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...

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...

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...

Buyer’s Guide To Community Solar in New York

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA An updated version of this article is available here. After a painfully long wait, community solar (also called shared solar) is finally coming to New York state. After years of regulatory uncertainty, the state Public Services Commission (PSC) has put enough of the enabling regulations in place for a number of developers to move forward. What is Community Solar? A community solar installation is a large scale (typically 1 to 3 MW, or the size of about 150 to 800 residential solar installations) in which subscribers can sign up to lease or purchase a share of the production...

Should Pattern Energy Shareholders Vote Against the Merger?

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA This morning, hedge fund Water Island Capital called on Pattern Energy (PEGI) Shareholders to vote against the merger with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Water Island claims the merger is undervalued compared to the recently surging prices of other Yieldcos, and that PEGI would be trading at over $30 given current valuations.  There are not a lot of other Yieldcos left, especially if we eliminate those with their own special circumstances.  These are Terraform Power (TERP) which is subject to its own buyout agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy (BEP), and Clearway (CWEN and CWEN/A) where...

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...

Five Pioneers Mining the Sun for Income

by Jared Wiedmeyer For the past few years, solar industry stakeholders have imagined a future where the general public has the ability to invest in pure-play renewable energy real estate investment trusts (REITs) that finance and construct both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV) projects in the United States. While these stakeholders wait for this reality to come to fruition, existing REITs already have several options to own or develop solar projects that still allow them to comply with the IRS's asset and income tests.  This past May, Chadbourne & Park's Kelly Kogan and Scott Bank moderated a roundtable with...

Solar Bonds and Other Green Income Investments Compared

by Tom Konrad CFA Clean-energy stocks’ performance over the last couple of years proves that it’s possible to do well – sometimes very well – while doing good. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to lose a lot of money. Case in point: solar installer SolarCity’s stock (SCTY) price has more than quintupled since its 2012 IPO, but has fallen 40% since the start of the year. Swings like these are just too wild for many investors to stomach. So the news that California-based SolarCity launched the first public offering of solar bonds last week likely piqued the interest of sustainability-minded...

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...

Buyer’s Guide to New York Community Solar

By Ishaan Goel WHY COMMUNITY SOLAR? A home solar system is a great investment, with financial returns far in excess of any financial investment that has comparable risk. It’s also a tangible step a homeowner can take to help the environment.   Unfortunately, most New Yorkers (and Americans in general) can’t install home solar.  They may be renters, or have roofs that are too old or shaded.  Or they may not be able to afford the up-front cost, or not have enough income to take advantage of the tax credits. That is why New York’s electricity regulator, the Public Service Commission, created community solar:...

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....

The Status of The Yieldco

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week I delivered the keynote at Yieldcon USA, a conference put on by Solar Plaza entirely focused on Yieldcos. (Yieldcos are companies that own clean energy assets such as solar and wind farms and use the cash flows to pay a high rate of current income to investors.) Given all that's gone on in the space in the last few weeks, the conference could not have been more timely. You can find the presentation here and embedded below:

Solar Bonds For Small Investors

By Beate Sonerud SolarCity (NASD:SCTY) is issuing US$200m of asset-linked retail bonds, with maturities ranging from 1-7 years and interest rates from 2-4%. Wells Fargo is the banking partner. While the bonds are registered,SolarCity expects the bonds to be buy and hold, and not traded in the secondary markets. The bond is issued for small-scale investors, with investment starting at US$1000, giving this bond issuance a crowdfunding aspect. Choosing such a different structure allows SolarCity to diversify their investor base – the company stresses that small-scale investors are a complement, not substitute, for large-scale institutional investors. While...

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...

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...

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 ...
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