Clearway Energy, Inc (NYSE:CWEN) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 07, 2019 • 08:00 am ET


Clearway Energy, Inc (NYSE:CWEN) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Clearway Energy First Quarter 2019 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode.

(Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to Christopher Sotos, President and CEO.

Christopher Sotos

Thank you. Good morning. Let me first thank you for taking time to join today's call. Joining me this morning is Chad Plotkin, our Chief Financial Officer, as well as Craig Cornelius, President and CEO of Clearway Energy Group. Craig will be available for the Q&A portion of our presentation. Before we begin, I'd like to quickly note that today's discussion will contain forward-looking statements, which are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date. Actual results may differ materially. Please review the safe harbor in today's presentation as well as the risk factors in our SEC filings. In addition, we will refer to both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. For information regarding our non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures, please refer to today's presentation.

Turning to Page 4, as many of you are aware, renewable energy resources were weak across most geographic regions in the first quarter, and Clearway was not immune to this dynamic. Chad will provide details, but the impact on our results for the full year are within our sensitivity ranges. Additionally, the projects impacted by the PG&E bankruptcy continue to perform, and our dialogue on forbearance with lenders continues to be constructive, albeit a slow process.

As such, we are maintaining our 2019 CAFD guidance of $270 million, which continues to be based on our full-year P50 energy production estimates. In addition, we are announcing a second-quarter dividend of $0.20 a share, the same dividend as last quarter. This is consistent with our view that until CWEN attains additional visibility around the PG&E bankruptcy and has full access to its project distributions, dividends paid to shareholders will be aligned with the available corporate liquidity and our target payout ratio. Our pro forma CAFD outlook of $295 million remains on track, with our first funding for the Hawaii Solar Phase I project partnership and with additional investment in the DG partnerships. In addition, our Mylan Labs project remains on schedule, with anticipated COD of June 2019.

While working through the PG&E situation, we continue to drive toward achieving growth in the platform while minimizing capital needs. As such, we raised approximately $11 million in incremental capital available for investment through the refinancing of the non-recourse debt at the Tapestry Wind portfolio. We then were able to quickly redeploy those proceeds toward our newest growth project at the thermal segment, the acquisition of Duquesne University's district energy system, which I will talk about later in the presentation.

In addition, we are continuing to advance the repowering partnership with Clearway Group, which we initially formed last August, and which covers 283 megawatts of our existing wind projects.