Resource logo with tagline

Power plant manager seeking capital for Boston acquisitions

A manager of natural gas power plants is seeking capital to acquire two facilities in the Boston area and convert them into low-carbon generation assets.

US Grid Company, an owner and operator of electric generation assets in US cities, is seeking to raise capital to make a pair of acquisitions in Boston.

The New York-based plant manager is targeting facilities owned by Calpine and Constellation, CEO Jacob Worenklein said.

Calpine owns the Fore River Energy Center, a 731 MW, combined-cycle plant located 12 miles southeast of Boston, while Constellation owns Mystic Generating Station, a 1,413 MW natural gas-fired plant in Everett, Massachusetts.

Worenklein would acquire the assets and seek to implement lower-carbon generation solutions such as batteries, renewables, or clean fuels, he said.

He has held conversations with both Calpine and Constellation about acquiring the assets, and would need approximately $100m of equity capital to make an acquisition, he said, with the balance coming in the form of debt capital.

US Grid Company previously had investment backing from EnCap Energy Transition and Yorktown Partners, but the funds for the deal were pulled.

Worenklein has had a storied career in the US power sector, serving as a global head in roles at SocGen and Lehman Brothers. He was also founder and head of the power and projects law practice at Milbank.

From 2017 to 2020 he served as chairman of Ravenswood Power Holdings, the owner and operator of a 2,000 MW gas-fired plant in Queens, New York.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

Cemvita appoints CFO

Houston-based Cemvita has appointed Lisa Bromiley as its new CFO.

Cemvita, a carbon utilization company, has appointed Lisa Bromiley as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

In her new role, Bromiley will spearhead capital markets, strategic positioning, and financial management of the company, bringing with her over two decades of invaluable experience in energy and commodity-related finance.

Prior to joining Cemvita, Bromiley played pivotal roles as CFO and Public Company Director. Particularly, she played a key role in the development of Flotek Industries, Inc. Mrs. Bromiley also steered Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., achieving a market capitalization of $4bn.

Read More »

Electric Hydrogen secures $100m in corporate credit financing

The funding was led by HSBC, with participation from J.P. Morgan, Stifel Bank, and Hercules Capital.

Electric Hydrogen has secured $100m in corporate credit financing to support manufacturing and deployment of their 100 MW electrolyzer plants, which enable the lowest cost production of green hydrogen, the company said in a news release.

The funding was led by HSBC, with participation from J.P. Morgan, Stifel Bank, and Hercules Capital.

Electric Hydrogen, headquartered in Natick, MA, is leading critical industries such as steel, fertilizer, shipping and aviation towards decarbonization with its powerful, U.S.-manufactured electrolyzers, designed to deliver the lowest cost green hydrogen on earth.

“For more than 150 years, HSBC has been supporting businesses as they scale and transform industries worldwide,” said Matt Perlow, Director, HSBC Innovation Banking. “Our focus on financing innovative companies like Electric Hydrogen aligns with our mission of providing best-in-class banking services for our clients at every stage of their growth cycle. Clean technology and sustainability remain top priorities at HSBC, and we are thrilled to support Electric Hydrogen’s deployment of large-scale electrolyzer plants in its mission to decarbonize critical industries.”

“This facility marks a step-change in Electric Hydrogen’s access to capital and overall maturity as a business. With credit backing from some of the world’s largest and most well-known banks, we are well positioned to deliver gigawatts of electrolyzer plants in the coming years and enable our customers to meet their decarbonization goals,” states Derek Warnick, the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Electric Hydrogen recently announced $65m in total Department of Energy support and $50m in equipment financing from Trinity Capital to scale its U.S. manufacturing at its Devens, MA gigafactory, one of the largest electrolyzer factories in the country. The gigafactory’s first electrolyzer stacks will be shipped later this year to a customer-sited project in southeast Texas. Electric Hydrogen also announced a 1 GW framework supply agreement with The AES Corporation last quarter.

“At J.P. Morgan, we are focused on serving companies who are helping decarbonize industries and building the green economy. We are pleased to support Electric Hydrogen in their next phase of growth, as they bring their 100MW electrolyzer plants to customers worldwide,” says Eric Cohen, Head of Green Economy Banking at J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking.

“Given the growing demand for cost-competitive, zero-carbon green hydrogen, we are excited to partner with Electric Hydrogen’s industry-leading team to help accelerate its manufacturing rollout and support deployment of their 100 MW electrolyzer plants,” remarks Greg Peterson, Managing Director of Hercules Capital.

Read More »

Southwest Airlines acquires SAFFiRE Renewables

Southwest transitions from investor to sole owner of SAFFiRE, a developer of sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol.

Southwest Airlines Co. has acquired SAFFiRE Renewables, LLC as part of the investment portfolio of its wholly owned subsidiary Southwest Airlines Renewable Ventures, LLC (SARV).

