On this day in economic and business history...
The flow of moving water has been one of humanity's oldest sources of energy. However, water wheels at shoreline mills are hardly sufficient for a modern electrified civilization. And so, less than a year after Thomas Edison first developed a working electric light bulb, the first modern hydroelectric turbine began operating at the Wolverine Chair Factory in Grand Rapids, Mich., on July 24, 1880.
The turbine, operated by the Grand Rapids Electric Light and Power Company, generated enough power to light up 16 arc lamps. It lit up several riverside businesses as well as the chair factory, and the Grand Rapids Eagle observed: "The light was a grand success, strong, steady, white and uniform. It called thousands of people on to the streets and into places lighted by it, and it was admired and enjoyed by all."
Two years later, the first purpose-built hydroelectric plant went into service on the Fox River in Wisconsin. By the end of the 1880s, more than 200 electric plants generated at least some of their power from the movement of water. Hydropower use continued to grow, and by 1907 15% of all American electricity was generated from the water. By 1940, after a massive boost from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal construction programs, hydropower accounted for a full 40% of all electricity generated in the United States.
Top 10 Financial Companies For 2015: SunPower Corp (SPWR)
SunPower Corporation, incorporated in April 1985, is a vertically integrated solar products and services company that designs, manufactures and delivers solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial, and utility-scale power plant customers. The Company operates in two business segments: the Utility and Power Plants (UPP) Segment and the Residential and Commercial (R&C) Segment. The UPP Segment refers to its solar products and systems business, which includes power plant project development and project sales, turn-key engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for power plant construction, and power plant operations and maintenance (O&M) services. UPP Segment also sells components, including huge volume of sales of solar panels and mounting systems to third parties, sometimes on a multi-year, firm commitment basis. The R&C Segment focuses on solar equipment sales into the residential and small commercial market through its third-party global dealer network, as well as direct sales and EPC and O&M services in the United States and Europe for rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems for the new homes, commercial and public sectors. In May 2012, K Road Power Holdings, LLC (K Road) and SunPower Corp announced that K Road acquired the 25-megawatt (AC) McHenry Solar Project, which the Company designed. In January 2013, the Company MidAmerican Solar acquired the 579-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP), two co-located projects in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in Calif from SunPower.
In January 2012, the Company completed its acquisition of the wholly owned Total SA subsidiary Tenesol SA, a global solar provider. In September 2011, NRG Energy Inc. acquired 250 megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) project from SunPower. In June 2011, the Company introduced SunPower E20 Series Solar Panel (E20) series. The Company�� customers in its UPP Segment include investors, financial institutions, project developers, electric utilities, and independent po! wer producers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In its R&C Segment, the Company primarily sells its products to commercial and governmental entities, production home builders, and its third-party global dealer network serving residential owners and small commercial building owners.
The A-300 solar cell is a silicon solar cell with a specified power value of 3.1 watts and a conversion efficiency averaging between 20.0% and 21.5%. The Company�� A-330 solar cell delivers 3.3 watts with a conversion efficiency of up to 22.7%.
The Company�� SunPower solar panel series include solutions, such as SunPower E18 Series Solar Panel (E18), SunPower E19 Series Solar Panel (E19), and SunPower E20 Series Solar Panel (E20). Available in a 72-cell configuration, the E18 series panel uses its A300 all back-contact solar cells and delivers a total panel conversion of 18.1% to 18.5%. Available in a 72, 96, and 128-cell configuration, the E19 series panel uses its A300 all back-contact solar cells and delivers total panel conversion of 19.3% to 19.7%. Available in a 96-cell configuration, the E20 series panel uses its A-330 all back-contact solar cells and delivers total panel conversion of up to 20.1%.
The Company sells a line of SunPower branded inverters. The inverters are manufactured by third parties.
