Juhl Energy Diversifies

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by Debra Fiakas CFA

Renewable energy producer Juhl Wind filed to terminate registration of its common stock and cease filing financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2015, but the company was not withdrawing from the wind energy industry.  Instead Juhl expanded.  Now called Juhl Energy (JUHL:  OTC/PNK), the company’s corporate website boasts of its corporate headquarters in Minnesota powered exclusively by wind and solar energy.  The company also claims the successful development of over 350 megawatts of wind power generation capacity at 25 different wind projects.  Additionally, the company has dipped its corporate toe into biomass energy and natural gas systems.

After keeping a fairly low profile over the last two years, Juhl is making headlines again. The company is developing a mixed-source project in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota that is expected to be the first commercial solar-wind power generation source in the U.S.  When construction is complete in August 2017, there will be two 2.3 megawatt wind turbines and 1.0 megawatt solar conversion capacity.

Juhl is making small, community-based energy development like the Red Lake Falls project the focus of its business strategy.  The company recently sold several of its renewable energy assets to ConEdison Development, including three operating wind projects in Minnesota and Iowa with a total of 36 megawatts generating capacity and additional interests in various wind power projects with a total of 500 megawatts capacity.
Going forward Juhl plans to focus on renewable energy projects under 20 megawatts.  The company’s standard design for mixed-source power generation from wind and solar is expected to be a key offering.  The company sees demand for smaller projects in the 5 megawatt size from rural communities, small municipalities, industrial complexes and commercial campuses.

At the time of the asset sales, management expressed optimism about the ability of the company to grow with this new, more focused strategy, as proceeds of the asset sales could be used to pay down long-term debt.  However, no details have been made public.  Investors are left to guess about Juhl’s balance sheet.  The company has not filed financial statements for two years.  The last balance sheet filed in August 2015, indicated Juhl held $1.6 million in cash and had $15.9 million in long-term and non-recourse debt.

Juhl is not entirely cut off from investors.  Besides entertaining questions from the public, until recently the company accepted investments in preferred stock in a subsidiary called Juhl Renewable Assets.  The preferred stock gave investors a stake in Juhl’s solar and wind power projects.  Those preferred shares were redeemed at par when the assets were sold to ConEdison Development.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

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