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...

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...

A Flurry Of Green Muni Bonds

by Tess Olsen-Rong Green municipal bonds are set to take off in 2015 after a flurry of issuances in the latter half of 2014. With interest rates at an all time low, this is the time to finance the vast backlog of infrastructure upgrades and developments needed – and to green that infrastructure. This, according to the Financial Times, is especially so in the US. With green muni growth has come a growing diversity in the use of proceeds. Some green municipal bonds are using proceeds for projects where the green credentials are more complex to analyse...

CAFD: Don’t Let The Joke Be On You

Tom Konrad CFA Sunpower and First Solar are indulging in nerd jokes.  Their YieldCo, called 8point3 Energy Partners had its initial public offering on June 19th. The name is an astronomy nerd joke and a reference to the time it takes the sun's rays to reach the Earth, 8.3 minutes. Last week, we found out that its ticker symbol is CAFD, a "financial nerd joke" because it stands for "cash available for distribution."  CAFD is an important YieldCo metric, but it's not a perfect one. If you're not a financial nerd but are interested in...

Will Investors Flock to SunEdison’s Emerging-Market YieldCo?

by Tom Konrad CFA SunEdison is proposing something entirely new: a YieldCo with a focus on projects in Africa and Asia, but it's a long way between an S-1 filing with the SEC and and IPO. The June launch of SunEdison's (SUNE) first YieldCo, TerraForm Power (NASD:TERP), transformed the parent company's prospects. Now it wants to repeat the performance with a first-of-its kind YieldCo that will focus on investment in Africa and Asia. A YieldCo is a publicly traded company that is formed to own operating clean energy assets that produce a steady cash flow,...

YieldCo Bubble: The Aftermath

Readers may be interested in listening to this podcast. Where Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann of GreenTechMedia speak with me about the current YieldCo landscape. Follow this link to The Interchange Podcast. -Tom Konrad, Editor

SolarCity’s Second Solar Lease-Backed Bond Closes Thursday

SolarCity is on the road with a $70.2m, 8yr, BBB+ rooftop solar leases securitization; closes Thursday Sean Kidney US company SolarCity (NASD:SCTY) has priced a solar bond backed by cash flows from a pool of 6,596 mainly residential solar panel systems and power purchase agreements in California, Arizona, and Colorado. Expected bond figure is $70.2 million, but the bond doesn’t close until Thursday this week. Interest rate is 4.59%. Credit Suisse is structurer and sole bookrunner. This is SolarCity’s second solar securitization in six months. Their previous (ground-breaking) bond was for $54.4 million with an...

Solar REITs: A Better Way to Invest in Solar

Tom Konrad CFA The last day for a solar developer to submit an application for the Treasury’s 1603 grant program was September 30th, and only for grandfathered solar projects which broke ground before the end of 2011. Solar panel prices have continued to drop this year, but solar project development remains a capital-intensive business.  The 1603 program allowed solar developers to monetize the solar investment tax credit (ITC) much more quickly than they could otherwise, and this essentially reduced their cost of capital.  As the rush of projects begun before the end of 2011 are completed, developers are looking...

Nordex Issues First Green Schuldschein

by the Climate Bonds Team German green debt instrument raises €550m ($621m) for wind energy and gains Climate Bonds Certification. German wind company Nordex (NRDXF) is the first Schuldschein issuer to label its issue as green. The green issue is verified under the Climate Bonds Standard and sector specific Wind Standard. Assets include wind power manufacturing and infrastructure around the world. Nordex employed DNV GL to verify the green Schuldschein against the Climate Bonds Standard. The deal was split across four tranches with 3, 5, 7 and 10 year tenors. The joint underwriters were...

Power REIT’s Preferred Stock Offering: A Hedge That Pays 7.75%

Power REIT's preferred stock offerning (NYSE:PW-PRA) is an excellent hedge for the legal risks borne by the holders of its common stock (NYSE:PW.)

Comparative Valuation of 15 Yieldcos

Tom Konrad CFA Compared to the peak of the Yieldco bubble in May, many Yieldcos have dropped by more than half, and most by more than a third. Some of this decline is because rapid dividend growth depends on an endless supply of cheap investor capital which is another way of saying that we can have rapid dividend growth or high dividend yields, but not both.  Part of the decline was due to the realization that many Yeildcos (most notably Terraform Power (TERP), Terraform Global (GLBL), and Abengoa Yield (ABY)) were not immune to...

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...

Has the Sell-off Created Value Stocks Among Clean Energy Conglomerates?

Tom Konrad CFA The silver lining of all market declines is the chance to buy stock in quality companies at attractive prices.  That opportunity has been notably absent over the last two years, which is why my focus has shifted to smaller and smaller companies in search of reasonable valuations over that time.  Although I still don't believe the market is cheap by any measure other than comparing it to a couple months ago, the volatility is starting to bring some individual bargains, especially on heavy selling days.  For instance, I've started to acquire some of...

Fifteen Clean Energy Yield Cos: Company Structure

Tom Konrad CFA In the first article of this survey of yield cos, I looked at the possible reasons for the seemingly endless enthusiasm for US-listed clean energy yield cos.  Here, I'll take a look at how these yield cos are constructed, and why investors should prefer one structure over another. Who's Your Daddy? Most yield cos have been created by clean energy project developers in order to create a ready, low-cost buyer for those projects.  With the recent string of very successful IPOs, the capital available for such projects may prove...

Greening of Utility Dividends

Investors looking for income have long relied on the stocks of electric utilities. Naturally cash generative utility companies have a history of generous dividend payout policies.  However, for those investors who have a concern about sustainability or climate change, even utilities with the highest dividend yields may not be appealing. We looked at a selection of nine utility companies with mixed achievements in terms of the percentage of renewable energy sources found in their retail sales of electricity.  The intensity of renewable energy in utility portfolios varies considerably across the industry.  Many utilities are grappling with legacy coal and oil infrastructure.  Others are not favored...

Terraform Power Issues $800m High Yield Green Bond

by the Climate Bonds Team This week the yieldco TerraForm Power (TERP) issued a huge high-yield green bond; seeing more high-yield bonds is a sign that the green bond market is continuing to mature. In addition to TerraForm, more green bonds from repeat issuers OPIC, World Bank, IFC and Credit Agricole have been announced and will be closing in the coming weeks. For today, let’s dig deeper into the latest green high-yield offering. The US-based renewable energy company TerraForm Power Operating has issued US$800m of senior unsecured green bonds (debentures), making it the largest green bond of 2015...
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