The Fredonia Reactor — Could it Hand You Profits of 1,099%?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 6, 2010

If you’ve been swabbing the decks on the good ship Gumshoe for more than a few weeks, you probably know that I’m a sucker for a good made-up name — so I couldn’t very well resist writing about the Oxford Club’s Fredonia Reactor, could I?

Now, if the letter had been signed Rufus T. Firefly and asked us all to pledge allegiance to Freedonia, I’d have been utterly powerless and would have written about it on the first day, vacation be damned — but now we’re a few days into this big marketing push and I’m eager to dig in, Groucho or no.

And to make it even nicer, they made up another name, too — the Fredonia reactor will be the most tremendous power plant in the world, we’re told, but it’s owned by a company that they’ve nicknamed “Smart Electric Co.” Here’s the P.S., which is almost always the best part of a sales letter:

“The ‘Smart Electric Co.’ is in the early stages of ‘firing up’ a massive new ‘power plant’ 62 times stronger than a nuclear reactor. And the government just handed them the opportunity to generate up to $6.8 billion a year by connecting the Fredonia Reactor to major U.S. cities. This event could send plays on Smart Electric soaring 1,099% or more. I urge you to act on this information quickly. Once the mainstream media picks up on this story, the big gains will be long gone.”

And hopefully you’ve noticed, my good Gumshoe students, that “fired up” and “power plant” are also in quotes — there’s a good reason for that. Let’s dredge some more clues from the morass, shall we?

“Cheaper Than Oil… Stronger Than Nuclear… Cleaner Than Hydro… It’s 62 times stronger than a nuclear power plant… But releases zero emissions…”

Sounds like magic, no? There’s more …

“Imagine a power plant so huge it covers more than 100 square miles…

“With capacity 62 times stronger than a modern nuclear reactor…

“One powerful enough to light up 49 million American homes across the Midwest… Or run 217,000 football stadiums continuously for a year.

“That would easily make it the strongest power plant on Earth.

“It would dwarf the world’s current number one. The enormous Three Gorges Hydroelectric Dam in China generates 18.2 gigawatts of electricity.

“This power plant would triple that.

“Perhaps more amazing, this plant won’t depend on traditional fossil fuels.

“It runs on what the International Energy Agency calls ‘the most advanced of the ‘new’ renewable energy technologies.'”

So that’s what they call the “Fredonia Reactor” — what is it? Well, the reason that they put that in quotes and also throw quotes around words like “power plant” and “fired up” is that this “Fredonia Reactor” isn’t really a reactor at all, or even, in its broadest sense, even a single power generation site. As far as I can tell when they talk about the “Fredonia Reactor” they’re using that as a catch-all phrase for the wind power resources of the upper midwest — particularly the Dakotas, which are the northern end of the wind belt that has many folks calling the United States the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.”

Insert your own jokes about a big lentil dinner here.

And this would be a good place for your mention of the fact that, as the Gumshoe currently resides in Washington, DC, we’ve already laid claim to the “Saudi Arabia of Windbaggery.”

But back on point — essentially, this massive potential power source is really more powerful than any one nuclear reactor, though that’s perhaps not the fairest comparison (there are plenty of nuclear reactors within the broad geographic area of these “Fredonia Reactors”), and you can probably twist and turn a bit and make those teaser numbers work just fine.

And the Department of Energy did estimate that wind power could provide about 20% of our electricity within 20 years (and estimates since are only increasing with better mapping and taller turbines — a Harvard study assumed using bigger windmills, and using more of the wind-prone areas for generation, and said that the total potential for wind energy generation in the lower 48 states is 16 times current U.S. electricity demand).

There are hiccups in wind power development, of course — it’s probably the furthest along of the “newer” renewable energy sources (ie, it’s further along and usually far more cost effective than solar), but it’s still expensive and it still relies on having a lot of wind turbines on massive towers, sometimes in places where folks would rather not have their views obstructed or their birds confetti’d … or, and this gets to our point, in remote places where they’ve got to build a lot of infrastructure to get the electricity to population centers.

And that brings us to the stock they want to use to profit from this “Fredonia Reactor” — it’s a company that will build new, high efficiency transmission lines to connect the wind resources of the Dakotas and other nearby areas to the national grid and to population centers like Minneapolis and Chicago.

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Here’s how they describe this “Smart Electric Co” …

“On April 10, 2009, one tiny company from Michigan received government approval to begin connecting this mammoth power source to cities across America.

“When it does, it’ll tap into an unprecedented surge in annual profit potential.

“This tiny company says that at full capacity, it can transmit 12,000 megawatts of electricity in an hour. In a year, that amounts to 105 million megawatt hours.

“And electricity prices are soaring in America. Wholesale prices for a megawatt hour of electricity have gone as high as $129.48 in cities like Houston. At that market rate, 105 million megawatt hours would sell for roughly $13.6 billion.

“Now this company won’t get every penny of that. But even if they only took in half of those revenues, they’d end up bringing in $6.8 billion more every year.

“That’s 11 times greater than current revenues!

“Certain plays on this company could easily rise 1,099%.

“But that’s just the beginning. With plans to connect more and more cities to the ‘world’s strongest power plant,’ gains could rise to 4,270%… or even 8,132% based on projected earnings alone.

“No wonder Wall Street’s biggest players are buying in ahead of time.

“Along with insiders, firms like Blackrock, Morgan Stanley and Vanguard now own 94%