While you were brunching (5/1)

EBITDA with a side of local greens

There’s a lot of hype around how the auto industry may or may not drive change in power procurement and distribution. Last week I shared seven stories about battery-transportation innovations and partnerships. Fun fact for today: the average US light vehicle age is 11.4 years (US DoT), so peak EV pojections at 2030 is one car purchase away for most Americans.

No hydro bro


  1. The gift that keeps on giving. Michael Liedbreich of Bloomberg New Energy Finance released his keynote presentation deck (Bloomberg).
  2. Pipeline troubles. Enbridge faces resistance to its existing 64-year-old 645 mile Line 5 pipeline that runs through the Great Lakes. A 2010 Enbridge’s Line 6B disaster dumped 20K barrels of crude into the Kalamazoo River… Seems dialed (Reuters).
  3. Australia thinks it can/should/might export $40B hydrogen energy/year by 2025, Seimens is totally down (Reneweconomy).
  4. Oil producer Total SA says peak oil demand will crest in 2030s, coinciding peak EV penetration of 30% new sales (Bloomberg).
  5. The California Public Utilities Commission doubled its funding for energy storage and power generation to $566M. This is a notable boost in the arm for battery manufacturers like Bloom Energy and Stem, but also allows CA more demand flexibility (Utility Dive and CPUC).
  6. PG&E just received a $8.3M fine for poor tree maintenance. Cal Fire found that PG&E contractors failed to maintain a tree that slumped into a power line, igniting a fire that burned 900 structures across 110 square miles causing $300M in insurance losses in 2015 (Penn Energy).
  7. US coal power plants are doomed (Clean Technica).
IEEFA, pronounced eeeeeks.

Energy Deals

  1. Nonprofit installer Grid Alternatives entered into a strategic partnership with Sunrun to finance solar installations for low-income communities. Under the arrangement Sunrun will own the assets, thereby realizing federal tax credits and depreciation benefits (Global News Wire).
  2. $615M, the largest distributed generation / PPA solar securitization issued into the ABS markets to date. Sunnova raised $255M asset backed notes from Helios Issuer thanks to Credit Suisse. The deal includes two warehouse credit facilities with a combined principal of $360M (GTM).
  3. NKOTB NY Green Bank closed $40.6M new transactions in 1Q17. Distributed Sun & Building Energy recieved $10.5M financing for four solar projects at Cornell University, among others (NYGB).
  4. Global solar encapsulation est. to hit $4.2B by 2022, a 23.1% CAGR from 2016. Encapsulant is like fancy PV glue (Business Wire).
  5. APA Group announced the $165M acquisition of 110MW solar project from Origin Energy Limited (Sky News).
  6. French power plant co. EDF Energies Nouvelles S.A announced the aquisition of 61.6% of independent energy producer FUTUREN SA for $173.6M, implying TEV of $281.82 at 9.8x LTM EBITDA (EDF Energies).
  7. Dynergy inks coal power plant deal with AES Ohio and Dayton Power & Light Co. $50M for 740MW across two plants plus control position (Utility Dive).
  8. Energy cloud platform LongiTech Smart Energy aquired Gaobeideian Guanshuo New Energy in a ~$16.7M all stock deal (PV Magazine). The deal adds 23.5MW to the firm’s existing 30MW portfolio.
  9. UBS analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith foresees Mergers-of-Equals pressures in utilities despite recent regulatory disapprovals (UBS).
Play dead and it won’t attack you.

Vehicles and Things

  1. OMFG the robot (food delivery and warehouse logistics) wars are coming. Google / Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics robotics company announced it’s testing robot dogs for package delivery service and terrifying wheeled humanoid robots for warehouse lifting (Recode).
  2. Not to be bested by live demonstrations of real technology, following up last week’s Lilium VTOL launch, Uber claims it will have flying cars in Dubai by 2023 (Recode). Issues to adoption stateside (Dallas Observer).
  3. Didi Chuxing raises $4.4B, now ~$50B valuation. New funds for global expansion, AI. Apple & Softbank among investors. (TechCrunch).
  4. Continental AG announced it will shift €300 R&D from combustion into electric automotive powertrain systems (Bloomberg).
  5. Merecedes-Benz carshare service Croove expands across Germany (TechCrunch).
  6. The FAA released more airspace for drone pilots, but there’s still a long regulatory path ahead for commercial adoption (Venture Beat).
  7. AES Corp partnered with Measure to integrate drone monitoring into field maintenence ops (UtilityDive). Focus is safety (see PG&E fire).
  8. AAA NorCal innovation lab A3 Ventures launched, Gig, the first one way car-share service in Oakland (Fast Company). 🎼 Ghostride the whip.
  9. Race for Water launches global odessey. The boat uses Sunpower solar panels, hydrogen technology from Swiss Hydrogen SA and a giant Skysails GmbH traction kite for wind. (National Geographic).
Holy smokes

Spaced Out

  1. NASA is going to crash Cassini into Saturn. Truly breathtaking (NASA).
  2. Space-X just launched with National Reconnaissance Organization spy satellite on board, indicating that launch failure risk is minimal enough to meet stringent government standards (TechCrunch).
  3. Private markets slow, ‘16 space tech funding down to $1.5B (CBInsights).
Black hole sun, won’t you come, and wash away the rain.


  1. Dim Sum in Los Angeles, truly nectar of the gods (LA Weekly).
  2. Little Damage Ice Cream Shop in LA now sells almond-charcoal flavored soft serve. Yum? (Some Cards)
  3. Workout before you eat breakfast to burn fat not sugar cereal (NYT).
  4. Last week’s Juicero flop demonstrates how a boatload of money, engineering creep and lack of customer development can ruin a company (Bolt).
  5. Rules for memorable connections, from a succesful person (First Round).