Roof Mounted Products
The roof mounted products include SunPower T-5 Solar Roof Tile System (T-5), SunPower T-10 Commercial Solar Roof Tiles (T-10), PowerGuard Roof System (PowerGuard) and SunTile Roof Integrated System (SunTile). Tilted at a 5-degree angle, the T-5 roof tile is a non-penetrating photovoltaic rooftop product that combines solar panel, frame, and mounting system. The T-5 solar roof tile systems are primarily sold through its R&C Segment.
Tilted at a 10-degree angle, the T-10 commercial solar roof tiles is a non-penetrating panel interlock system! . Dependi! ng on geographical location and local climate conditions, this can allow for the generation of up to 10% more annual energy output than traditional flat roof-mounted systems. The T-10 commercial solar roof tile is primarily sold through its R&C Segment.
PowerGuard is a non-penetrating roof-mounted solar panel that delivers electricity while insulating and protecting the roof membrane from ultraviolet rays and thermal degradation. The PowerGuard roof system is primarily sold through its R&C Segment. SunTile solar shingles are designed to replace multiple types of roof panels, including the common concrete flat, low and high profile S tile and composition shingles. The SunTile roof system is also sold through its R&C Segment.
Ground Mounted Products
The ground mounted products include SunPower T-0 Tracker (T-0) & SunPower T-20 Tracker (T-20), SunPower Oasis Power Plant (SunPower Oasis), SunPower C-7 Tracker (C-7), and Fixed Tilt and SunPower Tracker Systems for Parking Structures. The T-0 and T-20 trackers are single-axis tracking systems that automatically pivot solar panels to track the sun's movement throughout the day. This tracking feature increases the amount of sunlight that is captured and converted into energy by up to 30% over flat or fixed-tilt systems, depending on geographic location and local climate conditions. A single motor and drive mechanism can control 10 to 20 rows, or more than 200 kilo watts of solar panels. The T-0 and T-20 trackers have been installed in a range of geographical markets principally in the United States, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, and Spain. The T-0 and T-20 trackers are sold through both its UPP and R&C Segments.
The Oasis is a solar power block that scales from 1 mega watts distributed installations to central station power plants. Oasis provides a way to deploy utility-scale solar power systems, streaming the development and construction process while optimizing the use of available land. The SunPow! er Oasis ! is sold through its UPP Segment. The C-7 combines a horizontal single-axis tracker with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto linear arrays of its solar cells. The C-7 tracker is sold through its UPP Segment. SunPower has developed designs for solar power systems for parking structures in multiple configurations. These dual-use systems typically incorporate solar panels into the roof of a carport or similar structure to deliver onsite solar power while providing shade and protection. They are suited for parking lots adjacent to facilities. Fixed Tilt and SunPower Tracker Systems for parking structures are sold through both its UPP and R&C Segments.
Other System Offerings
SunPower�� metal roof system is designed for sloped-metal roof buildings, which are used in some winery and warehouse applications. This solar power system is designed for rapid installation. It also offers other architectural products, such as day lighting with translucent solar panels.
Balance of System Components
Balance of system components are components of a solar power system other than the solar panels. It includes SunPower branded inverters, mounting structures, charge controllers, grid interconnection equipment, and other devices depending on the specific requirements of a particular system and project.
The Company competes with Canadian Solar Inc., JA Solar Holdings Co., Kyocera Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Q-Cells AG, Sanyo Corporation, Sharp Corporation, SolarCity Corporation, SolarWorld AG, Sungevity, Inc., SunRun, Inc., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., Trina Solar Ltd., Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., Abengoa Solar S.A., Acconia Energia S.A., AES Solar Energy Ltd., Chevron Energy Solutions, EDF Energy plc, First Solar Inc., NextEra Energy, Inc., OPDE Group, NRG Energy, Inc., Recurrent Energy, Sempra Energy, Skyline Solar, Inc., Solargen Energy, Inc., Solaria Corporation, SolFocus, Inc., SunEdison and Tenaska, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Finally, outside the Dow, SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR ) hit a 52-week high, rising 3% in follow-through on last Friday's upgrade and news that it had started construction of its California-based solar project with MidAmerican Solar. As the largest solar development under construction, the project not only will provide power to 400,000 homes but also represents a key step forward for an industry that has struggled under overcapacity and concerns about falling subsidies.
