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PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CWEN, CWEN.A) (“Company”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the remaining 50% equity interest in the Utah Solar Portfolio that it does not currently own for $335 million1.
The Utah Solar Portfolio consists of seven utility-scale solar farms located in Utah representing 530 MW of capacity that achieved commercial operations in 2016. The assets within the portfolio sell power subject to 20-year PPAs with PacifiCorp that have approximately 15 years remaining under the agreements.
"The acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the Utah Solar Portfolio will continue the Company’s successful track record of executing on third party transactions to meet our long-term growth objectives,” said Christopher Sotos, Clearway Energy, Inc.’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With this transaction, Clearway will invest in new growth at attractive economics, increase its long-term contracted cash flow from utility-scale solar, and further diversify its portfolio on a regional basis.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, the Company expects to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Company expects to finance the acquisition in part with new non-recourse project level debt of between $210 to $240 million resulting in an expected net corporate capital commitment of approximately $95 to $125 million. Based on current expected terms and conditions of the new non-recourse project financing, the acquisition is expected to provide incremental annual levered asset CAFD on a five-year average basis of approximately $9 to $11 million prior to corporate financing beginning January 1, 2022.
The Company’s existing 50% interest in the Utah Solar Portfolio is accounted for as an equity method investment. Following the close of the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the portfolio, the Company will consolidate the Utah Solar Portfolio in its financial statements.
About Clearway Energy, Inc.
Clearway Energy, Inc. is one of the largest renewable energy owners in the US with over 4,700 net MW of installed wind and solar generation projects. Clearway Energy’s over 8,000 net MW of assets also includes approximately 2,500 net MW of environmentally-sound, highly efficient natural gas generation facilities as well as a portfolio of district energy systems. Through this environmentally-sound diversified and primarily contracted portfolio, Clearway Energy endeavors to provide its investors with stable and growing dividend income. Clearway Energy’s Class C and Class A common stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols CWEN and CWEN.A, respectively. Clearway Energy, Inc. is sponsored by its controlling investor Global Infrastructure Partners III (GIP), an independent infrastructure fund manager that invests in infrastructure and businesses in both OECD and select emerging market countries, through GIP’s portfolio company, Clearway Energy Group.
Safe Harbor Disclosure
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and typically can be identified by the use of words such as “expect,” “estimate,” "target," “anticipate,” “forecast,” “plan,” “outlook,” “believe” and similar terms. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the estimated impact of recent weather events on the Company, its operations, its facilities and its financial results, any potential disposition of the Company's Thermal platform, impacts related to COVID-19 or any other pandemic, the benefits of the relationship with Global Infrastructure Partners III (GIP) and GIP’s expertise, the Company’s future relationship and arrangements with GIP and Clearway Energy Group, as well as the Company's dividend expectations, Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Cash from Operating Activities, Cash Available for Distribution, the Company’s future revenues, income, indebtedness, capital structure, strategy, plans, expectations, objectives, projected financial performance and/or business results and other future events, and views of economic and market conditions.
Although Clearway Energy, Inc. believes that the expectations are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated above include, among others, impacts related to COVID-19 or any other pandemic, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the power industry, weather conditions, including wind and solar performance, competition in wholesale power markets, the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in the wholesale power markets, changes in government regulations, the condition of capital markets generally, the Company's ability to access capital markets, cyber terrorism and inadequate cybersecurity, the ability to engage in successful acquisitions activity, unanticipated outages at its generation facilities, adverse results in current and future litigation, failure to identify, execute or successfully implement acquisitions (including receipt of third party consents and regulatory approvals), the Company's ability to enter into new contracts as existing contracts expire, risk relating to the Company's relationships with GIP and Clearway Energy Group, the Company's ability to acquire assets from GIP, Clearway Energy Group or third parties, the Company's ability to close drop down transactions, and the Company's ability to maintain and grow its quarterly dividends. Furthermore, any dividends are subject to available capital, market conditions, and compliance with associated laws and regulations.
Clearway Energy, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution are estimates as of today’s date and are based on assumptions believed to be reasonable as of this date. Clearway Energy, Inc. expressly disclaims any current intention to update such guidance. The foregoing review of factors that could cause Clearway Energy, Inc.’s actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements included in this news release should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect Clearway Energy, Inc.’s future results included in Clearway Energy, Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. In addition, Clearway Energy, Inc. makes available free of charge at www.clearwayenergy.com, copies of materials it files with, or furnishes to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Appendix Table A-1: Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution Reconciliation
The following table summarizes the calculation of Estimated Cash Available for Distribution and provides a reconciliation to Net Income/(Loss):
($ in millions)
7 – 9
Interest Expense, net
7 – 5
Depreciation, Amortization, and ARO Expense
Adjustment to reflect CWEN share of Adjusted EBITDA in unconsolidated affiliates
Cash interest paid
(7) – (5)
Pro-rata Adjusted EBITDA from unconsolidated affiliates
Cash distributions from unconsolidated affiliates
Cash from Operating Activities
23 - 25
Principal amortization of indebtedness
(14) – (14)
Estimated Cash Available for Distribution
9 - 11
Non-GAAP Financial Information
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Cash Available for Distribution (CAFD) are non-GAAP financial measures. These measurements are not recognized in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as an alternative to GAAP measures of performance. The presentation of non-GAAP financial measures should not be construed as an inference that Clearway Energy’s future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items.
