The Rodney Dangerfield of Cleantech

David Gold Wind turbines stand tall and mesmerize with their motion. Solar cells bask in the sparkling sun.  Meanwhile, hidden down in the dark dirty underworld, a compelling technology sits quietly and gets no respect.  Once installed it largely goes unseen and, it seems, it’s equally invisible in the world of clean technology press, venture funding and government R&D funding.  Yet this technology provides some of the most intriguing economic returns available for reducing a building’s net energy consumption and I would welcome the right opportunity to fund an exciting business in this category. What is this Rodney Dangerfield...

A push for renewable energy in Colorado

Colorado is the first state in the nation to place renewable energy on its ballots, thanks in part to grassroots support from Summit County. On Nov. 2, Colorado voters will decide whether to require the state's seven largest utilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from environmentally-friendly sources like wind power by 2015.

Is Ormat Technologies Misunderstood?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Olkaria III Geothermal Power Plant, Kenya Shares of geothermal power developer and utility Ormat Technologies (ORA:  NYSE) are trading at 24.7 times the consensus estimate for 2013.  That seems pricey on the surface, but the stock is down from a 52-week high of $22.24.  The stock gaps up and down with regularity, suggesting ORA is a battle ground for bulls and bears.  The fact that the 50-day moving average price continues to descend toward the longer-term 200-day average, hints that maybe the bears are...

Geothermal Companies Receive Cost Sharing Grants from DOE

Tom Konrad CFA My entire portfolio of Geothermal companies received DOE cost-sharing grants Friday.  Here's a quick run-down: Nevada Geothermal (NGLPF.PK, NGP.V) received $1.7M for its Crump Geyser project, and $1.6M for its Black Warrior project. NGP also celebrated completion of  its Blue Mountain Faulkner 1 plant the same day. US Geothermal (HTM) received $3.77M for it San Emidio project. Sierra Geothermal (SRAGF.PK, SRA.V) received $10M for exploration at its Alum and Silver Peak projects.  Ormat (ORA) received two grants, and is likely to benefit from other grants since geothermal exploration companies such as US Geothermal contract with...

How Geothermal Heat Pumps Can Soar Like Solar

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP) are a niche market.  They shouldn’t be. Disclosure: Long WFIFF, short LXU puts (a net long position.) A Better Mousetrap? Ralph Waldo Emerson never said “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  The mousetrap that likely inspired the misquote was invented seven years after his death.  Unfortunately, many people take it literally.  GHPs have all the hallmarks of a better mousetrap: They do the job of heating and cooling a building more efficiently than any other option.  Despite...

Oil Money Needed for Geothermal Projects

By Dana Blankenhorn Despite America's leadership in geothermal the industry remains in the “and” category. As in, “solar, wind, tidal, biofuels AND geothermal.” It's an afterthought. (Picture from Evergreen State University.) Why are geothermal companies having to organize politically to gain crumbs from the capital table? The answer is pretty obvious, but no one seems willing to state it plainly. The oil industry is holding back. A recent Time Magazine article on renewables and oil investment makes it pretty plain. Total's bought into solar, Shell and BP into biofuels. Chile's state oil-and-gas company sold-out its geothermal interests...

Will The Recovery Act Trigger Alt Energy IPOs?

Charles MorandIt goes without saying that the alt energy IPO market has been rather quiet over the past few months. Could this be about to change? Will the slew of alt energy and cleatech incentive programs announced under the Recovery Act, coupled with a return of investors' risk appetite, be enough to convince firms to start going public again? On Monday, I had a chat with Robert Peterman, who handles cleantech for the TMX Group, the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange and of the TSX Venture Exchange. In the past few years, Toronto has attracted a number...

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. Acquires Third Nevada Geothermal Project In Prolific ‘Corridor Of Heat’

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. (NGLPF) announced today that it has acquired 7 square miles of private land and has applied for a one section federal geothermal lease for a total land area of 8 square miles (22 square kilometers) south and east of Black Warrior Peak, Washoe County, Nevada. The leases are on private land and are subject to a 3.5% royalty on gross revenue from electricity sales, however, NGP can purchase the royalty for US$1,000,000. Leases include surface and water rights.

