Tag Archives: Enel

The Alternative Agenda: Canadian Solar CFO changeover, NVCA numbers and Enel Green Energy IPO

Canadian Solar gets new CFO

Canadian Solar, which has been dogged by a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, has named Andrew Chen as its new chief financial officer.?Chen replaces Arthur Chien, who will stay on as a special adviser to the chief executive officer until the end of the year, according to a company press release. The company?s release makes no mention of why Chien is departing or the SEC subpoenas received earlier this year. Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: Canadian Solar CFO changeover, NVCA numbers and Enel Green Energy IPO

The Week In Green Energy: The IPO Track

Week of: 06.14.10 – 06.18.10

Not every cleantech IPO is on the right track

There are few things as exciting to the cleantech world as a juicy initial public offering (IPO), and this week has been full of news on that front. Electric car maker Tesla Motors said it will sell 11.1 million shares to the public on June 29 at a price ranging between of $14 and $16 a share, raising up to $178 million. Then, Italian electric utility Enel said it would go ahead with the share sale of its renewable unit in October. The deal is expected to raise as much as €3 billion ($3.69 billion), and will be one of the sector’s largest offerings so far.

Then again, few recent IPOs have shown themselves to be on the right track.

Take Solyndra, the California maker of thin-film photovoltaic cells: On Thursday: company officials announced that it had folded IPO plans that could have raised as much as $300 million. Instead, Solyndra turned to its investors to raise $175 million in convertible promissory notes. The company blamed “uncertainties in the public markets” for the cancellation.

Recent Securities and Exchange (SEC) fillings showed that Solyndra has raised lots of cash, nearly $970 million. It also secured a massive $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. Yet the company also spent a lot of money building a manufacturing complex, that should start shipping panels in the fourth quarter of this year. Despite the production ramp up, Solyndra has not yet achieved economies of scale. As Earth2Tech reported last spring, the company’s production costs are actually much higher than its competitors. This has led independent auditors to question if Solyndra could continue operating at the current burn rate.

Solyndra exemplifies why cleantech IPOs have failed to take off. Despite lots of positive buzz, investors are staying on the sidelines because the revenue and profit picture remains murky. It’s not a train wreck, to be sure, but its not high-speed rail either.

Other cleantech disappointments include battery maker A123 systems (NASDAQ: AONE), whose shares, issued shares last fall, are currently trading far below their introductory price. Biofuel maker Codexis (NASDAQ: CDXS) is also trading below its introductory price, as is Chinese PV maker Jinko Solar (NYSE: JKS), which issued shares last month.

Enel Green Power might actually be one of the few successful green IPOs. It’s backed by a massive operation that generates revenues and it will have no problem accessing project finance to grow its renewable energy portfolio. Those are all certainties investors are looking for in this seesaw equity market.

In other news… On Tuesday, Obama addresed the country on the Gulf oil spill. The Oval Office speech was peppered with well-worn talking points and buzzwords (“addiction to oil,” “a new green economy,” “bipartisanship”) but it was not the detailed road map many that many in the environmental community and punditocracy were expecting. It was widely panned.

We at G.E.R. took a different approach. As we posted here, we actually thought the address was — if not electrifying — pure Obama. A close read of the speech actually illuminates the sort of green energy plan Obama would like to sign into law. Yes, he did not mention climate change, Kerry-Lieberman or concrete details on how he planed to transition out of fossil fuels, but he did provide some hints as to what kind of energy policy he wants to sign into law. One that prices carbon, includes a push for greater energy efficiency and some sort of federal mandate for more wind and solar-powered electricity. Why the lack of details? As he did for the healthcare debate, he’s leaving it to Congress to execute it.

Obama’s week got a whole lot better after the speech. On Wednesday, BP agreed to put $20 billion in an independently managed escrow account to pay for the environmental damages and lost wages caused by the Gulf oil spill (or gusher, or Oilpocalypse). The announcement came after a three-hour long meeting between BP officials and President Obama at the White House. After weeks of bad press on its handling of the spill, the administration had finally gotten ahead of the story. How important of a victory was it? On Thursday, in his opening remarks at the grilling of BP CEO Tony Hayward, U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R – Texas) apologized for the “shakedown” that he said led BP to handover the $20 billion. But Barton apologized at 4 pm, after Republican leadership threatened to take away his committee post. Then, just for good measure, Barton apologized again.

VC and PE Watch

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) invested $50 million for 21 percent of solar startup Stion, a developer of high efficiency, thin-film solar photovoltaic modules. The investment was made by TSM’s Venture Tech Alliance unit and is part of a $70 million Series D financing that’s included return backers Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners and Braemar Energy Ventures.

TerraPower, a company that develops reactors powered by depleted Uranium, raised $35 million as part of a Series B financing. Charles River Ventures and Khosla Ventures participated in the raise. So did Intellectual Ventures co-founder Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates, which partially owns Intellectual Ventures.

Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers-backed Amonix, a California maker of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems, hired Patrick McCullough as its new Chief Financial Officer just a few weeks after closing on a $129.4 million Series B funding.

