Brookfield Renewable Announces Strong First Quarter Results

Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2021.

“We had a strong quarter, as we executed on our key priorities, including investing in growth, delivering on our corporate contracting initiatives and bolstering our liquidity,” said Connor Teskey, CEO of Brookfield Renewable. “The tailwinds for renewables are accelerating as governments and businesses around the world are intensifying their focus on decarbonization. Given our global scale, operational depth, and financial strength, we remain uniquely positioned to participate in the accelerating build out of renewables that will impact all sectors of the economy.”

Financial Results

Millions (except per unit or otherwise noted) For the three months ended
March 31
Unaudited 2021 2020
Total generation (GWh)
– Long-term average generation 14,099 14,151
– Actual generation 13,828 14,264
Brookfield Renewable Partner’s share (GWh)
– Long-term average generation 7,602 6,717
– Actual generation 7,375 7,164
Net income (loss) attributable to Unitholders $ (133) $ 20
Per LP unit(1) (0.24) 0.01
Funds From Operations (FFO)(2) 242 217
Per Unit(2)(3) 0.38 0.37
Normalized Funds From Operations (FFO)(2)(4) 257 193
Per Unit(2)(3)(4) 0.40 0.33

(1) For the three months ended March 31, 2021, average LP units totaled 274.8 million (2020: 268.5 million).

(2) Non-IFRS measures. Refer to “Cautionary Statement Regarding Use of Non-IFRS Measures”.

(3) Average Units outstanding for the three months ended March 31, 2021 were 645.5 million (2020: 583.7 million), being inclusive of our LP units, Redeemable/Exchangeable partnership units, BEPC exchangeable shares and general partner interest. The actual Units outstanding at March 31, 2021 were 645.6 million (2020: 467.0 million).

(4) Normalized FFO assumes long-term average generation in all segments except the Brazil and Colombia hydroelectric segments and uses 2020 foreign currency rates. For the three months ended March 31, 2021, the change related to long-term average generation totaled $12 million (2020: $(24) million) and the change related to foreign currency totaled $3 million.

Brookfield Renewable reported FFO of $242 million or $0.38 per Unit for the three months ended March 31, 2021, a 3% increase from prior year, and $257 million or $0.40 per Unit on a normalized basis, a 21% increase from the prior year. After deducting depreciation and one-time non-cash charges, our Net loss attributable to Unitholders for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was $133 million or $0.24 per LP unit.

Highlights

  • Generated FFO of $242 million, or $0.38 per unit, a 21% increase on a normalized per unit basis over the same period in the prior year;
  • Progressed approximately 6,000 megawatts through construction and advanced stage permitting, and added nearly 4,500 megawatts to our development pipeline;
  • We signed 29 agreements for approximately 2,300 GWh of renewable generation with corporate offtakers across all major industries and including many of the largest counterparties by market capitalization in the world;
  • Invested or agreed to invest $1.6 billion (nearly $410 million net to Brookfield Renewable) of equity across a range of transactions, including onshore wind, offshore wind, utility scale solar, and distributed generation, in the United States, Europe, and India;
  • Issued a $350 million perpetual green subordinated note issuance at a fixed rate of 4.625%. Our balance sheet remains robust with almost $3.4 billion of available liquidity and no meaningful near-term maturities; and
  • Raised over $850 million (approximately $410 million net to Brookfield Renewable) from asset recycling initiatives, including the sale of mature onshore wind portfolios in Ireland and the U.S. at attractive values, returning approximately two times our invested capital.

Update on Growth Initiatives

As the opportunity to invest in renewables and decarbonization expands, we continue to exercise a value-oriented approach to growing our business. We remain disciplined in focusing on opportunities that play to our strengths – where we can invest for value, leverage our operating capabilities to increase cashflow, and deploy incremental capital at attractive returns to grow our businesses over time. Recently, we executed on a number of transactions that highlight this approach.

For the past several years, we monitored the offshore wind sector, while not investing. But as the technology has grown and matured, we have become more comfortable. This quarter we closed our first investment in offshore wind, which includes a pipeline to build 3 gigawatts of capacity supported by an attractive contract structure, over the next several years. Similarly, in India, one of the largest and fastest growing renewable markets globally, we continue to grow our business following our initial investment in 2017. Having grown our capabilities in the region, we now are seeing a steady pipeline of opportunities to incrementally add to our platform at attractive returns.

Recently, we signed or closed the following transactions:

  • Shepherds Flat – An 845-megawatt wind farm in Oregon that includes one of the largest repowering opportunities in the world. Once completed we expect total generation to increase by approximately 25%. We are making good progress on the repowering and are also advancing a 400-megawatt new-build development pipeline that was included in the transaction;
  • Investment in Polenergia – A scale renewable business in Europe with an interest in a 3 gigawatt offshore wind development pipeline. We believe Polenergia has tremendous growth prospects, and we are well positioned as both a supportive operating partner and capital provider to the business;
  • Exelon Distributed Generation (DG) – A distributed generation business, comprising 360 megawatts of operating capacity with an additional over 700 megawatts under development. We now own one of the leading distributed generation businesses in the U.S., with deep operating, development, and origination capabilities, and an almost 2,000-megawatt portfolio that generates high-quality contracted cash flows that are diversified by geography and customer; and
  • Indian Solar Project – On the back of a relationship established through our acquisition of a portfolio of loans from a non-bank financial company at the end of 2020, we signed an agreement which gives us the right to acquire a 450-megawatt shovel ready solar project from one of the largest developers in India. The project is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year and is backed by 25-year power purchase agreements with a high-quality state utility. We expect to invest $70 million ($20 million net to Brookfield Renewable) of equity in the project and are targeting 20%+ returns.