Colorado Voters Approve Amendment 37

Colorado voters have approved an amendment requiring utilities to get part of their electricity from the sun, wind or plant and animal waste. The amendment requires the state's seven largest utilities to get a portion of their retail electricity sales from renewables, beginning with 3 percent in 2007 and climbing to 10 percent by 2015. Four percent of the renewables should be solar sources.

Raser Technologies (RZ): A Bargain, or Just Cheap?

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) stock has fallen almost 50% since the company announce an offering of shares on June 30.  Although the round quickly filled, the stock continued falling, and it seems like a screaming deal.  Is it? On July 7, Raser Technologies sold $25.5M of stock and warrants in a secondary offering.  According to press reports, this amounted to 13% of Raser's stock, thereby valuing the company at (very approximately) $200M, or $175M pre-money.   The units, each consisting of 1 share and 1/2 a warrant exercisable at $4.62 was offered at $2.98. ...

Ormat Technologies, Inc. Completed Negotiation of Two New Power Purchase Agreements at Ormesa and...

Ormat Technologies (ORA) announced that it completed negotiations for two new 25 years Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for the purchase of renewable energy from its geothermal projects at the Ormesa Geothermal Facilities Complex and the Heber Geothermal Facilities Complex. Ormat also announced that it celebrated the ground breaking and dedication of a new geothermal power plant within the Heber Geothermal Facilities Complex on Monday May 2, 2005. The new plant is dedicated to Mr. William R. Gould, who served as the Chairman of Southern California Edison (SCE) from 1980 through 1984,...

Just Sold: Raser Technologies (RZ)

Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) did not get the hoped-for DOE loan guarantee.   The company still has good long term prospects, but the short term upside chances are much weaker, prompting me to sell in the hope of buying back in after a general market sell-off. Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) dropped from $2.10 to $1.95 on September 1st, prompting a regular reader to leave a comment asking me if it was time to sell on the original Raser article. (Because he's a regular, he knows my policy of preferring to answer questions posed as comments on the blog to email comments: At...

Ormat Breaks Ground on New Geothermal Power Plant

Ormat Technologies (ORA) broke ground today on the first geothermal electric generating plant to be built at Steamboat, Nevada since 1991. Known as the Galena Geothermal Project, when completed the plant will be added to the existing Steamboat geothermal plants and bring the total output from this geothermal complex to 44 megawatts of electricity through a process that extracts and re-injects the hot geothermal waters from the ground. One megawatt of electricity can supply energy up to approximately 1,000 typical homes in the area.

Raser to Acquire Power Generation Technology Company

Raser Technologies (RZ) announced a definitive agreement to acquire Amp Resources ("Amp"), a private company with technologies focused on geothermal heat and power generation. The deal is for about $260 million in cash and stock. Raser will acquire Amp and its portfolio of technologies for heat transfer and renewable power generation. Raser will also assume ownership of multiple, long-term geothermal energy sales contracts with public and private utilities. These contracts call for an aggregate of $966 million from gross energy sales over 20 years. It is anticipated that these power generation projects will be developed and placed...

Pennsylvania to Generate 3,600 Megawatts of Wind Power by 2016 Due to New Standard

As mentioned in a previous entry, the Pennsylvania legislature passed SB1030, the Alternative Energy Bill, on November 20, 2004 which will require a total of 18% of Pennsylvania's electricity to be generated by alternative energy sources by 2020. The standard requires 8% of Pennsylvania's electricity to be generated by so-called "Tier I" renewable sources of energy by 2020. Tier I resources include solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. The standard also requires 10% of the state's electricity to come from a second category of resources that include waste coal, integrated combined coal gasification technology, municipal solid waste, large-scale hydro,...

Ormat Technologies (ORA): The 500-Pound Gorilla of Geothermal Power

Tom Konrad, CFA  Ormat is the 500-pound gorilla of the geothermal power industry.  Should you buy the stock? I've owned Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA) stock off and on since I first began to invest seriously in clean energy companies.  At one of the first renewable energy conferences I attended five years ago as part of my quest to understand the renewable energy investing landscape, I encountered a representative of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).  Here's how I recall our conversation: Me: "What are a few of the leading geothermal power companies?" GEA Rep: "Ormat." Me: "Are they...
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