OC Power Authority Board to Review Commercial Power Rollout, Finances
The Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) Board of Directors will hold its monthly meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, May 3, at 10:00 a.m. Highlighting the agenda is a staff report on the rollout of OCPA-provided power to commercial customers and an end-of-quarter financial report. The latter, listed as Item 9.3 on the consent calendar, reports an operating loss of $3,020,301 for the period July 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. (During this period, OCPA was not generating revenue from power sales, and operated on funds borrowed from the City of Irvine.)
The accountants’ letter accompanying the financial report includes the following disclaimers raising transparency issues:
“Management has elected to omit substantially all of the note disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America in these interim financial statements. If the omitted disclosures were included in these financial statements, they might influence the user’s conclusions about the Authority’s financial position, results of operations, and cash flows. Accordingly, these financial statements are not designed for those who are not informed about such matters.
“We are not independent with respect to the Authority because we performed certain accounting services that impaired our independence.”
At the top of the agenda is a closed session for a conference with legal counsel on existing litigation. The litigation is identified as “PUC Resource Adequacy Proceeding.”
The OCPA Board is now hearing all public comments near the beginning of the meeting, paralleling agenda changes recently adopted by the Irvine City Council, although the Board has taken no public vote to implement this change.
The agenda packet and instructions for participating via Zoom are HERE.
Councilmember Larry Agran Requests Full Report on OCPA
At the April 26th City Council meeting, Councilmember Larry Agran asked that a full report be provided on what’s been happening at the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) at the May 10th City Council meeting.
To date, no other Councilmember has asked for any information from or allowed a report on the OCPA to be placed on the Irvine City Council agenda despite the fact that Irvine has spent $7.7 million in Irvine tax dollars. Agran’s first request for a “Presentation — an OCPA progress report — for the benefit of the City Council and the entire Irvine community” was in September of 2021. This item did not receive the support of a second Councilmember and therefore never made it on the Council agenda. See Memo here.
Will Irvine residents finally receive a full comprehensive report on the OCPA?
“I am hoping and expecting that there will be a full report at an Irvine City Council meeting about just what has been happening with the OCPA. We have $7.7 million in Irvine dollars invested in the power authority. the month of April involved the opting in and presumably opting out of a good many business. We have no information however as to what the opt out rate was, what the revenues will be to the entity going forward, nor do we have any indication of how many have opted down, and we have no indication whatsoever as to the viability of this very important enterprise. I would expect from my council colleagues, the two who are on the Board of Directors of the OCPA, Councilmember Carroll and Mayor Khan, I would hope and expect that at our next meeting, May 10th, this item is agendized for full disclosure and discussion so that we know where we stand with respect to the Power Authority and its operations.”
Branda LinMay 2, 2022 at 11:29 am
The fact that Irvine, being the sole financial backer of the OCPA with $7.7 million of Irvine dollars spent, has not received ONE comprehensive update re the OCPA since its inception is a major red flag. There has been such a lack of transparency and yet none of the Councilmembers except Agran seems to be concerned or have any questions.
And this accountant admits to not being independent. Then how can we rely on their report?
Will any of the Councilmembers second Agran’s request for a full report re the OCPA in time for the next City Council meeting on May 10th? Irvine residents — all residents who live in the participating cities and unincorporated cities of OC, deserve transparency and answers.
rgurienMay 2, 2022 at 1:04 pm
“Accordingly, these financial statements are not designed for those who are not informed about such matters.”
What in the actually h*ll are they talking about? It is absolutely not the case that public records can only be released to people with the expertise to understand them. If that were the case Brian Proboloksy and Mike Carroll wouldn’t have access to any government document besides meeting agendas.
sayno2noodoeMay 2, 2022 at 6:52 pm
Just incredible how this city council can get away with such opaque and behind-closed-door dealings with no accountability whatsoever. I’m just sorry that I was one of those ignorant long-time Irvine residents, prior to the Noodoe debacle, had any idea that the city was being manipulated by a group of dictators (maybe not Agran), with no legal repercussion of any sort. I suppose most residents like myself, have no idea how to even escalate a matter like this without going to court.
John StilesMay 3, 2022 at 12:45 pm
“Brian Probolsky clarified that a separate audit firm, Presenti and Brinker, LLP, will be performing the independent audit, but that Maher Accountancy must provide the information that Presenti and Brinker will review to prepare the audit” – from the December 14, 2021 OCPA meeting minutes.