Results from Operations

During the first quarter, we generated FFO of $242 million, or $0.38 per unit, reflecting solid performance, as our operations benefited from strong asset availability, growth, and efficiency initiatives. On a normalized basis, our per unit results were up 21% year-over-year.

With an increasingly diversified portfolio of operating assets, limited concentration risk with counterparties, and a long-term contract profile, our cash flows are highly resilient. While generation for the quarter was marginally below the long-term average, driven largely by drier conditions in New York, we expect this variability, and therefore manage our business for the long-term. Further, we are continuously diversifying the business, which increasingly mitigates exposure to any single resource, market, or counterparty and our variability becomes less and less every year.

During the quarter, our hydroelectric segment delivered FFO of $170 million. Across this portfolio, we continue to focus on securing contracts that value the uniqueness of our fleet as a generator of dispatchable clean electricity and ancillary services.

Our wind and solar segments generated a combined $158 million of FFO, as we continue to generate stable revenues from these assets and benefit from the diversification of our fleet and highly contracted cash flows with long duration power purchase agreements. There was severe winter weather in the quarter, in particular in Texas. The conditions did not have a material impact on our financial results due to our operating and power marketing capabilities which reacted to mitigate risk. We are proud of how our teams performed during these difficult times, keeping our employees safe, and our operations running.

Our energy transition segment generated $33 million of FFO during the quarter as our portfolio continues to grow as we assist commercial and industrial partners achieve their decarbonization goals and provide critical grid-stabilizing ancillary services and back-up capacity required to address the increasing intermittency of greener electricity grids.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

Our financial position continues to be strong. We have approximately $3.4 billion of available liquidity, our investment grade balance sheet has no meaningful near-term maturities, and approximately 90% of our financings are non-recourse to Brookfield Renewable.

We continued to take advantage of the low interest environment and executed on $3.1 billion of investment grade financings, including $350 million 4.625% fixed rate green perpetual subordinated notes. The notes have the same accounting and rating treatment as our preferred LP units.

We also continue to execute our capital recycling strategy of selling mature, de-risked or non-core assets to lower cost of capital buyers while redeploying the proceeds into higher yielding opportunities. The proceeds from these transactions will be used to fund growth opportunities executed in the quarter, as well as our robust future growth pipeline.

In April, we agreed to sell our remaining 360 megawatts of operating assets and development pipeline in Ireland, and approximately 270 megawatts of our ready to build wind assets in Scotland, for an aggregate equity value of approximately $450 million (approximately $250 million proceeds net to Brookfield Renewable). We entered the European renewable market in 2014 with the acquisition of Bord Gáis’ wind portfolio in Ireland. When we acquired this business, it was part of a state-owned utility with approximately 300 megawatts of operating wind capacity. Under our ownership, we grew the business to over 700 megawatts of total operating assets by building out the development portfolio, and we expanded the development pipeline to approximately 1,000 megawatts. Consistent with our strategy when we enter new markets, we used this investment as a steppingstone to grow our business across Europe, including the acquisition of our development pipeline in Scotland in 2015.

Today, across Europe, we have expanded our capabilities to become a fully integrated platform with extensive corporate contracting, operating and growth capabilities. Following the completion of this sale, we will have more than 300 employees and over 10,000 megawatts of operating and development assets in the region. With this sale, we will have fully exited our initial investment in Ireland, having previously sold 375 megawatts of operating assets. In aggregate, we generated 15%+ compound annual returns on this investment. These sales, which are subject to customary closing conditions, are expected to close in the second quarter.

We also signed an agreement to sell 390 megawatts of wind assets primarily in California for a total equity value of approximately $370 million (approximately $160 million proceeds net to Brookfield Renewable), generating returns of approximately two times our invested capital. Under our ownership, the facilities were substantially de-risked by completing our business plan, which included developing several of the assets, establishing long-term revenue certainty, reducing operating and maintenance costs, and optimizing the capital structure. This sale, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter.

Distribution Declaration

The next quarterly distribution in the amount of $0.30375 per LP unit, is payable on June 30, 2021 to unitholders of record as at the close of business on May 28, 2021. In conjunction with the Partnership’s distribution declaration, the Board of Directors of BEPC has declared an equivalent quarterly dividend of $0.30375 per share, also payable on June 30, 2021 to shareholders of record as at the close of business on May 28, 2021. Brookfield Renewable targets a sustainable distribution with increases targeted on average at 5% to 9% annually.

The quarterly dividends on BEP’s preferred shares and preferred LP units have also been declared.

Distribution Currency Option

The quarterly distributions payable on the BEP units and BEPC shares are declared in U.S. dollars. Unitholders who are residents in the United States will receive payment in U.S. dollars and unitholders who are residents in Canada will receive the Canadian dollar equivalent unless they request otherwise. The Canadian dollar equivalent of the quarterly distribution will be based on the Bank of Canada daily average exchange rate on the record date or, if the record date falls on a weekend or holiday, on the Bank of Canada daily average exchange rate of the preceding business day.

Registered unitholders who are residents in Canada who wish to receive a U.S. dollar distribution and registered unitholders who are residents in the United States wishing to receive the Canadian dollar distribution equivalent should contact Brookfield Renewable’s transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company of Canada, in writing at 100 University Avenue, 8th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Y1 or by phone at 1-800-564-6253. Beneficial unitholders (i.e., those holding their units in street name with their brokerage) should contact the broker with whom their units are held.

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