EBITDA represents net income before interest (including loss on debt extinguishment), taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is presented because Clearway Energy considers it an important supplemental measure of its performance and believes debt and equity holders frequently use EBITDA to analyze operating performance and debt service capacity. EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our operating results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
EBITDA does not reflect cash expenditures, or future requirements for capital expenditures, or contractual commitments;
EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, working capital needs;
EBITDA does not reflect the significant interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on debt or cash income tax payments;
Although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements; and
Other companies in this industry may calculate EBITDA differently than Clearway Energy does, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.
Because of these limitations, EBITDA should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to use to invest in the growth of Clearway Energy’s business. Clearway Energy compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on our GAAP results and using EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA only supplementally. See the statements of cash flow included in the financial statements that are a part of this news release.
Adjusted EBITDA is presented as a further supplemental measure of operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for mark-to-market gains or losses, non-cash equity compensation expense, asset write offs and impairments; and factors which we do not consider indicative of future operating performance such as transition and integration related costs. The reader is encouraged to evaluate each adjustment and the reasons Clearway Energy considers it appropriate for supplemental analysis. As an analytical tool, Adjusted EBITDA is subject to all of the limitations applicable to EBITDA. In addition, in evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, the reader should be aware that in the future Clearway Energy may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this news release.
Management believes Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors and other users of our financial statements in evaluating our operating performance because it provides them with an additional tool to compare business performance across companies and across periods. This measure is widely used by investors to measure a company’s operating performance without regard to items such as interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which can vary substantially from company to company depending upon accounting methods and book value of assets, capital structure and the method by which assets were acquired.
Additionally, Management believes that investors commonly adjust EBITDA information to eliminate the effect of restructuring and other expenses, which vary widely from company to company and impair comparability. As we define it, Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for the effects of impairment losses, gains or losses on sales, non-cash equity compensation expense, dispositions or retirements of assets, any mark-to-market gains or losses from accounting for derivatives, adjustments to exclude gains or losses on the repurchase, modification or extinguishment of debt, and any extraordinary, unusual or non-recurring items plus adjustments to reflect the Adjusted EBITDA from our unconsolidated investments. We adjust for these items in our Adjusted EBITDA as our management believes that these items would distort their ability to efficiently view and assess our core operating trends.
In summary, our management uses Adjusted EBITDA as a measure of operating performance to assist in comparing performance from period to period on a consistent basis and to readily view operating trends, as a measure for planning and forecasting overall expectations and for evaluating actual results against such expectations, and in communications with our Board of Directors, shareholders, creditors, analysts and investors concerning our financial performance.
Cash Available for Distribution
A non-GAAP measure, Cash Available for Distribution is defined as of June 30, 2021 as Adjusted EBITDA plus cash distributions/return of investment from unconsolidated affiliates, adjustments to reflect CAFD generated by unconsolidated investments that were not able to distribute project dividends prior to PG&E's emergence from bankruptcy on July 1, 2020 and subsequent release post-bankruptcy, cash receipts from notes receivable, cash distributions from noncontrolling interests, adjustments to reflect sales-type lease cash payments, less cash distributions to noncontrolling interests, maintenance capital expenditures, pro-rata Adjusted EBITDA from unconsolidated affiliates, cash interest paid, income taxes paid, principal amortization of indebtedness, changes in prepaid and accrued capacity payments, and adjusted for development expenses. Management believes CAFD is a relevant supplemental measure of the Company’s ability to earn and distribute cash returns to investors.
We believe CAFD is useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance because securities analysts and other interested parties use such calculations as a measure of our ability to make quarterly distributions. In addition, CAFD is used by our management team for determining future acquisitions and managing our growth. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to CAFD is cash provided by operating activities.
However, CAFD has limitations as an analytical tool because it does not include changes in operating assets and liabilities and excludes the effect of certain other cash flow items, all of which could have a material effect on our financial condition and results from operations. CAFD is a non-GAAP measure and should not be considered an alternative to cash provided by operating activities or any other performance or liquidity measure determined in accordance with GAAP, nor is it indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs. In addition, our calculations of CAFD are not necessarily comparable to CAFD as calculated by other companies. Investors should not rely on these measures as a substitute for any GAAP measure, including cash provided by operating activities.
1 Subject to customary working capital adjustments