Retail Renewable Energy Bonds Proliferating

by Sean Kidney Renewable Energy Finance via BigStockPhoto There has been a bit of interest recently about rapidly expanding options for retail investors to get involved in renewable energy projects. While we still see retail bonds as making a relatively modest contribution to the transition to a low carbon economy, they are important in engaging the public and creating awareness for green thematic investments which can only be good. Here’s a round up of some of the activity going on in the retail bond market (please note, this...
DTE's green bonds will help pay for solar and wind investments

The Green Bond Trend

DTE Energy Company (DTE:  NYSE) recently priced a ‘green bond’ issuance of $525 million to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The thirty-year bonds provide a coupon payment at 4.05%.  DTE is planning to buy solar arrays and wind turbines with its newly flush cash kitty.  The capital raise is of significance less for its size and purpose and more for the fact that a U.S. electric utility company is tapping this unusual financing vehicle. True enough, green bonds are nothing new.  Created to fund projects with environmental or climatic benefits, the first green bonds were issued in May 2007 by the European Investment Bank (EIB).  The...

Income From Hydroelectric Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA Are you an investor hungry for current income?  Is there a green line of global warming fear running through your investment selections?  I have stock that fulfills both requirements.  Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (BEP:  NYSE) is a renewable power producer with assets in Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.  Brookfield generates over 5,900 megawatts of power each year from plants running on river water, wind or natural gas.  Another 2,000 megawatts is apparently under development in Canada and Brazil. What Brookfield does best is hydroelectric production.  The company claims over 170...

Unlocking Solar Energy’s Value as an Asset Class

by James Montgomery 2014 is predicted to be a breakout year for solar financing, as the industry eagerly pursues finance innovations. Many of these methods aren't really new to other industries, but they are potentially game-changing when applied in the solar industry.

Yieldcos: Boom, Bust, and (Now) Beyond

The Yieldco model is not broken. But investor expectations have changed. by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA The Yieldco bubble popped almost exactly a year ago after a virtuous cycle turned vicious. Last May, I explained how these public companies (which own solar farms, wind farms and similar assets) could grow their dividends at double-digit rates despite no internal growth or retained earnings. This “weird trick” can work so long as the Yieldco’s stock price is rising, allowing it to sell stock at higher valuations and increase the amount of money invested per share. As long...

Recent Green Bonds: Toyota Hybrids, SunRun, Efficient Homes and Data Centers

by the Climate Bonds Team Last month Toyota closed their second green bond for a whopping $1.25bn. Standard auto loans backed the issuance with proceeds to be used for electric and hybrid car loans; that means it’s more like a corporate green bond, where proceeds from a bond backed by existing (non-green) assets are directed green loans still to be made. Sunrun issued $111m of solar ABS, and a small unlabelled energy efficiency ABS was also issued by Renew Financial and Citi for $12.58m. Sunrun and Citi/Renew Financial are examples of ABS where the assets backing the issuance...

Investors Expect Rapid Growth At Pattern Energy Group

Tom Konrad CFA Pattern Energy's Gulf Wind Farm in Armstrong, Texas Disclosure: Long BEP. Pattern Energy Group (NASD:PEGI, TSX:PEG) completed a very successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges on September 27th.  Not only did the shares price at $22, near the top of the expected range, but the underwriters exercised their full over allotment option to purchase 2.4 million shares in addition to the initial 16 million offered.  Total proceeds from the offering were $404.8 million.  Most of the proceeds went to Pattern Energy Group, LP (PEGLP) in consideration for a...

Enviva: Wood Pellets Into Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Enviva Partners, LP (EVA:  NYSE) reported financial performance for its wood pellets business in its quarter ending September 2015.  Sales totaled a whopping $116.6 million, representing a 53% increase compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter last year.  The big jump in revenue resulted from higher volumes to larger customers.  Distributable cash flow totaled $12.6 million compared to $8.2 million in the year ago period.  Quarter performance made possible a declared cash distribution of $0.44 per common unit, which is 7% higher than the minimum quarterly distribution. At its...

