EF BRIEFS: Exxon, FIM, SunEdison, Hareon, SPI, CTX

Channels: Debt, Equity, Investment, Policy, Renewables

Companies: ExxonMobil, Exxon, FIM, SunEdison, Hareon Solar, SPI Energy, Carbon Trade Exchange, CTX

People: Thomas DiNapoli

Investors call on Exxon to prove it can survive climate goals

[Updated: amends first paragraph of Exxon story]

Signatories include

  • New York State Common Retirement Fund
  • Church Commissioners for England
  • Vermont State Employees' Retirement Fund
  • The University of California Retirement Plan
  • Brainerd Foundation

A group of institutional investors with $300 billion under management is calling on ExxonMobil to prove its resilience in the face of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Representing more than $1 billion of Exxon shares, the group (see box) claims December's agreement on lowering carbon emissions "may significantly affect Exxon's operations".

"As shareholders, we want to know that Exxon is doing what is needed to prepare for a future with lower carbon emissions," said New York State Comptroller and trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Thomas DiNapoli. "The future success of the company, and its investors, requires Exxon to assess how it will perform as the world changes."

Exxon is being asked to follow in the footsteps of Shell and BP by disclosing "the resilience of its business model" and "how [it] will be impacted by efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions".

Timber and solar funds launched

Alternative investment manager FIM has launched two UK-focused funds, which will invest in timberland and solar, respectively.

Oxfordshire-based FIM, which has more than £600 million ($850 million) of assets and mainly targets high net-worth individuals and institutions, is raising funds for FIM Timberland LP and the FIM Solar Distribution LLP.

The timber fund will invest in large-scale UK commercial forests, while the solar fund will invest in operational solar farms in the country. Both funds target annualised returns of 7%.


SunEdison completes acquisition of solar portfolio

SunEdison has completed the second and final phase of its $297 million acquisition of a stake in a solar energy portfolio.

Following a $180 million transaction in December, the renewables developer has now paid a further $117 million, giving it a 33% stake in a 567MW portfolio owned by US utility Dominion. Dominion will retain the remaining 67%.

In a back to back transaction, SunEdison sold the entire newly-acquired stake Terra Nova Renewable Partners – its joint venture with JP Morgan Asset Management Global Real Assets – at the same price.

The terms of the deal also state that Terra Nova retains an option to purchase the remaining 67% stake in the portfolio after certain trigger events.

SunEdison also has an option to repurchase the projects in the portfolio from Terra Nova over the next five years, which it may then drop down into its listed subsidiary TerraForm Power.

Hareon Solar raises RMB2bn to acquire solar and water assets

Chinese solar cell manufacturer Hareon Solar plans to raise RMB2 billion ($305 million) to acquire a water company and 220MW of photovoltaic (PV) power plants.

The finance will come from a private placement of almost 741 million shares with three of Hareon's corporate investors: Huajun Power, Baohuaxing, and Relte. Huajun will take almost 80% of the new shares.

Baohuaxing and Huajun together own 100% of Chinese water company Continuously Water and will use all their shares in this company as part-payment of the Hareon shares.

No details were given about the PV plants that are to be acquired.


SPI Energy shares slump on Nasdaq debut

SPI Energy, a developer of photovoltaic (PV) power systems, headquartered in Shanghai, saw its shares slump to $16.00 from $18.90 yesterday, in its first day's trading on the Nasdaq exchange in New York.

The company was founded in California in 2006 but moved its headquarters to China in January 2015. It completed a merger with its subsidiary Solar Power, Inc earlier this month and currently develops, finance and installs PV residential and utility-scale PV plants in China, Japan, European and North America.

It also operates an online energy e-commerce and investment platform, Solarbao, which helps individuals and institutional investors to buy PV-based products and services. Its aim is for Solarbao to create "a closed-loop solar energy ecosystem from power generation and power storage to power efficiency management in a way that has never been done before," said SPI chairman Xiaonfeng Peng.

CTX sees first spot trade in RGGI contracts

Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX), today reported the first trade in its new spot market for emission allowances in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The transaction was for one contract, which represents 1,000 RGGI allowances, and was executed at a price of $8.13.
Prices in this market, which covers power plants in nine states in the north-eastern US, have risen steadily over the past two years, from below $2.00 in December 2013, partly in response to rule changes.

The CTX market for RGGI allowances was launched on January 15 and is the first spot exchange for mandatory emissions trading programmes in the US. Other exchanges focus on futures contracts.