Rambling

Unlike his Pittsburgh speech last week, in which Obama actually said that a comprehensive energy and climate change bill had to include a cap-and-trade provision, his Oval Office address didn’t mention cap-and-trade once. The environmental community understood this as the death of the carbon-pricing scheme (we didn’t). This came as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that Kerry -Lieberman and its cap-and -trade provision will have “a relatively modest impact on U.S. consumers” and cost households about $79 to $146 per year. This is a golden talking point that the Obama administration should put front and center in its campaign to get climate change and energy done by July. All along cap-and-trade opponents have said that the scheme is bad for business. It actually isn’t, according to the EPA. If the Obama administration is to meet it’s goal, it will have to sell Kerry – Lieberman as a cost effective, business-supported legislation and steer away from any enviro, green talking points. The EPA has just handed a golden talking point that will help them do that!

Enel Green Power IPO Back On

It looks like the Initial Public Offering (IPO) for up to 30 percent of Italy’s Enel Green Power, which could raise as much as €3 billion ($3.69 billion), is back on track.

 

Enel has been mulling an IPO for the better part of a year. Management of parent company Enel, the Rome-based electric utility, has been assessing market appetite for shares of its green subsidiary.

At one point management even considered folding the IPO in favor of striking a partnership with a financial or strategic partner, or both. However, the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources inside the company, reports that tomorrow Enel Green Power will file an IPO prospectus with Italian market authorities.

This year Enel merged its Spanish and Portuguese renewable-energy assets with those of its Madrid-based subsidiary Endesa. According to market rumors in preparation of the IPO Enel and Endesa could merge their respective renewable energy unit.

Just in its home market of Italy, Enel Green Power controls 2,513 megawatts of installed capacity of which 331 megawatts is in wind, 671 megawatts in geothermal, 4 megawatts in photovoltaic solar and 1,507 megawatts in hydroelectric. It operates about 600 megawatts of wind and hydroelectric power In the U.S. and Canada.

Analysts value Enel Green Power at between €13 and €14 billion.

Enel is burdened by a debt of more than €50 billion and it wants to raise cash to pay some of it down. Specifically, the company would like to to reduce its net debt to €45 billion by the end of the year, according to the WSJ.

One can bet that banks are polishing their power point presentations to get what probably will be one of the more lucrative underwriting mandates this year. Enel is expected to select bank advisers later this month.

May Top Ten Players In Green Energy

1: Tony Hayward, BP CEO

BP CEO Tony Hayward speaks at a press conference on the beach at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, May 24, 2010. Hayward said Monday that the global oil giant's reputation was at risk as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico. UPI/A.J. Sisco Photo via Newscom

As any coach of a professional sports team knows, when your bosses publicly declare their support for you, the end is nigh. So it is with BP head Tony Hayward, who, a spokesman has averred, ?has the full support of the board.? To be sure, Hayward has been dealt a horrible hand. It is one thing for a catastrophic oil spill to happen on your watch, it is quite another for it to happen in ecologically sensitive waters within view of the American media. But Hayward has been unable to get ahead of the crisis at any point. BP has shown little interest in getting an accurate flow rate, leaving itself open to charges that it?s hiding the extent of the spill. Hayward has sought to minimize the environmental impact and talked about how inconvenient the spill is for him saying, ?You know, I?d like my life back.? He has, inadvertently, made a convincing case for green energy legislation. Shareholders might forgive these gaffes, but they can?t overlook the billions in market value that have been lost during this misadventure. Hayward will be out soon after the relief well finally stops the flow.

Continue reading May Top Ten Players In Green Energy

May Top Ten Players In Green Energy

1: Tony Hayward, BP CEO

BP CEO Tony Hayward speaks at a press conference on the beach at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, May 24, 2010. Hayward said Monday that the global oil giant's reputation was at risk as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico. UPI/A.J. Sisco Photo via Newscom

As any coach of a professional sports team knows, when your bosses publicly declare their support for you, the end is nigh. So it is with BP head Tony Hayward, who, a spokesman has averred, “has the full support of the board.” To be sure, Hayward has been dealt a horrible hand. It is one thing for a catastrophic oil spill to happen on your watch, it is quite another for it to happen in ecologically sensitive waters within view of the American media. But Hayward has been unable to get ahead of the crisis at any point. BP has shown little interest in getting an accurate flow rate, leaving itself open to charges that it’s hiding the extent of the spill. Hayward has sought to minimize the environmental impact and talked about how inconvenient the spill is for him saying, “You know, I’d like my life back.” He has, inadvertently, made a convincing case for green energy legislation. Shareholders might forgive these gaffes, but they can’t overlook the billions in market value that have been lost during this misadventure. Hayward will be out soon after the relief well finally stops the flow.

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The Week In Green Energy: Google Wind

May 3 – to – May 7, 2010  

Google's latest greentech investment

 

Cleantech developers! Are you scrambling for financing?  Is your project backed by a PPA? Has it secured regulatory approval but is not making it past bank credit committees? Call Google. Yes, the search engine giant, is  now directly investing in renewable energy projects. A little less than a year after the company’s green leadership announced a shift in its cleantech strategy, Google invested $38.8 million in a North Dakota wind farm developed by NextEra Energy. This is Google’s  first ever-direct investment in a wind power plant. 

Continue reading The Week In Green Energy: Google Wind