solar Thermal plant operator and owner Eric K. Boulanger, Jr., was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and related charges.
In November 2016, a federal court ruled that the plant operator was negligent in failing to notify authorities of an electrical fire in the solar thermal system, which killed a woman in January 2017.
The Suncoast Power Systems plant operator, Richard P. Davenport, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and wire fraud in July 2017 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The government says he defrauded customers in the U.K. and elsewhere.
Skylander’s solar thermal facility in Florida was also at fault for a September 2016 fire that killed an employee and severely damaged the plant’s equipment.
Skylanders solar thermal and other solar thermal power plants in Florida have since been retrofitted with more safety equipment, according to the U,N.
The plants are not expected to resume operation for another three years.