Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Who is Michael Skelly" or "Skelly isn't Really all that Smelly"

Michael Skelly is not the antichrist.  He is not evil.  While he is indifferent to the Midwest, he does not want to destroy the world.

That might be the most positive thing I’ve said about the President of Clean Line Energy.    Michael "Scully" Skelly has had an interesting past before becoming the President of Clean Line Energy.  In many ways, when looking at the President of Clean Line Energy's career from a distance, it's an interesting evolution.   As most may know, Michael Skelly was the President of Horizon Wind Energy before selling it to Goldman Sachs and ultimately flipped to EDP Renewables. 

By the looks of things, at Horizon Wind Energy, he learned how to push his way through deals with land owners who were less than agreeable.  Horizon has their "Good Neighbor Agreements" to silence those who didn't want to live next door to his wind turbines.  There was also some small opposition in Washington, but Skelly prevailed and the wind farm was put through.

Before Skelly was hooked up with Zilkha and Zilkha Renewables, he was apart of the Rainforest Aerial Tram Rail in Costa Rica. The Costa Rica Tram Rail videos on YouTube look spectacular.  If I am ever in Costa Rica, the tram rail is the first place I’m going!  The videos are breathtaking.  A few friends of mine and I have talked about this and we think Skelly really could combine ideas here, an aerial tram plus HVDC powerline. 

Make the Rock Island Clean Line Aerial Tram! 

Make a 500 mile aerial tram across Iowa and Illinois! 

Share the towers with a HVDC powerline.  Surly it will be perfectly safe.  To some of us, nothing is more beautiful and breathtaking than fields of corn and beans.  500 miles of corn and beans and crossing the Mississippi….It would be one of the wonders of the world! 

Think about it Skelly.  You can make this work and possibly salvage RICL.  Farmers might feel the honor of a tram rail across their farmland. Chicago and points east would finally realize the beauty of Iowa from the air and hardly impact the ground beyond the 40'X40' footprint of each tower.  The economic benefit to Spenser County Iowa for tourism might even be greater than the benefit of tens of thousands of acres of wind farms!

Getting back to Michael Skelly’s resume and further proof he is not a “Walter White” kind of villain, Skelly spent time working for Energia Global and New World Power early in his career.  As best as I can tell, I think he sold small electrical generator systems (distributed generation of sorts) in Central America.  Before that, I think there was time spent in the Peace Corp and served in Costa Rica. 

Very honorable.  After he got his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, he went to the Peace Corp.  That’s probably one of the most honorable things a guy could do before starting a career.  So best I can tell, Skelly goes to the Peace Corp, then woks to sell Distributed Generation in Central America.

It’s kind of Ironic.  Skelly starts his career selling distributed generation in Central America, something clean, wholesome, and well…making a difference.  Know he finds himself  working for billionaires attempting one of the greatest land thefts in America.  

Yeah, Michael Skelly is a sort of the “Breaking Bad” of the energy world.  He started as good, wholesome and clean Harvard grad and becomes a big business industrialist who will take whatever he wants from anyone in his was.  In any case, the optimist in me still thinks there is some good in Michael Skelly.  

 He’s a Democrat for crying out loud.  He wants to save the world but realizes for the benefit of the many, some farms need to be stepped with 200 foot towers.  Yes, he’s made a series of bad decisions.  He probably originally believed these powerline projects were actually for "clean" wind energy, but as time goes by, compromises have to be made.  By know, he knows "clean"  is a fantasy and a weak marketing point.   

I suspect even now Michael Skelly is looking for the next venture after Clean Line finally goes down.  Maybe I'm reading too much into a man I've never met, but I'd like to think he probably longs for the days in the Peace Corp when he felt as though he was truly making a difference.  Good luck in your next adventure after Clean Line Energy Mike.  

Jimmy G, on the other hand, the more I learn about him, the more I think he's an arrogant piece of ca-ca. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about Skelly, but you seem to have described Jimmy accurately... After watching that spectacle in Mendota, I think they do believe they are saving the world. And they just don't care who they have to stomp over to get to the finish line. It's time for the arrogant to reassess the goal and listen, really listen, to what the public is telling them. Denial does not make for success.