SARV is dedicated to creating more opportunities for Southwest® to obtain scalable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), according to a news release.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SAFFiRE is part of a project supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and produce scalable renewable ethanol that can be upgraded into SAF. SAFFiRE expects to utilize technology developed at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to convert corn stover, a widely available agricultural residue feedstock in the U.S., into renewable ethanol.

“This acquisition marks Southwest’s transition from investor to sole owner of SAFFiRE, expressing our confidence in SAFFiRE’s technology and its potential to advance our sustainability goals as well as the goals of the broader industry,” said Bob Jordan, President & CEO of Southwest Airlines. “Championing SAF is a key pillar of Southwest’s Nonstop to Net Zero plan and our work toward a more sustainable future for air travel. We look forward to continuing our journey with SAFFiRE as part of our efforts to propel this promising technology forward.”

Southwest first invested in SAFFiRE during phase one of the pilot project in 2022. With this acquisition, SAFFiRE is expected to proceed with phase two of the project by developing a pilot plant hosted at Conestoga’s Arkalon Energy ethanol facility in Liberal, Kansas. Initially, this plant is intended to utilize SAFFiRE’s exclusive technology license from NREL to process 10 tons of corn stover per day for the production of renewable ethanol. Then, the plan is for the ethanol to be converted into SAF by LanzaJet, Inc. (LanzaJet).

“Renewable ethanol is an important feedstock to realizing high-volume, affordable SAF, which is a critical part of the journey to net zero carbon emissions,” said Tom Nealon, President of SARV and CEO of SAFFiRE. “We are enthusiastic about the ethanol-to-SAF pathway and SAFFiRE’s potential ability to produce renewable ethanol at a scale that is economically viable.”

The acquisition of SAFFiRE comes shortly after Southwest announced an investment in LanzaJet, a SAF technology provider and producer with a patented ethanol-to-SAF technology and the world’s first ethanol-to-SAF commercial plant.

Read More »

Exclusive: Green hydrogen developer planning capital raises for distributed portfolio

A developer of US green hydrogen projects will need to access the project equity, debt and tax equity markets in the near term for a pipeline of distributed assets nationwide.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, will be in the market for project financing for a portfolio of distributed green hydrogen projects in 2024, CEO Matt McMonagle said.

The company, which recently agreed to a $20m capital raise with Modern Energy, is aiming to attract additional private equity and infrastructure investors for the projects it is developing, the executive said.

“The opportunity is really there for attractive risk-adjusted returns at the project level based on how we’re structuring these projects with long-term contracted revenue,” he said.

The company plans to bring its first projects online in late 2024 or 2025.

“We don’t have the project financing set at the point that we can announce, but that’s something myself and my team have done in our careers,” McMonagle said, adding that he’s focused on bankability since founding the company. “We wanted to be as easy for the lenders to underwrite as possible.”

No financial advisors have been attached to the project financings, McMonagle said. A recently announced Series A, first reported by ReSource in February, gave the company exposure to investors that want to participate in project financings, he said.

“We’ll really be ramping that process up, likely after the new year,” McMonagle added, declining to say how much the company would need to raise in 2024.

NovoHydrogen doesn’t have a timeline on a Series B, he said.

Distributed pipeline

The company looks to do onsite projects adjacent to consumption, McMonagle said. The first projects that will go online will be 10 MW and smaller.

“Typically the permitting is straightforward in that we’re adding equipment to an already impacted industrial site,” McMonagle said. He declined to elaborate on where these projects are located or what customers they will serve.

The company also has off-site, or near-site projects, where production is decoupled from consumption. But the company still calls those distributed because they are being developed with a targeted customer in mind.

“We want to be as close as possible to that customer,” he said. Those off-site projects typically are larger and will begin coming online in 2026 and 2027.  

In Texas NovoHydrogen has two large-scale green hydrogen developments in production, co-located with greenfield renewables projects, McMonagle said. Partners, including EPC, are in place for those efforts. The company also has projects in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and along the west coast.

“Where can we add the most value and have the biggest competitive advantage?” McMonagle said of the company’s geographic strategy. “We have very specific go-to-markets in each of those regions which we feel play to our strengths.”

NovoHydrogen is a member of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub and is involved with the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2), though not in line to receive DOE funding through that hub.

Post-IRA, green hydrogen projects will look much like renewables deals from the equity, tax equity and debt perspectives, he said.

“We’re structuring and setting up our projects to take advantage of that existing infrastructure and knowledge base of how to finance deals,” he said. New options on transferability will enable additional financing options as well.

No flipping

NovoHydrogen does not plan to flip projects before COD, McMonagle said.

