It’s a good news/bad news scenario right now for renewable project developers.
Banks are finally funding projects, but accessing that cash is difficult. Banks are requiring a signed, long-term power purchase agreement with a large utility and a cash-rich, A-rated blue-chip backer. Fulfill these two requirements and bankers will crack open the vault!
It’s a tall glass, to be sure, but this week we saw a perfect example of the kind of project that is succeeding in this environment: the 845-megawatt, Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon. The project has a hefty $1.3 billion price tag but its the model of a bankable project. GE is a part owner and is supplying the plant’s turbines and the power plant is also backed by a 20-year, fixed-price PPA with Southern California Edison. Continue reading The Week in Green Energy: The Bankable Project
Tony Hayward: Former BP chief's new company called 3E Capital
Hayward mapping out road to redemption with 3E Capital
Former BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward is setting up an energy advisory business called 3E Capital, according to The Telegraph newspaper. Hayward is working with Deloitte, the accounting and consultancy house, to set up 3E Capital. Hayward was widely blamed for the bungled response to the Macondo oil spill this spring and summer. He is currently a non-executive director on the board of the Anglo-Russian venture TNK-BP but is understood to be seeking other board appointments. Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: Tony Haywards Comeback?
Sakti3, the Ann Arbor, Mich.,-based developer of high performance lithium batteries for the automobile sector, has received a $4.2 million investment from General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures. Continue reading GM Invests in Discreet Michigan Battery Developer
The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted some 271 clean energy patents during the third quarter of 2009, which is the highest amount of approved patents in a single quarter, according to the latest Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) compiled by law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti.
The index offers some indication on the level of innovation in the clean energy sector, at a time when it is being bolstered by unprecedented government and private investor dollars.
What’s the most innovative sector in cleantech these days? Hands down fuel cells and energy storage devices, which garnered a total of 157 patent approvals over the third quarter. Far behind, taking second and third place, were wind and solar technologies, which accounted for 35 and 33 patents. Tidal wave technology had nine patents approved. For a complete breakdown, see chart above. Continue reading Japanese Companies Lead Cleantech Innovation Race
A123’s Chrysler battery
All eyes are on A123 Systems as the Watertown, Mass., battery maker and its advisers prep its much awaited initial public offering (IPO). The investment community views the A123 listing as a bellwether on investor appetite for: (1) cleantech stocks and (2) largely unproven early stage companies. How well that IPO does could also be another indicator that the “Great Recession” of 2007 -2009 has ended.
A123 has developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery — a tricky technology that remains experimental, at least for automobile applications — that is much more expensive to produce than conventional lead-acid batteries, but stores more energy per unit of weight. The technology’s comparatively high cost doesn’t seem to have damped investor interest. So much so, that today the company amended its registration statement to increase the price range for its proposed IPO to $10.00-to-$11.50 from a previous range of $8 to $9.50: A clear indication that the road show was a success.
At the new pricing range, A123 could raise as much as $300 million. Underwriters for the IPO are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Lazard Capital Markets, and Pacific Crest Securities. Continue reading A123: Blue Chip VCs, Government Dollars, Key Ingredients for Successful IPO in Post- Great Recession Economy