US Yieldcos Will Survive

by Susan Kraemer As unrealistic expectations of dividend growth are scaled back, yieldcos are now on a more sustainable path. Weaknesses in the US yieldco model came into sharp relief this summer as share prices fell along with oil and gas stocks. This was in part due to investor confusion about energy stocks but also in response to a flaw in US yieldco expectations. Manager of the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio and AltEnergyStocks.com editor Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA had warned of the looming potential for exactly this kind of market correction in a conversation a...

Green Asset-Backed Bond From Hannon Armstrong Has Measured GHG Savings

by the Climate Bonds Team Hannon Armstrong’s (HASI) second green ABS, $118.6m, will save 0.39 tons of GHG annually per $1,000!  ($100.5m, 4.28%, 19 yr, A and $18.1m, 5.00%, 19 yr, BBB) Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI) closed its second green ABS bond (Sustainable Yield Bond) following its inaugural issuance in December 2013. The ABS was a private placement split into two tranches with different credit ratings (from Kroll Bond Credit Rating Agency): $100.5m with a rating of A and 4.28% interest rate, and $18.1m with a rating of BBB and 5.00% interest rate. Both tranches have a 19-year tenor....

Yieldcos: Calling The Bottom

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA On a podcast recorded on September 14th, I said I thought that Yieldco stocks had bottomed at the end of September.  Two weeks later, that call still looks like a good one (see chart.) I'm starting to hear optimistic noises from other Yieldco observers, although the general tone remains quite bearish. Why do I think September 29th was the likely bottom? End of quarter.  Some institutional investors such as mutual funds reshuffle their portfolios at the end of the quarter so that they don't have...

Green Bond Market Heats Up After Slow Start To 2015

$7.2 billion of green bonds issued.  Market shows signs of maturity, including more currencies, and non-investment grade bonds.  Emerging market green bonds are ramping up, while green munis are booming. by Tess Olsen-Rong, Climate Bonds Market Analyst The first three months of 2015 (Q1) have seen 44 green bond deals totalling $7.2bn of issuance. After relatively low issuance in January the amount of green bonds issued has been climbing each month, with March three times bigger than January. This year will be the biggest year ever for green bonds: there’s a healthy pipeline of bonds in the...

Investors Awaken to NextEra YieldCo

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NEP:  NYSE) reported financial results for the third quarter ending September 2015.  The numbers were released in along with quarter results from its parent, Florida-based utility NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE:  NYSE).  The partnership is the operating arm of clean energy projects originated by the NextEra parent.  The ‘yieldco’ as these operating entities have been kindly dubbed by shareholders, delivered $1.0 million in reported net income, but operating cash flow was a whopping $36 million in the quarter. The consensus estimate had been for $0.24 in earnings per...

Northland Power’s Solar-Backed Bond

New Canadian Climate bond: Northland Power releases a pretty big ABS - CA$232m (US$206m) - backed by solar projects with proceeds for renewables. 18-year tenor, 4.397% coupon, BBB. Securitisation key future area for green bonds.

A Clean Energy REIT: Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure

Tom Konrad CFA On April 18th, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (NYSE:HASI) IPOed on the New York Stock Exchange.  HASI is one of only two publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) dedicated to sustainable infrastructure.   The other such sustainable REIT is Power REIT (NYSE:PW), which I have written about extensively.  PW is both illiquid and involved in significant litigation, two factors which may put off the conservative investors who gravitate towards REITs.  In December, Power REIT purchased the land...

Four Clean Green Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA The recent pullback in stock prices in the U.S. equity market has opened the door to some interesting dividend yields.  Investors with a taste for environmentally-friendly businesses have some particularly interesting alternatives that can pump up the purse as well as protect Mother Earth. AES Corporation (AES:  NYSE) is a world-class power generator from mixed portfolio of conventional and renewable power sources.  About 28% of its 29,352 megawatts of generation capacity is from renewable fuel sources, including hydro, biomass, solar and wind, and another 33% from plants using natural gas.  The balance of...
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