Documents released by the Cooper Administration last month show senior staff delayed signing off on a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until Duke Energy, one of the pipeline’s major investors, reached a separate deal with solar companies that would, essentially, result in the utility giant purchasing more solar power.
And who might benefit from this mandate that Duke purchase more solar power?
Markus Wilhelm, who is CEO of a solar company called Strata Solar, sent Cooper an email regarding the solar industry’s then-ongoing dispute with the utility company.
Wilhelm highlighted more than a year of disagreements between the solar companies and Duke and asked the Governor for help.
“Any guidance and support (a call to Duke leadership?) you can provide to our industry in this matter is very much appreciated,” Wilhelm wrote…..WBTV has confirmed Wilhelm was one of two solar company CEO’s to speak with Cooper personally to ask for help putting pressure on Duke regarding the industry’s ongoing negotiations.
Just a coincidence that Cooper’s actions might end up helping this random person named Wilhelm, right?
Property records and Cooper’s ethics disclosure forms show Cooper and Wilhelm once had a business relationship.
Wilhelm’s company, Strata Solar, leased property from a company that Cooper co-owned with his brother, Pell Cooper, until 2014, when he sold his stake.
And then there’s this
In August 2016, Strata Solar Chief Executive Officer Markus Wilhelm and Strata Solar Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Wilhelm each gave $5,100 to Cooper’s campaign for governor.
Working the political system to enrich himself is nothing new to Wilhelm. He’s been doing quite well courtesy of the state’s renewable energy tax credits, as we pointed out in 2017.
The largest individual claim came from Strata Solar CEO Markus Wilhelm, who claimed $4.8 million.
Government’s involvement in renewable energy production is nothing more than a scam to enrich a few cronies at taxpayer and ratepayer expense, period.