Hammond Power Solutions: A Cheap Power Regulation Play?

We have discussed on several occasions the investment opportunities related to power regulation and renewable energy. I have also recently written about the value approach to investing. I came across a stock today that I believed fell into both categories: power regulation (transformers) and value. The stock is Hammond Power Solutions (HPS-A.TO or HMDPF.PK), a firm that makes transformers for a number of applications, including wind turbines. While revenue and earnings have been ramping up quite nicely over the past four years, the stock price has been trending mostly laterally (albeit in a volatile manner) over the...

No New Transmission Means Little Renewable Energy

I'm a fan of investing in electricity transmission, both because the grid in the US is in a sad state of repair, and because considerable expansions to the grid will be needed to take large scale renewable energy (especially concentrating solar and wind) from the lightly inhabited areas with renewable energy resources to population and demand centers. Unfortunately, the need  for new transmission can put renewable energy advocates at odds with more traditional environmentalists, who are concerned about the local damage to views and habitat caused by new transmission lines.  Cases in point are opposition which looks...

Inexpensive Grid Stability Solutions

Tom Konrad, CFA With all the discussion of grid based energy storage for renewable energy integration, the two cheapest and most mature solutions are overlooked.  They are also the solutions most often overlooked by investors captivated by the story of clean technology. A few years ago, I put together some graphs to show this as dramatically as possible.  I surveyed the available data on energy storage and other grid integration technologies for the costs of existing installations, and calculated average cost per installed kW (power), per installed kWh (energy) and round trip efficiency (the percent of energy...

Fending Cyber Threats with a Fortress

RuggedCom Fortifies the Smart Grid and Captures the Substation Market By Joyce Pellino Crane     I wonder how many utility executives lie awake at night worrying  about cyberthreats to their electricity substations.     If you’ve ever gone a few days without electricity in your home,  you’ll quickly realize how minimal life becomes.  Working on your computerthe speedway to higher thinking and creativity is impossible.     Watching television, charging your cell phone, keeping food frozen, and  micro-waving popcorn, can no longer be done. Every task requires  planning and, much more physical laborconsider what it would take  to wash and...

SMA Solar’s Transformerless Inverter Provides Power During Outages

Ed Gunther From Solar Light Flashes: SPI12 Edition Sunny Boy TL-US Inverter SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) will begin limited shipments of the transformerless Sunny Boy 3000/4000/5000TL-US-22 inverter series for 3 to 5 kiloWatt rated AC power PV systems in 4Q12. The TL-US series has added a unique Emergency Power Supply feature providing daytime power to a dedicated power socket in the event of a grid power outage. The power socket is isolated from the grid during the outage and supplies up to 12 Amps so long as...

How to Invest in the Pickens Plan

A friend recently asked me how to invest in the Pickens Plan.  I named a stock (see below). He then surprised me by saying "You are the fifth person I've asked, and no one else knew how.  Several said it could not be done." You can invest in T. Boone Pickens's plan.  Here's how: The Plan T. Boone's plan is both simple and audacious.   We will build wind farms all over the Great Plains. Build the necessary transmission to get that electricity to cities, displacing natural gas used in electricity generation for the use in automobiles.   This will...

Tres Amigas Proposes Three-way Transmission Link

by Michael Giberson If completed, the Tres Amigas project will encourage renewable power development and efficient power flows.  Publicly traded wind power and superconducting cable company American Superconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: AMSC) is a large minority shareholder and the planned supplier. Tres Amigas LLC has proposed building a three-way superconducting HVDC link between the three separate power systems that span the United States and much of Canada: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection, and the Texas (ERCOT) Interconnection.  The three systems currently are linked by a small number of separate and relatively unimportant DC interties.  The proposed three-way...

Keynes Meets Carson, And How You Can Invest It (Part 1)

I'm not sure whether John Maynard Keynes, the father of Keynesian economics and an ardent proponent of government interventionism during hard economic times, and Rachel Carson, the mother of modern environmentalism and the author whose work is credited for the eventual creation of the EPA, ever met during their lifetimes. But if current voter sentiment holds until November 4, their ideas could soon converge and form the basis of government policy for at least the next four years. Let me explain. First, John Maynard Keynes. There is no doubt that the deliberate and coordinated nationalization of financial services...
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