Vornado Realty Green Bond Boosts US Market, But Lacks Ambition

By Bridget Boulle and Rozalia Walencik Last week BBB-rated Vornado Realty (NYSE:VNO) became the second US real estate investment trust to issue a corporate green bond, following the Regency Centres (NYSE:REG) bond late last month. The 5 year, $450 million bond was structured by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Pricing was in line with non-green bonds. Investors included asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies and governments, of which some were regular investors and others had a specific green interest. Some non-US investors also came in. According to the prospectus, the proceeds will be used to fund buildings and retrofits...

Roundtable Greenlights Effort on Renewable Energy Covered Bonds

by Sean Kidney “There is more liquidity than ever being put into the system, but funds are still not being allocated to renewable energy projects” “The bottleneck for renewable energy is not in construction financing but a year or two after construction .” “ is not an asset class where risk changes over time – it changes between pre-completion to post-completion stages… it is incorrect to think that offloading an asset post-completion dumps risk onto others because the riskier part of the project is past.” “Alignment of interest with investors is strong as the issuing bank...

Is Clean Water Always Green? Why I <3 NY

By Bridget Boulle and Sean Kidney Helping to push along the green muni space, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp (EFC), rated AAA, has issued a USD 213 million green / water bond. There were 30 bookrunners on this bond with JP Morgan and LOOP Capital Partners co-leads - see prospectus. The proceeds will be used to provide financial assistance to local governments to finance and refinance drinking water projects as well as to refund certain bonds previously issued. They expect to support 128 drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the State. Qualifying projects...

The Making of a Solar REIT: By the Numbers

Tom Konrad, CFA A solar project at Fort Hunter Liggett in California. Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers Power REIT (NYSE:PW) announced yesterday that it had closed on a deal to buy approximately 100 acres of land leased to the owners of over 20 MW of solar projects near Fresno, CA.  This will be the company’s second solar transaction and increases the share of its revenue from solar to 21%.  These two solar transactions put PW well on its way to becoming the nation’s first REIT...

Green Dividend Yield Portfolio

By Harris Roen There is a new and growing interest in the world of alternative energy investing, the search for high-quality dividend yield among green investments. To this end, the Roen Financial Report has created a Green Dividend Yield Portfolio, a select group of high-yield alternative energy stocks. Together, this selection of companies can produce a steady stream of income for the alternative energy investor. A New Source for Dividend Yield The Green Dividend Yield Portfolio is a collection of high-yield stocks that are in the alternative energy business. Companies that fall...

The True Story of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds

Sean Kidney Where did all the CREBs and QCEBs go? Mystery solved. The US has for a long time used tax credits to promote the development of oil and gas and other industries. With tax credits the bond issuer still pays a coupon, but their payment is subsidized, effectively lowering the rate of interest paid. The Obama administration brought in a big program of credits for renewable energy bonds. The plan was that States, large local governments, tribal governments and public power bodies would issue bonds to finance energy efficiency or renewable energy. The US ...

Is Suzlon’s $650m Wind Bond the First of Many?

India had been trying to get a corporate bond market going for 15 years – search “growing India corporate bonds” and you’ll find papers on the subject from the Reserve Bank of India, Bank of International Settlement and others scattered over past years. The latest Indian 5 year plan has this as a priority – and has green finance as a priority in a separate section. India has a particular need: a miniscule local corporate bond market means restricted financing options for business, including for renewable and energy efficient building developers – diversity with financing options helps drive down costs...

Three New Green Bonds

by Sean Kidney The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to issue $1bn Green Bonds per annum. Hawaii is setting up a bond-funded green bank Germany’s PNE Wind is planning a €100m corporate bond Trade Finance magazine reports that the IFC is planning to issue $1bn a year of Green Bonds. After talking with IFC folk in Washington DC last week I think I can say that the resounding success of last month’s first $1bn IFC Green Bond is making them think much more ambitiously than before. We think they should also...

