Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Berkshire Hathaway A Triple Play in Renewable Energy (Now with Solar-y Goodness) BRK.A; ENER

If only they were pure play.
Wait!! What am I saying? Who wouldn't want See's Candies to go with their Geico insurance, Borsheim's pinky ring and Johns Manville Solar (you read that right).
[Dear Mr. Buffett, please forgive the shameless and transparent pitch for an ad or two -ed]

Berkshire controlled MidAmerican Energy has the largest portfolio of utility owned wind generation in the country, along with significant hydro. This makes the TP.
From PR Newswire (not a BRK company, Warren owns Business Wire which does not have the story yet):

Johns Manville's E3 Company and Energy Conversion Devices to Deliver Photovoltaic Systems for Commercial Roofs
Johns Manville (JM), a leading global manufacturer of an extensive line of energy-efficient building products, and Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (Nasdaq :ENER), a manufacturer of proprietary, thin-film amorphous silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) laminates announced that they have reached a multi-year agreement for ECD to supply its UNI-SOLAR(R) laminates to Johns Manville. To support its entry into the field of solar energy, JM has created and will market its unique capability through a new business entity, the JM E3 Company, more informally known as E3 Co.

According to Fred Stephan, vice president and general manager of the Roofing Systems business for Johns Manville, "This further strengthens our leadership in sustainable roofing. We are excited to partner with ECD to incorporate their lightweight, flexible and durable UNI-SOLAR laminates into our single ply, built-up and modified bitumen roofing membrane systems. Supported by JM's 150 years of commercial roofing experience and ECD's expertise in building-integrated photovoltaics, this agreement is our first step in offering a range of new solar-energy producing roofing products to our customer base."

Mark Morelli, ECD's president and CEO, said, "Johns Manville is well known for being a leading provider of high-quality commercial roofing products. We look forward to working with them to advance the adoption of clean, renewable power in the form of rooftop solar technology."

At less than one pound per square foot, UNI-SOLAR laminates are lightweight, non-intrusive and require no rooftop penetrations or mounting systems, eliminating the negative impact on roof life and performance that is associated with penetrating PV systems. Additionally, these thin-film PV laminates provide a solid return on investment through a low installed cost and low cost-per-kilowatt-hour of energy produced when compared to traditional rigid glass panel PV alternatives....MORE

About the pure play thing, back when the stimulus bill was first mooted I was looking for pure plays in caulk and/or insulation:

Stimulus: Tips on Trading the Caulk/Putty/Grout Complex

I got nuthin'. The largest caulk manufacturers are privately held.
The largest caulk gun manufacturer is a family business.
The largest silicone supplier is Momentive Performance Materials Inc. (formerly GE Silicone) controlled by an affiliate of Apollo Management.
Their slogan is "Changing the way you think about caulk".
They seem to be hurting. Here's the last 10Q.
Looks like a job for Private Equity Man...more