- [By Travis Hoium]
Solar power accounted for 100% of the power added to the grid in March and has accounted for as much as 50% of the additions in the first quarter. Giant projects from solar heavies First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR ) and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR ) are driving the utility industry, and SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY ) is building residential solar at a fevered pace. Erin Miller sat down with Motley Fool contributor Travis Hoium to see what this trend means for our energy future.
Top 5 Energy Stocks For 2014: Athabasca Oil Corp (ATHOF.PK)Athabasca Oil Corporation, formerly Athabasca Oil Sands Corp., is focused on the exploration and development of unconventional oil resource plays in Alberta, Canada. The Company is organized into two divisions: thermal oil and light oil. Thermal oil includes the Company�� assets, liabilities and operating results for the exploration, development and production of bitumen from sand and carbonate rock formations located in the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta. Light oil includes the Company�� assets, liabilities and operating results for the exploration, development and production of unconventional oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids located in various regions in the province of Alberta. Athabasca has accumulated more than 1.5 million (net) acres of oil sands leases in the Athabasca area of northern Alberta. The Company�� oil sands projects are Hangingstone (100%), Dover West Sands (100%), Dover West Carbonates (100%), Dover (40%), Birch (100%) and Grosmont (50%). Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Stephan Dube]
Athabasca's most notable producers:Suncor Energy (SU) (Part 1), see article here.Suncor Energy (Part 2), see article here.Athabasca Oil (ATHOF.PK), see article here.Canadian Natural Resources, see article here.Imperial Oil, see article here.Cenovus Energy (CVE), see article here.MEG Energy (MEGEF.PK), see article here.Devon Energy, see article here.Royal Dutch Shell, see article here.Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN), see article here.Nexen (CNOOC) (CEO), see article here.
An analysis of the current operations of the company will be examined with the objective to provide the most complete information available to potential investors before deciding to seize the opportunity that the 54,132 square miles of the Carbonate Triangle has to offer. Let's start by introducing Athabasca, a famous and most prolific region in the Canadian oil sands as well as one of the largest reserve in the world.
Top 5 Energy Stocks For 2014: Noble Corp (NE)
Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) located globally. As of December 31, 2011, its fleet consisted of 14 semisubmersibles, 14 drillships, 49 jackups and two submersibles. Its fleet includes 11 units under construction, which include five ultra-deepwater drillships, and six jackup rigs. As of February 15, 2012, approximately 84% of its fleet was located outside the United States in areas, which included Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India and the Asian Pacific. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it completed construction on the Noble Bully I, a drillship, owned through a joint venture with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc; completed construction on the Noble Bully II, a drillship, and it completed construction of Globetrotter-class drillship. As of February 15, 2012, it had 10 rigs under contract in Mexico with Pemex Exploracion y Produccion (Pemex).
During 2011, the Company conducted offshore contract drilling operations, which accounted for over 98% of its operating revenues. It conducts its contract drilling operations in the United States Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India and the Asian Pacific. During 2011, revenues from Shell and its affiliates accounted for approximately 24% of its total operating revenues. During 2011, revenues from Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) accounted for approximately 18% and 19% of its total operating revenues. Revenues from Pemex accounted for approximately 15%, 20% and 23% of its total operating revenues.
Semisubmersibles are floating platforms which, by means of a water ballasting system, can be submerged to a predetermined depth so that a substantial portion of the hull is b! elow the water surface during drilling operations. As of December 31, 2011, the semisubmersible fleet consisted of 14 units, including five Noble EVA-4000 semisubmersibles; three Friede & Goldman 9500 Enhanced Pacesetter semisubmersibles; two Pentagone 85 semisubmersibles; two Bingo 9000 design unit submersibles; one Aker H-3 Twin Hull S1289 Column semisubmersible, and one Offshore Co. SCP III Mark 2 semisubmersible.
