Golden Concord eyes wind, but will it take flight?

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Richard Heap
September 5, 2016
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Golden Concord eyes wind, but will it take flight?

Is Golden Concord about to swoop into the wind sector?

This is an intriguing question for us because we have seen the name crop up in two separate stories in the last two weeks.

First, the company was reportedly looking to buy Origin Energy’s planned 471MW Stockyard Hill project in Australia; and second, it is eyeing a buyout of SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Power, which owns solar and wind farms with headline capacity of 3GW in the US, UK, Canada and Chile.

This is all the more interesting because we have not heard from Golden Concord in the last few years. And now, two potential deals in as many weeks. Is something afoot?

Here’s the background. Golden Concord is a Chinese-based clean energy firm that specialises in building solar farms via subsidiaries including GCL New Energy. It bills itself as the largest non-state-owned power company in China, with a 20-year track record in the ‘power, photovoltaic natural gas and finance’ industries.

It is also on the acquisition trail. In August, the firm was named as a frontrunner in the race to buy Dubai private equity house Abraaj Group’s 66% holding in Pakistani utility K-Electric. This would help Golden Concord diversify its operations overseas.

And it has expressed an interest in buying three of SunEdison’s manufacturing arms.

Yet despite this, we do not think Golden Concord’s reported interest in Stockyard Hill and TerraForm Power indicates that it is looking to make any major move in wind. We need only look at the firm’s recent results to see that wind is a footnote in its strategy.

In its 2015 results, the company talked about how it had expanded its solar portfolio from 11 to 41 solar farms over the year, and ending with total installed capacity of 1.5GW. It followed this in its 2016 interim results by shouting loudly about growing its solar portfolio further to 68 solar firms with total capacity of 2.7GW. It has also been looking to grow in the solar sector in the US and Japan.

In contrast, wind did not merit a mention.

So what about those two deals we started with?

Well, the potential TerraForm bid still makes sense with a solar-focused strategy, as the yieldco’s 3GW portfolio is split 49:51 between solar and wind. With SunEdison’s bankruptcy filing, Golden Concord may see this as a great opportunity to expand its solar operation in the US, where it already bills itself as largest Chinese developer. It could then either sell the wind farms if it can attract better prices than SunEdison could achieve; or it could hold them for the steady returns they will deliver.

But it is the Stockyard Hill report that has really got us scratching our heads. We see little reason why a Chinese company that is focused on growing in solar would want to take development-stage risk in Australia. We do not think it will see enough security in a market that is still getting over havoc wreaked by former prime minister, Tony Abbott.

The only angle we see is that Golden Concord could use this deal to position itself as a partner for debt-laden Origin on its solar operations. But that doesn't look compelling enough.

No, we do not think Golden Concord is on the cusp of a spending spree in wind. The more likely reason that we are seeing its name being bandied around is that those of us in the west are attracted by the idea that there could be a tidal wave of cash from China.

Perhaps we are getting over-excited, and it would not necessarily be a bad thing if there is no tidal wave. Chinese investors are typically backed by enormous amounts of debt, and this could be another global economic disaster waiting to happen.

There is also a question over whether Chinese investors’ overseas deals would count as successful if judged by western standards.

Undoubtedly, though, Golden Concord is a major player. If it landed one or both of the deals it has been linked with then it could help it to open up opportunities in wind. Until that we are sceptical about whether, in wind, this concord will take flight.

Is Golden Concord about to swoop into the wind sector?

This is an intriguing question for us because we have seen the name crop up in two separate stories in the last two weeks.

First, the company was reportedly looking to buy Origin Energy’s planned 471MW Stockyard Hill project in Australia; and second, it is eyeing a buyout of SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Power, which owns solar and wind farms with headline capacity of 3GW in the US, UK, Canada and Chile.

This is all the more interesting because we have not heard from Golden Concord in the last few years. And now, two potential deals in as many weeks. Is something afoot?

Here’s the background. Golden Concord is a Chinese-based clean energy firm that specialises in building solar farms via subsidiaries including GCL New Energy. It bills itself as the largest non-state-owned power company in China, with a 20-year track record in the ‘power, photovoltaic natural gas and finance’ industries.

