Power REIT: Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

Tom Konrad CFA It Could Have Been The First Yieldco Light at the End of the Tunnel photo via BigStock I first became interested in Power REIT (NYSE MKT:PW) in 2012 because of the company's plans to become what would have been the first US-listed "yieldco," i.e. a clean energy power producer paying a high level of reliable dividends to investors.  The company was an infrastructure Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a single asset: its subsidiary, Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway (P&WV) which owned 122 miles of track leased to Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), which had in turn subleased the track...

5 Clean Energy Yieldcos Flying Under The Radar

by Tom Konrad CFA The launch last year of NRG Energy's YieldCo, NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD), and the subsequent near-doubling of its price, set off a feeding frenzy on Wall Street.  YieldCos are companies which own clean energy assets and use the reliable cash flows from those assets to pay dividends to investors. Investors like YieldCos because many offer yields well above that available from most other stocks, including the fossil fuel-based master limited partnerships, upon which many YieldCos are modeled. Developers of clean energy projects find YieldCos attractive because the stock market provides capital for clean energy...

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...

The Safest Alternative Energy Yieldco

By Jeff Siegel If you're a regular reader of these pages, you know I'm bullish on alternative energy yieldcos. In fact, I've covered Pattern Energy Group (NASDAQ:PEGI) and NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD) at length. The way I see it, yieldcos are the next big alternative energy investments for retail investors. They enable regular investors to buy into multiple alternative energy assets that produce steady cash flow. For those not particularly keen on risk, but still want exposure to the burgeoning alternative energy space, this is a great way to do it. The bottom line is that...

It’s Easy Being Green. Fossil Fuel Free Is Harder

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, MCQPF. PENGF, AQUNF Last week, I was surprised to discover that Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (NYSE:BEP, TSX:BEP-UN) is not entirely renewable. I’ve owned shares of Brookfield for many years, but as a relatively safe income stock, I’ve parked it in the back of my portfolio to gather dust and dividends. I apply my limited time for in-depth analysis to riskier stocks where a quarter’s earnings are likely to make a much bigger difference in the stock price. I may have noticed the “Other” category in addition to BEP’s wind and hydroelectric generation...

Atlantic Power: Not So Clean

Atlantic Power (AT) presents itself as a "clean" electricity generator. People who don't consider natural gas "clean" will disagree.

Covanta: Waste Yield

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Covanta, Holding Corp. (CVA:  NYSE) announced the pricing of a note offering.  The waste disposal and waste-to-energy company raised $400 million in the deal.  The new capital will make it possible for Covanta to repay some older debt when enough to spare for future expansion capital.  Covanta’s business model of using the municipal waste it collects for electricity generation is capital intensive.  What is more management has shown a penchant for acquisitions.  Just two months ago Covanta acquired two waste transfer stations from a competitor. Covanta appears to be making...

The Muscle Car Of Energy Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: I am long TSX:PRI / PENGF. The poster child of energy efficiency has long been changing a light bulb.  First, it was swapping out an incandescent for a compact fluorescent, now the swap is to an LED.  Changing a light bulb is a small step that anyone can take, and it’s so cost effective that it can pay for itself in months if the bulb is used frequently. This is a good example of household energy efficiency measures: a small action requiring a limited investment that anyone can take that pays back quickly....

EBODF Owns Over $22 Per Share Of Solar Developer Goldpoly,Trades Under $7

by Shawn Kravetz In ten years of solar investing, we have never encountered an opportunity as obscure and potentially lucrative as Renewable Energy Trade Board Corporation (OTCPK:EBODF).  Disclosure: I am long EBODF. Before walking through the long thesis, we must caution potential investors that EBODF "went dark" with the SEC in March 2013. However, we have conducted rigorous due diligence on the ground in Asia and through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings of Goldpoly New Energy Holdings (0686.HK) - EBODF's sister company sharing the same parent/leading shareholder - China Merchants New Energy Group (part of massive Chinese...