The Company�� drillships are self-propelled vessels. These units maintain their position over the well through the use of either a fixed mooring system or a computer controlled dynamic positioning system. Its drillships are capable of drilling in water depths from 1,000 to 12,000 feet. The maximum drilling depth of its drillships ranges from 20,000 feet to 40,000 feet. As of December 31, 2011, the drillship fleet consisted of 14 units, including four drillships under construction with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI); three Gusto Engineering Pelican Class drillships; two Bully-class drillships to be operated by it through a 50% joint venture with a subsidiary of Shell; one dynamically positioned Globetrotter-class drillship that left the shipyard during the fourth quarter of 2011; one Globetrotter-class drillship under construction; one moored Sonat Discoverer Class drillship capable of drilling in Arctic environments; one NAM Nedlloyd-C drillship, and one moored conversion class drillship.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 49 jackups in its fleet, including six jackups under construction. The rig hull includes the drilling rig, jacking system, crew quarters, loading and unloading facilities, storage areas for bulk and liquid materials, helicopter landing deck and other related equipment. All of its jackups are independent leg and cantilevered. Its jackups are capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 30,000 feet in water depths up to 400 feet.
The Company has two su! bmersible! s in the fleet, which are cold-stacked. Submersibles are mobile drilling platforms, which are towed to the drill site and submerged to drilling position by flooding the lower hull until it rests on the sea floor, with the upper deck above the water surface. Its submersibles are capable of drilling to a depth of 25,000 feet in water depths up to 70 feet.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Offshore drillers are navigating choppy seas today–and its not just Seadrill (SDRL) that has problems, as analysts reiterated sell ratings on Transocean (RIG) and Noble (NE) today.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Yes, it’s true. With offshore drillers like Noble (NE) Rowan (RDC) and Ensco (ESV) all down more than 20% this year, Societe General now have “neutral” stance on the group. The bank cut its ratings on Noble, Ensco and Rowan, as well.Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Societe Generale’s Edward Muztafago explains why now:
Conditions in the offshore drilling market are continuing to worsen. Dayrates for high margin deepwater rigs are falling significantly, and in many cases are coming in materially below our expectations. The situation will likely be exacerbated with little improvement in exploration demand and a significant influx of uncontracted newbuild arrivals (15 of 34) over the next 12 months. There is also risk the shallow water jack-up market could follow suit, with 50 of 60 planned newbuilds still needing to secure commitments over the next 12 months. We see limited prospects for a near-term rebound in offshore drilling stocks as a result of the worsening conditions, and believe offshore drilling could remain the most out of favour oil services subsector for several more quarters. We lower our dayrate assumptions, as well as offshore driller eps, multiples and price targets.
Offshore drilling stocks have already declined 15%-20% since late June. This decline has likely priced in much of the risk from a further deterioration in fundamentals, in our opinion. We adopt a neutral rather than bearish subsector stance.
Muztafago cut Noble to Hold from Buy, and slashed its target price to $27 from $35. He cut Ensco to Sell from Hold, with the price target dropping to $44 from $52. Rowan gets its rating slashed to Hold from Buy and its price target gets cut to $31 from $39.
Shares of Ensco have dropped 1% to $45.51 at 3:25 p.m., while Rowan has fallen 2.4% to $27.17 and Noble is off 2.8% at $24.73.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Offshore drillers like Transocean (RIG), Seadrill (SDRL) and Noble (NE) have gotten pounded this year. Is it time to buy? Well, if not that, at least its time to become less bearish, say the folks at BMO Capital Markets, who upgraded the shares of Transocean, Seadrill, Diamond Offshore (DO), Ensco (ESV), Noble, Rowan (RDC) and Atwood Oceanics (ATW).
