Clearway Energy, an US independent power producer, has released its financial results for the third quarter of this year, revealing a robust performance in the renewable energy sector. In the first nine months of 2023, Clearway Energy's renewable energy facilities generated a net income of $112 million, marking a substantial increase from the $26 million generated in the same period in 2022.
This financial growth also surpassed the income generated by the company's fossil fuel projects, which amounted to $99 million in the first nine months of 2023. Notably, in the corresponding period in 2022, Clearway Energy's fossil fuel sector yielded $121 million, signaling a shift towards greater financial viability in renewables for the company.
While some of the decreased revenue in fossil fuels can be attributed to one-off events, such as the suspension of operations at the El Segundo gas-fired facility in August 2022 due to facility damage, the promising figures in renewables largely stem from strategic investments in Clearway Energy's renewable portfolio, particularly in solar projects. Notably, the company commenced commercial operations at its Daggett solar-plus-storage facility in October, after two years of development, with plans for further expansion.
This upward trend is expected to continue, as Clearway Energy has recently entered into agreements to acquire interests in the Texas Solar Nova 1 and 2 projects located in Kent County, Texas, which will collectively contribute 452MW of solar capacity to Clearway Energy's growing portfolio.
Christopher Sotos, President and CEO of Clearway Energy, expressed the company's commitment to these projects, stating, “With the commitment to invest in the Texas Solar Nova projects and the recent projects offered to CWEN, we now have full visibility into the deployment of the excess thermal proceeds through commitments or offers.”
Furthermore, Clearway Energy is considering potential investments in a 572MW solar-plus-storage portfolio, although specific financial details of this transaction have not yet been disclosed. During a conference call announcing the financial results, Sotos also indicated the company's plans to expand its 26.8GW pipeline of upcoming projects.
Sotos elaborated, “As a result of our sponsor's continued development efforts, we also have visibility into additional drop-down offers anticipating in the first half of 2023, leading to the deployment of an approximate additional $220 million of CWEN's corporate capital. Our sponsor's development pipeline also continues to grow, outstanding at 26.8GW, including 6.8GW of late-stage projects expected to feature commercial operations in the next three years.”
Clearway Energy's leadership also expressed confidence in addressing challenges affecting the solar supply chain, such as compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which could impact silicon imports from China. CEO Craig Cornelius stated, “The estimated cash available for dividends presented in today's earnings material for future drop-downs all reflect our anticipation that we'll be able to successfully comply with UFLPA because of the supply chains we procured from.” He added that the company believes it can manage any temporary disruptions to the supply chain effectively due to their strategic sourcing decisions.