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Tom Konrad, CFA  

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  • Alterra Power - An Undervalued Renewable Energy Play [View article]
    SD- Thanks for another in-depth write up on one of my picks. Like you, I like Alterra a lot better than HTM - it's simpler to understand, and trades farther below the value of its assets.

    On Shannon Wind, I think the profitability hinges on getting the PTC, which would boost your calculated CFO by about $15,000, and make the value of the project comfortably positive. I think getting the PTC is highly likely (>90%)... even if there is risk here, I don't think it makes sense to do the calculation without attributing anything to the PTC (although your electricity sales price may be a little high, since wind power is often produced off-peak.
    Apr 17, 2015. 08:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February [View article]
    I can't figure out a way to buy these in a US account, so I never bothered to analyze them.
    Apr 13, 2015. 09:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: Marching Ahead [View article]
    That's why I call it "Clean Energy" and not Renewable Energy. Accell is a leading manufacturer of eBikes, so while their conventional models are indeed powered by the human variety if biofuels, the real benefit of bikes is that they are one of the most energy-efficient ways in existence to move a human from A to B. Even if you charge an eBike with pure coal and refrain from peddling, you'll have lower lifecycle emissions than if you charge a Tesla with solar and drive the same distance. (The lifecycle emissions from the Tesla are from the embodied energy required to manufacture the car and the solar panels. The lifecycle emissions to build an ebike and power it with coal are much lower. Not that you *should* power it with coal.)
    New Flyer is in the list for the same reason- not because they've built a couple handfuls of Battery Electric Buses and lots of hybrids.
    Apr 2, 2015. 01:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: Marching Ahead [View article]
    Good point- forgot about that. When a stock's this undervalued, it better be a big premium or I'll be voting against the deal.
    Apr 1, 2015. 11:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Geothermal Enters A Period Of Relative Stability [View article]
    Having imprecise goals like that makes it a lot easier to declare victory, especially with Ram Power as competition. I guess we can at least give HTM credit for good PR instincts, if not ambitious goals.

    Ram has been imploding since their Nicaraguan plant (SJT) was not able to produce enough power to satisfy its financing covenants. Ram's been selling everything that's not nailed down and has even been operating without a CEO (just a chairman of the board) for over a year. HTM's Geysers resource was actually bought from Ram last year. Ram will probably be delisted from the TSX soon, as well.

    As for Ormat, as edexter pointed out: not a pure play. Unless we include non-listed companies, I'm still having trouble thinking of any other pure-play geothermal company, anywhere. The only listed geothermal power players I know of globally are Ormat, Calpine, EDC (Philippines), Enel (Italy), Alterra Power (MGMXF), and Ram Power. Ram's the only other pure-play, and, as I noted above, it's imploding like Nevada Geothermal and Raser Technologies before it. Lots of people recall NGP because they were a mini-Solyndra, but I wonder it anyone remembers Raser besides me?

    With all the takeovers and bankruptcies, HTM has already accomplished a lot by just making it to profitability and remaining independent.
    Mar 26, 2015. 06:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Geothermal Enters A Period Of Relative Stability [View article]
    Good point edexter... which just drives home that HTM's "ambitious" goal is to be the largest pure-play US geothermal operator seems pretty meaningless, since no one can think of any others.
    Mar 26, 2015. 09:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Geothermal Enters A Period Of Relative Stability [View article]
    Thanks for delving into the financials again... I appreciate your work revealing the cash flows behind the opaque minority interests.

    As for a couple of your other comments, getting a PPA for the Geysers may be easier than you say- while there is a shortage of demand from utilities in the US as a whole, California is a special case, with utilities rushing out to hit 33% renewables by 2020 under the RPS. This leads to a shortage of dispatchable generation, and geothermal plants can be designed to be dispatchable, like Ormat's Puna plant in Hawaii http://bit.ly/1N8TJtx. This rare opportunity for a renewable, dispatchable power plant should work in HTM's favor.

    Regarding HTM's goal of being the "Largest pure-play geothermal company in the US," do you know of any larger today? Calpine and Ormat are bigger, but Calpine is far from pure-play (it's mostly natural gas), and Ormat is an Israeli company. Maybe a private company?
    Mar 25, 2015. 02:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February [View article]
    I agree with you both.
    Mar 25, 2015. 01:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has This Clean Energy REIT Left The Train Station? [View article]
    You could ask about the term structure of HASI's assets. It's the energy efficiency assets that tend to be shorter term, but they've been doing more renewable energy investing recently. That can be short or long term. the big wind deal last fall was (I think) shortish, approx 5 years, but I don't recall where I got this impression. I'd be curious if the average maturity of their assets is changing over time.
    Mar 8, 2015. 08:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Has This Clean Energy REIT Left The Train Station? [View article]
    Valleywood - HASI's 14%-16% core earnings growth projection makes a dividend increase to $0.30 much more likely than $0.29 this December. (14% increase is $0.2964; 16% increase is $0.3016, and they have a history of rounding up.)
    Mar 7, 2015. 11:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has This Clean Energy REIT Left The Train Station? [View article]
    Before the recent earnings, I was thinking that $18 was a fair price for this company, and because of the recent run-up, I sold $17.50 covered calls on about 10% of my holdings for rebalancing. But the increase in core earnings growth to 14-16% from the previous 12-15% also made me increase my fair value estimate to $19 or so. Not that I don't see any reason why HASI could not overshoot its fair value- most of the yieldcos did. In practice, I start trimming my holdings by selling covered calls when a company hits my fair value estimate, but I will not sell everything until it starts looking substantially overvalued.

    One clarification, Brad: many of HASI's investments are fairly short term. Most financing for performance contracts amortize over 5-10 years, so as interest rates rise, HASI should have opportunities for internal core earnings growth by reinvesting these cash flows in higher yield investments. This gives HASI lower overall interest rate sensitivity than your (otherwise excellent) bond analogy would lead one to believe.
    Mar 7, 2015. 11:28 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February [View article]
    Gotta love that timing.
    Mar 5, 2015. 12:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February [View article]
    By the way, the earnings today from AMRC were exactly what I was hoping for - they expect broad based growth in energy services, and raised their guidance. HASI also raised their guidance yesterday; now they anticipate increasing the dividend by 14%-16% in December, or from $0.26 to approx $0.30 quarterly.
    Mar 5, 2015. 11:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2015: A Fine February [View article]
    I would anticipate a stock buyback only if they were not to find a buyer at a price they found attractive. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.
    Mar 5, 2015. 11:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Capstone Infrastructure: 3 Different Insiders Have Purchased Shares During The Last 30 Days [View article]
    Partly currency related, partly worries about Bristol water, IMO. You can find recent thoughts by me in the "related" articles.
    Mar 5, 2015. 11:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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