Top 5 Energy Stocks For 2014: Atlas Resource Partners LP (ARP)
Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (Atlas Resource Partners), incorporated on October 13, 2011, is an independent developer and producer of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGL), with operations in basins across the United States. The Company is a sponsor and manager of investment partnerships, in which it co-invests, to finance a portion of its natural gas and oil production activities. During the year ended December 31, 2012, its average daily net production was approximately 77.2 million cubic feet equivalent. On December 20, 2012, it completed the acquisition of DTE Gas Resources, LLC from DTE Energy Company. On September 24, 2012, the Company acquired Equal Energy, Ltd.�� (Equal) remaining 50% interest in approximately 8,500 net undeveloped acres included in the joint venture. On July 26, 2012, it completed the acquisition of Titan Operating, L.L.C. On April 30, 2012, it acquired certain oil and natural gas assets from Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. In April 2012, it acquired a 50% interest in approximately 14,500 net undeveloped acres in the oil and NGL area of the Mississippi Lime play in northwestern Oklahoma.
Through December 31, 2012, the Company owned production positions in the areas of the Barnett Shale and Marble Falls play in the Fort Worth Basin in northern Texas; the Appalachia basin, including the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale; the Mississippi Lime and Hunton plays in northwestern Oklahoma, and the Chattanooga Shale in northeastern Tennessee, the Niobrara Shale in northeastern Colorado, the New Albany Shale in southwestern Indiana and the Antrim Shale in Michigan. During 2012, the Company had ownership interests in over 525 wells in the Barnett Shale and Marble Falls play and 569.3 billion cubic feet equivalent of total proved reserves with average daily production of 31.9 million cubic feet equivalent. During 2012, the Company had ownership interests in over 10,200 wells in the Appalachian basin, including approximately 270 wells in the Marcellus Shale and 1! 12.6 billion cubic feet equivalent of total proved reserves with average daily production of 35.6 million cubic feet equivalent. During 2012, it owned 21 billion cubic feet equivalent of total proved reserves with average daily production of 1.9 million cubic feet equivalent in the Mississippi Lime and Hunton plays in northwestern Oklahoma. During 2012, the Company had average daily production of 7.8 million cubic feet equivalent in the Chattanooga Shale in northeastern Tennessee, the Niobrara Shale in northeastern Colorado, the New Albany Shale in southwestern Indiana, and the Antrim Shale in Michigan.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Robert Rapier]
The second, and riskier, option is to buy MLPs engaged in natural gas production. While these tend to have some portion of their output hedged against sharp price fluctuations, they retain much more exposure to the ups and downs of natural gas prices than the midstream partnerships, which function as toll collectors.�EV Energy Partners�(NASDAQ: EVEP),�Atlas Resource Partners�(NYSE: ARP),�BreitBurn Energy Partners�(NASDAQ: BBEP) and�Memorial Production Partners�(NASDAQ: MEMP) are some of the upstream (oil and gas production) partnerships in the US shale plays.
- [By Joseph Hogue]
Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP ) offers the lowest cost to DCF and the second-highest yield of the group. The company is active in the Barnett Shale, Appalachian Basin, the Raton Basin, the Black Warrior Basin and the Mississippi Lime with an interest in over 12,000 producing natural gas and oil wells. The partnership's coverage ratio just missed a top rank as well, and the units could be a solid addition. May saw insider purchases by four officers for 52,530 units at an average price of $19.73 per unit with no insider selling in the past twelve months.
- [By Matt DiLallo]
The management team at oil and gas company�Atlas Energy (NYSE: ATLS ) has really taken Warren Buffett's advice to heart. Buffett's old adage to "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful" seems to be that team's approach. After selling its shale assets to Chevron at the top of the market, the company has been diligently acquiring natural gas assets at the market's low. That blueprint continues to be followed as evidenced by the recently announced acquisition of substantial natural gas assets via its master limited partnership, Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP ) .