It is also on the acquisition trail. In August, the firm was named as a frontrunner in the race to buy Dubai private equity house Abraaj Group’s 66% holding in Pakistani utility K-Electric. This would help Golden Concord diversify its operations overseas.

And it has expressed an interest in buying three of SunEdison’s manufacturing arms.

Yet despite this, we do not think Golden Concord’s reported interest in Stockyard Hill and TerraForm Power indicates that it is looking to make any major move in wind. We need only look at the firm’s recent results to see that wind is a footnote in its strategy.

In its 2015 results, the company talked about how it had expanded its solar portfolio from 11 to 41 solar farms over the year, and ending with total installed capacity of 1.5GW. It followed this in its 2016 interim results by shouting loudly about growing its solar portfolio further to 68 solar firms with total capacity of 2.7GW. It has also been looking to grow in the solar sector in the US and Japan.

In contrast, wind did not merit a mention.

So what about those two deals we started with?

Well, the potential TerraForm bid still makes sense with a solar-focused strategy, as the yieldco’s 3GW portfolio is split 49:51 between solar and wind. With SunEdison’s bankruptcy filing, Golden Concord may see this as a great opportunity to expand its solar operation in the US, where it already bills itself as largest Chinese developer. It could then either sell the wind farms if it can attract better prices than SunEdison could achieve; or it could hold them for the steady returns they will deliver.

But it is the Stockyard Hill report that has really got us scratching our heads. We see little reason why a Chinese company that is focused on growing in solar would want to take development-stage risk in Australia. We do not think it will see enough security in a market that is still getting over havoc wreaked by former prime minister, Tony Abbott.

The only angle we see is that Golden Concord could use this deal to position itself as a partner for debt-laden Origin on its solar operations. But that doesn't look compelling enough.

No, we do not think Golden Concord is on the cusp of a spending spree in wind. The more likely reason that we are seeing its name being bandied around is that those of us in the west are attracted by the idea that there could be a tidal wave of cash from China.

Perhaps we are getting over-excited, and it would not necessarily be a bad thing if there is no tidal wave. Chinese investors are typically backed by enormous amounts of debt, and this could be another global economic disaster waiting to happen.

There is also a question over whether Chinese investors’ overseas deals would count as successful if judged by western standards.

Undoubtedly, though, Golden Concord is a major player. If it landed one or both of the deals it has been linked with then it could help it to open up opportunities in wind. Until that we are sceptical about whether, in wind, this concord will take flight.

Is Golden Concord about to swoop into the wind sector?

This is an intriguing question for us because we have seen the name crop up in two separate stories in the last two weeks.

First, the company was reportedly looking to buy Origin Energy’s planned 471MW Stockyard Hill project in Australia; and second, it is eyeing a buyout of SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Power, which owns solar and wind farms with headline capacity of 3GW in the US, UK, Canada and Chile.

This is all the more interesting because we have not heard from Golden Concord in the last few years. And now, two potential deals in as many weeks. Is something afoot?

Here’s the background. Golden Concord is a Chinese-based clean energy firm that specialises in building solar farms via subsidiaries including GCL New Energy. It bills itself as the largest non-state-owned power company in China, with a 20-year track record in the ‘power, photovoltaic natural gas and finance’ industries.

It is also on the acquisition trail. In August, the firm was named as a frontrunner in the race to buy Dubai private equity house Abraaj Group’s 66% holding in Pakistani utility K-Electric. This would help Golden Concord diversify its operations overseas.

And it has expressed an interest in buying three of SunEdison’s manufacturing arms.

Yet despite this, we do not think Golden Concord’s reported interest in Stockyard Hill and TerraForm Power indicates that it is looking to make any major move in wind. We need only look at the firm’s recent results to see that wind is a footnote in its strategy.

In its 2015 results, the company talked about how it had expanded its solar portfolio from 11 to 41 solar farms over the year, and ending with total installed capacity of 1.5GW. It followed this in its 2016 interim results by shouting loudly about growing its solar portfolio further to 68 solar firms with total capacity of 2.7GW. It has also been looking to grow in the solar sector in the US and Japan.

