Clearway Energy, Inc (NYSE:CWEN) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 27, 2020 • 08:00 am ET

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Clearway Energy, Inc (NYSE:CWEN) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Clearway Energy, Incorporated Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants lines are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers' presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Chris Sotos, President and CEO. Thank you, and, please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Christopher Sotos

Thank you. Good morning. Let me first thank everyone for taking the 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 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. I'm happy to report that despite weak renewable energy conditions in the fourth quarter, Clearway was able to achieve its revised 2019 CAFD guidance with $254 million of CAFD generated. Clearway continues to see the PG&E situation evolving positively, with the contracts performing in the normal course, and anticipate resolution in the summer of 2020. As you all know, the PG&E situation has made it more difficult to grow the Company. And we look forward to the resolution of the bankruptcy, and our renewed ability to move forward.

Despite these challenges, Clearway is able to deploy or commit $386 million in corporate capital in 2019 to growth projects, as well as raise $700 million of corporate capital to support these investments, and our balance sheet. Due to the continued improvement in the PG&E situation as well as increased CAFD from non-PG&E sources, we took the opportunity to increase the first quarter 2020 dividend by 5% versus the previous quarter to $0.21 per share, from $0.20 per share. Clearway views this dividend increase as appropriate, relative to the transaction executed in the fourth quarter of 2019. And we anticipate the dividend will be adjusted to a more normalized level once PG&E emergence from bankruptcy. To support future dividend growth, following conclusion of the PG&E bankruptcy, Clearway execute on strong growth in 2019 across the platform. As a result of these efforts, based on a 2020 pro forma, Clearway's CAFD per share outlook grew to $1.61.

In the Conventional segment, we closed on the acquisition of Carlsbad in the fourth quarter. We are also pleased to announce that the Company has filed with FERC on the Black Start project at Marsh Landing, which was originally awarded under a procurement in 2017. We continue to