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:

Convertible Solar Bonds: Trina, SunPower Stoke Fire; Ascent Descends

by Sean Kidney Trina’s $150m 3.5% 5yr convertible solar bond In June Chinese solar manufacturer Trina announced the private placement of $150m of 5 year, 3.5% convertible bonds to “institutional investors” (no details provided). Trina weren’t clear how they would use the proceeds, but they are planning to build 400-500MW of solar plants over the rest of this year. Book-runners were Deutsche Bank, Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs (Asia), with co-manager HSBC. SunPower issues $400m 7yr 0.875% (!) convertible solar bond That same month SunPower announced a private placement of $400 million, 7 year, 0.875% senior convertible bonds. What...

Climate Bonds 2016 Highlights

by the Climate Bonds Team A record year with green bond issuance of USD 81bn, up 92% on 2015 figures The Trends A maturing of the green bonds market, diversification across issuers, products and use of proceeds are the main trends identified in our Green Bonds Highlights 2016 summary. The Big Numbers 92% – growth on 2015 making 2016 the most prolific year to date USD 11.8bn – November issuance, the largest month on record 24 – number of countries with green bond issuers 27% – proportion of Chinese issuers 241 – number of labelled green bonds issued (median size USD133.7m) >90 – number of new issuers >50 – number...
DTE's green bonds will help pay for solar and wind investments

The Green Bond Trend

DTE Energy Company (DTE:  NYSE) recently priced a ‘green bond’ issuance of $525 million to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The thirty-year bonds provide a coupon payment at 4.05%.  DTE is planning to buy solar arrays and wind turbines with its newly flush cash kitty.  The capital raise is of significance less for its size and purpose and more for the fact that a U.S. electric utility company is tapping this unusual financing vehicle. True enough, green bonds are nothing new.  Created to fund projects with environmental or climatic benefits, the first green bonds were issued in May 2007 by the European Investment Bank (EIB).  The...

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...

Five Green Dividend Stocks to Watch

Tom Konrad CFA The Perfect Stock My ideal stock is: Green (in that the company is helping to make the economy more sustainable) Pays a good dividend (in the current low-interest rate environment, I consider 4% to be “good”) Has earnings and free cash flow large enough to easily sustain the dividend, and Has low debt, leading to low earnings and cash flow volatility. I like such stocks because I can buy them, and pretty much ignore them.  This leaves me time to research more speculative green stocks, while still knowing that much of my portfolio is producing...

Second Largest Quarter For Green Bonds Ever

Third quarter reflects strong growth and new market entrants Overview The green bond market has kept its strong pace in Quarter 3 2017, reaching a total of USD27.7bn from July to September. On September 28th, the total amount of green bonds issued in 2017 ytd (USD83.2bn) overtook last year’s total issuance of USD81.6bn. We covered the big moment in our Blog Post here. Lots of new issuers The top sources of issuance were: Mexico - USD4bn China - USD3.9bn France - USD3.3bn U.S. - USD2.8bn India - USD1.9bn Mexico was a surprising addition to the number one spot, after issuing no green bonds in Q1 or Q2 this year. Big...

Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017

by the Climate Bonds Team Climate Bonds looks at the last six months numbers, the trends and our tips for the rest of 2017 Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017  Headline figures for the Half Year (H1)  2017 issuance to H1: USD55.8bn Records broken: Quarter 2 (Q2) is the largest quarter of issuance on record at almost USD30bn 82 green bond deals issued in the quarter from 74 issuers Over 50% of issuers were first time issuers Green Bond transactions accounted for 3% of global bond market transactions in Q2 2017 Top 5 largest issuers of H1: Republic of France (USD7.6bn), EIB (USD2.8bn), ...

Why This German Solar Executive Is Skeptical About American YieldCo Assumptions

by Tom Konrad CFA Ever since the first YieldCo, NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD), went public in 2013, it and other similar YieldCos have been reshaping the market for operating renewable energy assets, especially wind and solar PV farms.  A YieldCo is, to put it simply, a publicly traded subsidiary of a developer and operator of clean energy farms that uses the cash flow from its assets to return a high current dividend to shareholders. Most large, publicly traded clean energy developers have already launched or are preparing to launch a YieldCo. The current crop includes NRG Yield, Pattern...

Green Bond Market Heats Up After Slow Start To 2015

$7.2 billion of green bonds issued.  Market shows signs of maturity, including more currencies, and non-investment grade bonds.  Emerging market green bonds are ramping up, while green munis are booming. by Tess Olsen-Rong, Climate Bonds Market Analyst The first three months of 2015 (Q1) have seen 44 green bond deals totalling $7.2bn of issuance. After relatively low issuance in January the amount of green bonds issued has been climbing each month, with March three times bigger than January. This year will be the biggest year ever for green bonds: there’s a healthy pipeline of bonds in the...

Green Bonds: 2015 Year End Review

by the Climate Bonds Team Another successful year for the green bond market with 2015 issuance hitting $41.8bn making it the biggest year ever for green bonds. Achieving scale hasn’t been the only reason to celebrate the green bond market at the year-end; the real success is the geographical spread of green bonds across the world. Green bond markets are popping up all across the world, in Brazil, China, Estonia, Mexico and India… just to name a few! Green bond market momentum continues to build after a successful COP in Paris. ...

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...

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...

First Solar and SunPower Lobby Shareholders to Sell 8point3 YieldCo

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Will shareholders accept the deal? On Monday, 8point3 Energy Partners, the joint YieldCo from First Solar and SunPower, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Capital Dynamics. When public companies are sold, it's almost always at a premium to the market price. It's that price premium that persuades shareholders to sell. So why would 8point3 (NASD: CAFD) shareholders accept a deal that offers them only $12.35, or 15 to 20 percent below the roughly $15 price CAFD has been trading around for the past three months? To answer this question, we need a little history. Jan Schalkwijk, founder...

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. ...

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...