In contrast, wind did not merit a mention.

So what about those two deals we started with?

Well, the potential TerraForm bid still makes sense with a solar-focused strategy, as the yieldco’s 3GW portfolio is split 49:51 between solar and wind. With SunEdison’s bankruptcy filing, Golden Concord may see this as a great opportunity to expand its solar operation in the US, where it already bills itself as largest Chinese developer. It could then either sell the wind farms if it can attract better prices than SunEdison could achieve; or it could hold them for the steady returns they will deliver.

But it is the Stockyard Hill report that has really got us scratching our heads. We see little reason why a Chinese company that is focused on growing in solar would want to take development-stage risk in Australia. We do not think it will see enough security in a market that is still getting over havoc wreaked by former prime minister, Tony Abbott.

The only angle we see is that Golden Concord could use this deal to position itself as a partner for debt-laden Origin on its solar operations. But that doesn't look compelling enough.

No, we do not think Golden Concord is on the cusp of a spending spree in wind. The more likely reason that we are seeing its name being bandied around is that those of us in the west are attracted by the idea that there could be a tidal wave of cash from China.

Perhaps we are getting over-excited, and it would not necessarily be a bad thing if there is no tidal wave. Chinese investors are typically backed by enormous amounts of debt, and this could be another global economic disaster waiting to happen.

There is also a question over whether Chinese investors’ overseas deals would count as successful if judged by western standards.

Undoubtedly, though, Golden Concord is a major player. If it landed one or both of the deals it has been linked with then it could help it to open up opportunities in wind. Until that we are sceptical about whether, in wind, this concord will take flight.

Is Golden Concord about to swoop into the wind sector?

This is an intriguing question for us because we have seen the name crop up in two separate stories in the last two weeks.

First, the company was reportedly looking to buy Origin Energy’s planned 471MW Stockyard Hill project in Australia; and second, it is eyeing a buyout of SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Power, which owns solar and wind farms with headline capacity of 3GW in the US, UK, Canada and Chile.

This is all the more interesting because we have not heard from Golden Concord in the last few years. And now, two potential deals in as many weeks. Is something afoot?

Here’s the background. Golden Concord is a Chinese-based clean energy firm that specialises in building solar farms via subsidiaries including GCL New Energy. It bills itself as the largest non-state-owned power company in China, with a 20-year track record in the ‘power, photovoltaic natural gas and finance’ industries.

It is also on the acquisition trail. In August, the firm was named as a frontrunner in the race to buy Dubai private equity house Abraaj Group’s 66% holding in Pakistani utility K-Electric. This would help Golden Concord diversify its operations overseas.

And it has expressed an interest in buying three of SunEdison’s manufacturing arms.

Yet despite this, we do not think Golden Concord’s reported interest in Stockyard Hill and TerraForm Power indicates that it is looking to make any major move in wind. We need only look at the firm’s recent results to see that wind is a footnote in its strategy.

In its 2015 results, the company talked about how it had expanded its solar portfolio from 11 to 41 solar farms over the year, and ending with total installed capacity of 1.5GW. It followed this in its 2016 interim results by shouting loudly about growing its solar portfolio further to 68 solar firms with total capacity of 2.7GW. It has also been looking to grow in the solar sector in the US and Japan.

In contrast, wind did not merit a mention.

So what about those two deals we started with?

Well, the potential TerraForm bid still makes sense with a solar-focused strategy, as the yieldco’s 3GW portfolio is split 49:51 between solar and wind. With SunEdison’s bankruptcy filing, Golden Concord may see this as a great opportunity to expand its solar operation in the US, where it already bills itself as largest Chinese developer. It could then either sell the wind farms if it can attract better prices than SunEdison could achieve; or it could hold them for the steady returns they will deliver.

But it is the Stockyard Hill report that has really got us scratching our heads. We see little reason why a Chinese company that is focused on growing in solar would want to take development-stage risk in Australia. We do not think it will see enough security in a market that is still getting over havoc wreaked by former prime minister, Tony Abbott.

