11 December 2015

EF BRIEFS: Trucost, NY Green Bank, Yes Bank, Abengoa Yield, SunEdison, RWE, Samsung

RWE to float new renewables arm

German utility RWE has got the go-ahead to spin off a renewable energy subsidiary, which will be floated late next year.

The firm's supervisory board voted unanimously in favour of allowing it to restructure, transferring its German renewable energy, grid and retail operations to a new company. This, it said, would enable the new company to "step up its capital expenditure in renewable energy".  

RWE will retain a majority stake in the new firm over the long term, it said. 

"As a result of this restructuring, we will increase our capacity to invest in the energy world of tomorrow and, in turn, secure the viability of RWE as a whole," said board chairman, Manfred Schneider.

Samsung and Canadian investors in debt and equity deal for solar

Canadian investor Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure has partnered with Samsung to co-finance a 50MW solar project in Ontario, closing a $195 million debt facility to support the deal.

No further terms were given regarding either portion of the investment. Régime de Rentes du Mouvement Desjardins, a Canadian private equity firm, also co-invested on the project, which has a two-year power purchase agreement in place with the Independent Electricity System Operator.

This is the third solar transaction Samsung and Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure have completed together to date.

Trina Solar turns back on EU pricing agreement

China's Trina Solar has pulled out of the EU's Price Undertaking (UT) agreement, saying it "unfairly limits the company's growth potential".

The solar photovoltaic module manufacturer joined the UT in 2013, meaning it had to sell its products above a fixed price within the EU, as part of the region's bid to make European companies more competitive against Chinese manufacturers.

However, Trina has withdrawn from the agreement, saying the current iteration of the UT agreement "unfairly limits the company's growth potential in the European region, and is disruptive to the company's ongoing global expansion strategy".

Companies that are not committed to the UT are penalised via anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, which Trina says amount to 47.7% and 3.5% for the firm, respectively.

Green banks unite to form global network

A Green Bank Network has been set up by six green banks and two NGOs to encourage other countries to develop similar models and to share leadership.

The UK's Green Investment Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, the New York Green Bank, Japan's Green Fund, Malaysian Green Technology Corporation and Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation are the founding members, alongside the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Green Capital.

"The network will increase the global impact of green banks by enabling them to collaborate more effectively, share and leverage individual bank experiences, publicise achievements and grow the ranks of green banks worldwide," the group said, adding that green banks were an effective way of stimulating private investment to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Trucost launches product to keep portfolios in line with 2°C limit

Trucost has launched a new product it claims will allow investors to manage their portfolios in-line with a 2˚C global warming limit.

The data and analysis firm's service will measure portfolio alignment, evaluate carbon-pricing scenarios and set coal divestment thresholds, for the energy sector.

"Momentum is increasing for investors to publicly align their strategies to energy transition goals," the company said. "[To] keep pace, institutions will increasingly require a broader set of carbon metrics to holistically measure and manage portfolio climate risks."

Trucost expects to expand the service to cover other sectors in coming months.

Yes Bank pledges to ramp up climate financing in India

India's Yes Bank is aiming to mobilise $5 billion of climate finance by the end of the decade through lending, investing and raising capital.

The private-sector bank – India's fifth largest – said at COP21 that it would, between 2015 and 2020, seek to hit the target in order to aid the country in meeting its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

It also committed, within the same period, to funding 5GW of clean energy, offsetting the carbon emissions of its operations, increasing the proportion of renewables in its power portfolio and planting two million trees.  

Abengoa's creditors put yieldco sale on hold

Abengoa's creditors have halted plans to sell its 47% stake in its listed yieldco subsidiary Abengoa Yield, so they can use it as means of raising cash in the future.

The Spanish engineering firm, began insolvency proceedings last month when a key investor backed out of a rescue deal. It is currently negotiating a multimillion-dollar loan with creditor banks which are demanding assets to guarantee the loan.

Meanwhile, the yieldco is believed to be courting potential suiters, with its newly appointed CEO Santiago Seage meeting with potential investor in New York last week.

SunEdison and JP Morgan form JV to buy 333MW wind portfolio

SunEdison and JP Morgan have formed a joint venture, to own two wind farms with a combined 333MW capacity. 

The joint venture, called Terra Nova Renewable Partners, will purchase the two wind farms for $209 million from SunEdison.

The assets will be held jointly by a strategic equity partnership formed between institutional investors represented by JP Morgan's asset management arm and SunEdison. The partnership is believed to have an enterprise value of $787 million.

SunEdison has the right to repurchase the assets held by the partnership for up to five years through its yieldco subsidiary Terraform Power.