Dee FoxMay 3, 2022 at 4:14 pm
So an independent Audit firm is going to rely on information from a biased firm? Why are they not going to do their audit based on the organizations actual financials? I’ll bet Presenti and Brinker will also have a disclosure stating, this audit is based on information from Maher Accounting and not from an independent source … and then around and around we go never getting any factual information. This program is riddled with issues and the board could care less about our demands.
ScottKMay 4, 2022 at 11:14 pm
Every cent spent is not only wasted, but creates a perverse incentive to justify the cost and (extraordinarily bad) decisions made… by lying to the public about what this boondoggle accomplishes.
In short – nothing, in terms of reducing greenhouse gasses tied to our electric demands. Zip. Zero.
The entirely of the “100% renewable power” pitch is a lie. You and your neighbor, selecting different plans will receive the same power over the same wires, bought by SCE, just like they do every day. The difference is in shuffling numbers on a spreadsheet – and pretending that solar power generated is somehow “inventory” which can be bought ex-post.
It will take pressure off of the push to correct the broken economics of rooftop solar “forced purchase’ by SCE, since now they have (suckers) customers willing to reimburse them, plus profits, for what’s mandated by the state.
Broken, thoroughly. Squandering opportunity to do something productive while steering $$$ to people destroying, not adding value.
walt100May 5, 2022 at 8:58 pm
Scott, You are spot on about the 100% renewables that the OCPA claims they will be supplying to Irvine residents and businesses. I have researched how any Load Serving Entity (LSE) can penetrate the California grid with, and deliver 100% renewables to their ratepayers. They can’t. They claim it because there is a loophole in the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) accounting reporting process. CCAs purchase 115% of their predicted renewable energy requirement knowing they can’t penetrate the grid with it. They receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) with their purchase. They then sell off what can’t penetrate the California grid to neighboring states and Mexico without the RECs. Fossil fuels with a very small amount of renewable energy are used between 7 PM to 7 AM. This is where the loophole comes in. CCAs use the RECs to magically turn fossil fuel energy into green energy and don’t have to report the fossil energy they had to purchase. Irvine businesses and residents pay a premium for allegedly 100% renewable energy. The CEC is working on correcting this loophole. I won’t hold my breath
Dee FoxMay 5, 2022 at 2:40 pm
A former Huntington Beach Planning Commissioner stated: Member cities would be locked down in a program
based on taxpayer-funded subsidies and massive accounting tricks, more like a Ponzi Scheme than an energy program. The OCPA takes taxpayer funds to subsidize renewables then, mandates a program that require THOSE SAME RENEWABLES. When there are no longer subsidies for renewables, energy prices will naturally skyrocket. SCOTTK is right, they will be just resource shuffling. This program adds nothing to help the environment and can only survive by our tax dollars. Many people will be profiting off of us and all you have to do is look at the two major players, MIKE CARROLL and BRIAN PROBOLSKY, who can’t even answer a question about energy without referring to someone else.
Katherine DaigleMay 21, 2022 at 12:02 am
Generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, are standards that encompass the details, complexities, and legalities of business and corporate accounting. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) uses GAAP as the foundation for its comprehensive set of approved accounting methods and practices.
U.S. GAAP requires companies to disclose their significant accounting policies. The accounting policies footnote, which outlines the portfolio of accounting choices, is typically one of the first notes to the financial statements. Just to be clear – In addition to the amounts that are reported on the face of the financial statements, US GAAP requires that additional information be provided as notes to the financial statements. To alert the readers of these important disclosures, each financial statement is required to make reference to them.
When my team produced financial statements to shareholders “notes” were prepared for anyone on the bottom of each page where there was a discrepancy. Unfunded pension liabilities are often overlooked and must appear in the notes section.
I ask why these banks are not asking for a full-blown forensic audit.
Dee FoxMay 21, 2022 at 10:21 am
The City of Irvine is backing the OCPA. No Bank would give any type of loan or line of credit to a NEW organization. Our tax dollars are being placed in jeopardy to secure these loans and Mayor Khan will be held responsible when this energy scam fails. Remember Bob Citron? No Mayor should be investing public funds in a risky investment. She is abusing her powers and perhaps the FBI should be looking into her as well, or perhaps they are. Her buddy Melahat Rafiei was investigated by the FBI for two years and used as an informant. And according to the Orange Juice Blog, Melahat “reputedly the brains behind the now-sputtering Orange County Power Authority…”
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