The only angle we see is that Golden Concord could use this deal to position itself as a partner for debt-laden Origin on its solar operations. But that doesn't look compelling enough.

No, we do not think Golden Concord is on the cusp of a spending spree in wind. The more likely reason that we are seeing its name being bandied around is that those of us in the west are attracted by the idea that there could be a tidal wave of cash from China.

Perhaps we are getting over-excited, and it would not necessarily be a bad thing if there is no tidal wave. Chinese investors are typically backed by enormous amounts of debt, and this could be another global economic disaster waiting to happen.

There is also a question over whether Chinese investors’ overseas deals would count as successful if judged by western standards.

Undoubtedly, though, Golden Concord is a major player. If it landed one or both of the deals it has been linked with then it could help it to open up opportunities in wind. Until that we are sceptical about whether, in wind, this concord will take flight.

Is Golden Concord about to swoop into the wind sector?

This is an intriguing question for us because we have seen the name crop up in two separate stories in the last two weeks.

First, the company was reportedly looking to buy Origin Energy’s planned 471MW Stockyard Hill project in Australia; and second, it is eyeing a buyout of SunEdison’s yieldco TerraForm Power, which owns solar and wind farms with headline capacity of 3GW in the US, UK, Canada and Chile.

This is all the more interesting because we have not heard from Golden Concord in the last few years. And now, two potential deals in as many weeks. Is something afoot?

Here’s the background. Golden Concord is a Chinese-based clean energy firm that specialises in building solar farms via subsidiaries including GCL New Energy. It bills itself as the largest non-state-owned power company in China, with a 20-year track record in the ‘power, photovoltaic natural gas and finance’ industries.

It is also on the acquisition trail. In August, the firm was named as a frontrunner in the race to buy Dubai private equity house Abraaj Group’s 66% holding in Pakistani utility K-Electric. This would help Golden Concord diversify its operations overseas.

And it has expressed an interest in buying three of SunEdison’s manufacturing arms.

Yet despite this, we do not think Golden Concord’s reported interest in Stockyard Hill and TerraForm Power indicates that it is looking to make any major move in wind. We need only look at the firm’s recent results to see that wind is a footnote in its strategy.

In its 2015 results, the company talked about how it had expanded its solar portfolio from 11 to 41 solar farms over the year, and ending with total installed capacity of 1.5GW. It followed this in its 2016 interim results by shouting loudly about growing its solar portfolio further to 68 solar firms with total capacity of 2.7GW. It has also been looking to grow in the solar sector in the US and Japan.

In contrast, wind did not merit a mention.

So what about those two deals we started with?

Well, the potential TerraForm bid still makes sense with a solar-focused strategy, as the yieldco’s 3GW portfolio is split 49:51 between solar and wind. With SunEdison’s bankruptcy filing, Golden Concord may see this as a great opportunity to expand its solar operation in the US, where it already bills itself as largest Chinese developer. It could then either sell the wind farms if it can attract better prices than SunEdison could achieve; or it could hold them for the steady returns they will deliver.

But it is the Stockyard Hill report that has really got us scratching our heads. We see little reason why a Chinese company that is focused on growing in solar would want to take development-stage risk in Australia. We do not think it will see enough security in a market that is still getting over havoc wreaked by former prime minister, Tony Abbott.

The only angle we see is that Golden Concord could use this deal to position itself as a partner for debt-laden Origin on its solar operations. But that doesn't look compelling enough.

No, we do not think Golden Concord is on the cusp of a spending spree in wind. The more likely reason that we are seeing its name being bandied around is that those of us in the west are attracted by the idea that there could be a tidal wave of cash from China.

Perhaps we are getting over-excited, and it would not necessarily be a bad thing if there is no tidal wave. Chinese investors are typically backed by enormous amounts of debt, and this could be another global economic disaster waiting to happen.

There is also a question over whether Chinese investors’ overseas deals would count as successful if judged by western standards.

Undoubtedly, though, Golden Concord is a major player. If it landed one or both of the deals it has been linked with then it could help it to open up opportunities in wind. Until that we are sceptical about whether, in wind, this concord will take flight.

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Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.