Renewable Energy REITs or MLPs Would Unlock Billions

Jennifer Runyon According to Richard Kauffman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, DOE, making REITs or MLPs available for renewable energy project financing is the key to advancing the industry.   Top engineering, procurement and construction firms gathered to network, learn and do business with corporate-level project developers at the PGI Financial Forum, one of four co-located events that took place in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month. Richard Kauffman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, gave the keynote address during a luncheon that took place during the conference. ...

Solar Rooftop Lease Securitization A Ground-Breaking Success

Sean Kidney Last week we blogged that  SolarCity (SCTY) and Credit Suisse were about to issue a new $54.4 million, climate bond – a rooftop solar lease securitization. It’s out: BBB+, 4.8%, 13 years. The long tenor is interesting – and great. And S&P’s BBB+ rating suggest those credit analysts may be beginning to understand solar. This bond has been long-awaited by the green finance sector, who are hoping it’s the harbinger of things to come. I did get the chance to look at the S&P opinion. Their rating reflected, as they put it, their views on over-collateralization (62%...

Solar Investing Grows Up

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long HASI, BEP. Short PEGI calls, NYLD calls. When I was asked in an interview last month what I thought 2014 would hold for green tech finance, I said 2014 would be the year that “renewable energy finance comes of age.” What I mean is that a new type of renewable energy investment is proliferating.  Solar, other renewables, and energy efficiency investments are no longer limited to risky growth plays like Tesla Motors (NASD:TSLA.)   There are now a number of yield focused investments available to small investors.  As of last year,...

Four Green Dividend Stocks That IPO’d In 2013

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, HASI. Canada’s stock exchanges have long had the lead as the place for energy infrastructure companies to list.  This includes green energy, as well as the fossil fueled sort.   Because Canada’s reporting rules are somewhat less stringent, and its markets less liquid than those in the US, the large number of offerings trade at lower valuations and higher yields than do their (few) US-listed equivalents. In fact, it was the promise of a higher valuation which led Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (NYSE:BEP, TSX:BEP-UN) to obtain its US listing on June...

Solar Income, Really?

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, HASI. NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD) was spun out of its parent, NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) in July, and has since been greeted with enthusiasm by investors.  The stock priced at $22, 10% over the mid-point of its expected range, and the underwriters exercised their full over-allotment option. NRG Yield presents itself as an owner and operator of contracted renewable and conventional electricity generation, as well as thermal infrastructure assets.  (Thermal infrastructure provides heat or cooling to businesses for use in their operations.)  The company has a green tinge because of its wind and...
REITS ESG Green 2022

Five Green REITs

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Why Green Buildings are Profitable Buildings Buildings are responsible for approximately a third of greenhouse gas emissions, so making buildings more efficient and switching them to renewable sources of energy is an essential part in addressing climate change. Fortunately, new technologies such as cold climate heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction stoves, as well as the ever falling cost of renewable electricity and improvements to insulation and building envelopes often provide opportunities to improve buildings while achieving extremely attractive investment returns from the energy and maintenance savings alone. Because of the great financial returns, building owners who...

Wall Street Banks Promote New Green Bonds Framework

by Sean Kidney   Earlier this month CitiBank (NYSE:C) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML; NYSE:BAC) launched, via a special EuroWeek report on ‘sustainable’ capital markets, a “Framework for Green Bonds“. This is potentially a big development. In the paper the two banks laid out a ‘vision’ for the green bonds market and called for a Green Bonds Working Group of issuers, dealers and investors to be formed to drive the evolution of the nascent market. The paper calls for debate about the green bond market, especially about...

Massachusetts: Green Bond Auction Hot, Other Bonds Tepid

by Sean Kidney The Massachusetts AA+ green bond I mentioned last week got a lot of coverage on release this week – even the WSJ ran the story. But there was a twist: it seems the State had to scale back the total $1.1bn GO offering to $670m on tepid demand, but the green bond bit was 30% oversubscribed. For all you prospective issuers out there: the green bonds also lured as many as 9 new institutional investors for Massachusetts bonds. One buyer went so far as to say “We think more municipalities should do the same." So perhaps...
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