“We are planning to deploy hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in capex for these projects, and we’ll certainly need to partner with folks to deploy that capital,” McMonagle said. “But we will remain in deals with our customers because that relationship is really the fundamental value that we bring in our business.”

Hydrogen projects are different from renewables in that the customers need greater assurances of resiliency, security of supply and performance, than in a space like solar, he said.

Flipping projects before COD would be inconsistent with the trust required to attract offtakers.

“We don’t believe doing a flip reflects that level of importance and support and, frankly, incentive, behavioral incentive, that we have to show to our customers,” he said.

Read More »
exclusive

Former Denbury executive targeting growth through CCS at industrial emitters

Tracy Evans, a former COO of Denbury Resources, has launched a business unit aimed at offering carbon capture and sequestration services for existing industrial emitters.

CapturePoint, a Texas-based carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery specialist, is seeking to grow by offering carbon capture services to existing industrial emitters.

The company, started with an initial focus on enhanced oil recovery operations using CO2, has launched a subsidiary called CapturePoint Solutions to capitalize on growing demand for carbon capture services at industrial plants, CEO Tracy Evans said in an interview.

Evans, a former chief operating officer of Denbury Resources, has years of experience operating CO2 capture units, pipelines, and oil wells. “The only difference between EOR utilization and sequestration is going to the saline aquifers,” he said of the pivot.

The company’s primary focus is on existing emissions, Evans said, emphasizing the immediate opportunity over proposed plants that might take many years to build. He added that the company would target “pure” sources of CO2 versus diluted sources.

Evans brought in a JV equity partner for the CCS business, but declined to name them. He said the company is sufficiently capitalized for now but might need to raise additional equity as it signs up new projects in the next 12 to 16 months.

Tax equity and CCS

CapturePoint recently completed a tax equity deal for a CCS facility that has been operational since 2013, thanks to changes to provisions governing the use of 45Q for carbon capture that allowed existing plants to qualify if they capture over 500,000 tons of CO2.

The deal, at CVR Partners’ Coffeyville fertilizer plant, opened up an initial payment of $18m and includes installment payments, payable quarterly until March 31, 2030, totaling up to approximately $22m.

An ethanol facility where CapturePoint operates will also qualify for 45Q benefits because 80% or more of the carbon capture unit is being rebuilt, Evans said. The company was able to finance the new construction at the ethanol facility from cash flow out of its oil & gas operations.

Going forward, new projects installed at existing emitters will follow a project finance model, with equity, debt, and 45Q investors, Evans said. The company will use a financial advisor when the time is right, the executive noted, but said there’s more work to be done on sizing and costs before an advisor is lined up.

“The capture costs are similar for each site,” he said. “The pipeline distances to a sequestration site is what drives significant variation in total capital costs.”

Evans believes that tax credit increases in the Inflation Reduction Act – from $35 per ton to $60 per ton for CO2 used in EOR, and $50 per ton to $85 for CO2 sequestration – should help the CCS market evolve and lead to additional deals.

“There wasn’t much in it for the emitter at $35 and $50, to be honest,” he said, “whereas at $60 and $85 there’s something in it for the emitter.”

Read More »
exclusive

US hydrogen developer to raise $1bn in 2023

Avina Clean Hydrogen will need $600m or more of debt and between $200m and $300m of equity. Capital raising talks are focused on the operating company and project level.

Avina Clean Hydrogen, a U.S.-based developer of hydrogen production plants, will seek to raise approximately $1bn, or possibly more, in 2023, CEO Vishal Shah said in an interview.

The company will need $600m or more of debt and between $200m and $300m of equity, Shah said. Capital raising talks are focused on the operating company and project level.

Avina is also in discussions with potential investment bankers, but has not hired anyone yet, Shah said.

“The capital needs for us are going to continue to grow,” Shah said. “We are certainly open to bringing on additional partners.”

Four development projects have offtake agreements in place, Shah said. The first operational plant will open in Southern California next year or early 2024, followed by Avina’s 700,000 mtpa green ammonia project in the Texas Gulf Coast. Additional projects are underway in the Midwest.

Three of those projects, each with offtakers in place, will reach FID in 2023 and need project debt, Shah said.

Avina is engaged with half-a-dozen potential customers and will seek to develop additional projects within that existing footprint.

Renewable energy procurement is also an important concern for Avina; the Texas project alone will require 900 MW of renewable energy to power, Shah said. The company is in offtake discussions with regional IPPs, mostly in solar and battery storage, but could use help with those agreements. Shah declined to name the firm’s legal advisor.

Avina was founded more than three years ago and is principally backed by Hydrogen Technology Ventures, a firm headed by Shah.

An equity raise was completed in early Q4, Shah said, declining to provide details. The company has a “large industrial firm” as a strategic investor that it hopes to announce soon. Looking forward, the company will look for a second strategic investor, as well as project finance.

Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.