Investors Expect Rapid Growth At Pattern Energy Group

Tom Konrad CFA Pattern Energy's Gulf Wind Farm in Armstrong, Texas Disclosure: Long BEP. Pattern Energy Group (NASD:PEGI, TSX:PEG) completed a very successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges on September 27th.  Not only did the shares price at $22, near the top of the expected range, but the underwriters exercised their full over allotment option to purchase 2.4 million shares in addition to the initial 16 million offered.  Total proceeds from the offering were $404.8 million.  Most of the proceeds went to Pattern Energy Group, LP (PEGLP) in consideration for a...

Capstone Infrastructure: Green Income At A Cardinal Discount

Tom Konrad CFA Capstone Infrastructure Corp.'s Gas Cogeneration facility in Cardinal, Ontario. Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (TSX:CSE, OTC:MCQPF. Disclosure: I own this stock) is an international operator and developer of green infrastructure assets and utilities which is currently selling at a significant discount to most comparable firms.  I recently ran a comparison of six similar Canada-listed firms, and Capstone seemed much cheaper on several measures. The Discount The following chart compares five renewable energy and green infrastructure firms with most of their operations in Canada: Capstone, Algonquin Power and Utilities (TSX:AQN, OTC:AQUNF), Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (NYSE:BEP),...

Finavera Wind Energy’s Path to Cash

Tom Konrad CFA Location of the Miekle wind energy project. Photo source: Finavera On June 21st, Finavera Wind Energy (TSXV:FVR, OTC:FNVRF) announced the ratification of the sale of its Tumbler Ridge and Meikle wind energy projects to Pattern Energy with 99.63% of votes cast in favor (a 2/3 majority was needed). The result should have surprised no one, given that the sale was essential to Finavera’s liquidity and ability to fund its operations.  After shareholder, stock exchange, and regulatory approval, Pattern will forgive C$9.3 million of Finavera’s...

Western Wind & Brookfield: Time To Declare Victory and Go Home

Tom Konrad CFA Yesterday, I tendered my shares of Western Wind Energy (TSX-V:WND, OTC:WNDEF) to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners' (TSX:BEP.UN, OTC: BRPFF) extended offer for Western Wind at C$2.60 a share.  This is despite the fact that I think (and was even quoted in a Western Wind press release) saying Western Wind is worth more than C$2.60. Two things have changed.  After conversations with other investors, Western Wind CEO Jeff Ciachurski, and a representative of Brookfield, as well as reading some evidence of extremely bad governance in Western Wind's Q3 2012 filing, I no...

Power REIT: Good if They Lose, Much Better if They Win

Tom Konrad CFA It’s Good to be Small Small investors have an advantage over big hedge funds and other professional investors: They don’t have as much money. Why is not having much money an advantage?  It allows us to invest in stocks that large investors simply cannot touch because of lack of liquidity.  If a stock only trades $50,000 worth of shares a day, a even a relatively small $50 million dollar hedge fund would have to buy all of the shares traded for two weeks just to allocate 1% to the stock, and would have...

Mockumentary: This is Western Wind

Tom Konrad CFA The Windstar Wind Farm. Photo credit: Western Wind Energy If the sale of Western Wind Energy Corp (TSXV:WND, OTC:WNDEF) were a movie it would be a satire like This Is Spinal Tap, the 1984 Rob Reiner classic Mockumentary profiling a “Heavy Metal band on the verge of spontaneous combustion.” I doubt any wind turbines are about to spontaneously burst into flame, but the news keeps getting weirder. First, there was the hedge fund (Savitr) which began pressuring management to put the company up for sale after...

Brookfield Renewable Energy Likely To Vote Against Western Wind Management in Proxy Battle

Tom Konrad CFA When it emerged that Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (“Brookfield”, TSX:BRP.UN, OTC: BRPFF) had acquired approximately one sixth of Western Wind Energy’s (TSXV:WND, OTC:WNDEF) stock last Thursday from Western Wind’s largest institutional shareholder, Goodman & Company, investors cheered. The transaction was seen as a signal that Brookfield intends to bid at least C$2.25 for Western Wind in its upcoming sale, and so the company’s stock has been trading for slightly more than C$2.25 since the announcement. Despite this, the Brookfield/Goodman transaction may not prove to be a good deal for Western Wind’s other shareholders.  Goodman had not...