Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "solar" ...

  • OPB: This Solar Startup Spent Big, Then Left Customers In Limbo

    A two-part radio series uncovers financial mismanagement and ponzi scheme tactics at one of the country's fastest growing solar companies, which cratered and owed millions of dollars to its customers, vendors and employees across Oregon, Nevada and Utah.
  • Buffalo Billion

    Investigative Post has been covering the Buffalo Billion since its inception, including a 2014 story on a curiously worded Request for Proposals that appeared to limit the field to one local developer – a major donor to the governor. In late 2015, news broke that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was investigating the awarding of contracts on the biggest Buffalo Billion project – the state’s commitment to spend $750 million to build and equip a factory for SolarCity, a solar panel manufacturer. Investigative Post continued to cover the Buffalo Billion, and similar initiatives in other Upstate cities, throughout 2016.
  • Bird-dogging the Buffalo Billion

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the "Buffalo Billion" program in 2012 with the intention of revitalizing the Western New York economy. Investigative Post's reporting documented the extraordinary lengths to which Cuomo administration has gone to withhold disclosure of how the $1 billion is being spent. Our reporting also revealed that lucrative development contracts were awarded to major donors to Cuomo's campaign committee and that SolarCity, the major beneficiary of the state's spending, is losing vast amounts of money and under federal investigation. Subsequent reporting detailed that minority hiring goals for the SolarCity project, involving the construction of a $750 million solar panel manufacturing plant, were lowered and that African Americans made up less than 6 percent of the workforce.
  • Hanergy - behind the empire of China’s richest man

    This investigation into suspicious trading in one of the most highly-valued yet mysterious companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange combined innovative software-driven analysis and exclusive forensic reporting to explore apparent market manipulation at Hanergy, the Chinese solar giant. After the FT’s stories, Hanergy shares crashed to earth, pre-empting the broader plunge in Chinese equities and highlighting concerns over the true financial state of some of the new Chinese companies that have rocketed to prominence in the last few years.
  • APS employee drafted anti-solar letter signed by AZ congressmen

    A fight that’s been brewing for years between Arizona’s largest, monopoly energy utility and third-party solar companies has largely taken place behind the scenes or at the state’s energy regulating commission. But in late 2014, Arizona Public Service used its political connections to get members of Arizona’s congressional delegation to sign letters urging the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to scrutinize and possibly penalize the solar companies over allegations of wrongdoing. What was left out of the letters is that they were written by an Arizona Public Service employee, and that the utility had also previously pumped tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of those congressmen and congresswomen. The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting used digital breadcrumbs combined with traditional shoe-leather reporting to uncover this classic case of pay-to-play political maneuvering.
  • Not all of Hinchey's earmarks live up to billing

    One of the leading politicians in central New York is longtime US Rep. Maurice Hinchey. He has been unapologetic and prolific crafting earmarks that steer federal funds into his sprawling district. Many in the Hudson Valley can see the results: a pedestrian bridge that spans the Hudson River, renovations for an historic opera house and help to at-risk youth. There are dozens and dozens of others. By one estimate, two years ago the senior Democrat was among the nation's top 12 earmarking members of Congress. But a review found his earmarks have not always lived up to billing. Money for solar energy companies that did not create hundreds of promised jobs. A presidential helicopter that was supposed to be built largely in Owego, NY, is scrapped, and was decried by President Obama and US Sen. John McCain, among others, as an extremely wasteful. Also not fulfilling promises was a military contractor where dozens of jobs were predicted. While Hinchey had been identified in the past as prolific with earmarks, even the past two years finding ways to work around Congress’ ostensible ban on earmarks, no one had gone back through the public record to examine on a large scale whether key projects lived up to promises. The students obtained and examined federal databases on earmarks, read the public record on pronouncements at the time the earmarks were issued, and identified key projects that did not live up to billing.
  • Green Energy Going Red

    In this series of original and exclusive investigations, CBS documented the fate of $90 billion dollars in green energy stimulus tax spending and dug in to find out why it did not produced the promised results: a boom in green energy technology and products accompanied by a burst in employment. In Solar Scorching, we identified eleven green energy companies besides Solyndra that together got billions of tax dollars, only to declare bankruptcy or suffer other serious financial issues. Since our initial report, the number of failures has risen dramatically. CBS exposed the fact that the government secretly knew what a poor investment some of these companies were, even before it committed taxpayer billions. We obtained exclusive documents showing one project had confidentially been rated as a “junk bond,” but the government committed $43 million tax dollars anyway. It went bankrupt.
  • Green Grants: Tracking the Energy Stimulants

    The 2009 stimulus bill created a program that was supposed to drive development of wind, solar and other renewable energy projects. But when reporter Anne C. Mulkern dug into the grants in lieu of tax credits effort, she uncovered that in many cases, federal money did little to stimulate new business investments.
  • CPS Must DIe

    City-owned utility CPS Energy plans to double the size of its South Texas Nuclear Project bye adding two nuclear reactors without knowing how much the new plants will cost. A reports by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy shows that the state's future energy needs don't include the need for new power plants to be constructed.
  • The Need for Nuclear Power

    Rhodes and Beller find that solar-energy systems, wind farms and geothermal sources would only waste resources. Instead, they write, nuclear energy is the cleanest solution to the world's increasing energy demands. "The massive investment in renewables could have been better spent making coal plants and cars cleaner."