Is Suzlon’s $650m Wind Bond the First of Many?

India had been trying to get a corporate bond market going for 15 years – search “growing India corporate bonds” and you’ll find papers on the subject from the Reserve Bank of India, Bank of International Settlement and others scattered over past years. The latest Indian 5 year plan has this as a priority – and has green finance as a priority in a separate section. India has a particular need: a miniscule local corporate bond market means restricted financing options for business, including for renewable and energy efficient building developers – diversity with financing options helps drive down costs...

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...

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 ...

Three New Green Bonds

by Sean Kidney The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to issue $1bn Green Bonds per annum. Hawaii is setting up a bond-funded green bank Germany’s PNE Wind is planning a €100m corporate bond Trade Finance magazine reports that the IFC is planning to issue $1bn a year of Green Bonds. After talking with IFC folk in Washington DC last week I think I can say that the resounding success of last month’s first $1bn IFC Green Bond is making them think much more ambitiously than before. We think they should also...

The Making of a Solar REIT: By the Numbers

Tom Konrad, CFA A solar project at Fort Hunter Liggett in California. Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers Power REIT (NYSE:PW) announced yesterday that it had closed on a deal to buy approximately 100 acres of land leased to the owners of over 20 MW of solar projects near Fresno, CA.  This will be the company’s second solar transaction and increases the share of its revenue from solar to 21%.  These two solar transactions put PW well on its way to becoming the nation’s first REIT...

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. ...

Solar Investing Grows Up

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long HASI, BEP. Short PEGI calls, NYLD calls. When I was asked in an interview last month what I thought 2014 would hold for green tech finance, I said 2014 would be the year that “renewable energy finance comes of age.” What I mean is that a new type of renewable energy investment is proliferating.  Solar, other renewables, and energy efficiency investments are no longer limited to risky growth plays like Tesla Motors (NASD:TSLA.)   There are now a number of yield focused investments available to small investors.  As of last year,...

Solar Rooftop Lease Securitization A Ground-Breaking Success

Sean Kidney Last week we blogged that  SolarCity (SCTY) and Credit Suisse were about to issue a new $54.4 million, climate bond – a rooftop solar lease securitization. It’s out: BBB+, 4.8%, 13 years. The long tenor is interesting – and great. And S&P’s BBB+ rating suggest those credit analysts may be beginning to understand solar. This bond has been long-awaited by the green finance sector, who are hoping it’s the harbinger of things to come. I did get the chance to look at the S&P opinion. Their rating reflected, as they put it, their views on over-collateralization (62%...

Four Green Dividend Stocks That IPO’d In 2013

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, HASI. Canada’s stock exchanges have long had the lead as the place for energy infrastructure companies to list.  This includes green energy, as well as the fossil fueled sort.   Because Canada’s reporting rules are somewhat less stringent, and its markets less liquid than those in the US, the large number of offerings trade at lower valuations and higher yields than do their (few) US-listed equivalents. In fact, it was the promise of a higher valuation which led Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (NYSE:BEP, TSX:BEP-UN) to obtain its US listing on June...

Solar Income, Really?

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, HASI. NRG Yield (NYSE:NYLD) was spun out of its parent, NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) in July, and has since been greeted with enthusiasm by investors.  The stock priced at $22, 10% over the mid-point of its expected range, and the underwriters exercised their full over-allotment option. NRG Yield presents itself as an owner and operator of contracted renewable and conventional electricity generation, as well as thermal infrastructure assets.  (Thermal infrastructure provides heat or cooling to businesses for use in their operations.)  The company has a green tinge because of its wind and...

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...

Massachusetts: Green Bond Auction Hot, Other Bonds Tepid

by Sean Kidney The Massachusetts AA+ green bond I mentioned last week got a lot of coverage on release this week – even the WSJ ran the story. But there was a twist: it seems the State had to scale back the total $1.1bn GO offering to $670m on tepid demand, but the green bond bit was 30% oversubscribed. For all you prospective issuers out there: the green bonds also lured as many as 9 new institutional investors for Massachusetts bonds. One buyer went so far as to say “We think more municipalities should do the same." So perhaps...

Q1 Earnings Roundup: Yieldcos (AGR, BEP, CWEN, GPP)

By Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA This is a roundup of first quarter earnings notes shared with my Patreon supporters over the last week. If there is any theme, it’s that low interest rates and increased interest in green investments is lowering Yieldcos’ cost of capital to the benefit of stock investors. Avangrid Earnings Avangrid's (AGR) Q1 earnings report showed solid progress.  Key items of note were: Increased outlook for full year 2021 Adjusted EPS a little over 5%  Key environmental approval for 800 MW offshore wind farm Vineyard Wind. Expected to begin construction later this year, with expected completion in 2024.  Avangrid...

Atlantica Q1, Buying Hannon Armstrong

By Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Here are two more updates from last week on Patreon.  Also, I realize I neglected to publish the monthly performance chart for my 10 Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio here at the start of the month, so here it is as well: Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure Earnings (published May 11th) Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (AY) released its first quarter earnings announcement and financial statements on May 6th. Atlantica is one of the higher yielding Yieldcos, 5.3% at the new quarterly dividend rate of $0.43 and a $32.50 stock price.  The dividend is safe, since most of Atlantica's debt is fixed rate,...
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