SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _______________ to ____________
Commission File Number 001-40272
OPAL FUELS INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
One North Lexington Avenue, Suite 1450
White Plains, New York
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code): (914) 705-4000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per share||OPAL|
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, "smaller reporting company," and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer|
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☐
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2022, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $158,981,279 based on the closing price of the registrant's Class A ordinary shares on The Nasdaq Capital Market on that date.
As of March 27, 2023, a total of 27,644,699 shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and 144,399,037 shares of Class D common stock, par value $0.0001 per share were issued and outstanding.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Form 10-K” or “Annual Report”) to “we,” “us,” “our,” “OPAL Fuels,” “OPAL,” the “Company” and similar terms all refer to OPAL Fuels Inc.. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires.
A glossary of terms (the “Glossary”) that should be used as a reference when reading this Annual Report can be found immediately prior to Item 1A.
Capitalized terms that are used in this Annual Report are either defined when they are first used or in the Glossary.
All dollar amounts are stated in United States (“U.S.”) dollars unless otherwise stated.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND RISK FACTOR SUMMARY
This Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “estimated,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “future,” “propose,” “target,” “goal,” “objective,” “outlook” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside our control, that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include:
● Our ability to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain key employees;
● our success in retaining or recruiting, our principal officers, key employees or directors;
● intense competition and competitive pressures from other companies in the industry in which we operate;
● increased costs of, or delays in obtaining, key components or labor for the construction and completion of LFG and livestock waste projects that generate electricity and renewable natural gas (“RNG”) and compressed natural gas (“CNG”) and hydrogen dispensing stations;
● factors relating to our business, operations and financial performance, including market conditions and global and economic factors beyond our control;
● macroeconomic conditions related to the global COVID-19 pandemic;
● the reduction or elimination of government economic incentives to the renewable energy market;
● factors associated with companies, such as us, that are engaged in the production and integration of RNG, including (i) anticipated trends, growth rates and challenges in those businesses and in the markets in which they operate (ii) contractual arrangements with, and the cooperation of, landfill and livestock biogas conversion project site owners and operators and operators, on which we operate our LFG and livestock waste projects that generate electricity and (iii) RNG prices for Environmental Attributes, LCFS credits and other incentives;
● the ability to identify, acquire, develop and operate renewable projects and fueling stations ("Fueling Stations");
● our ability to issue equity or equity-linked securities or obtain or amend debt financing;
● the demand for renewable energy not being sustained;
● impacts of climate change, changing weather patterns and conditions and natural disasters;
● the effect of legal, tax and regulatory changes; and
● other factors detailed under the section entitled “Risk Factors.”
The forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on us. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
OPAL Fuels Inc. (including its subsidiaries, the "Company", “OPAL,” “we,” “us” or “our”) is a renewable energy company specializing in the capture and conversion of biogas for the production of RNG for use as a vehicle fuel for heavy and medium-duty trucking fleets, generation of Renewable Power for sale to utilities, generation and sale of Environmental Attributes associated with RNG and Renewable Power, and sales of RNG as pipeline quality natural gas. We are an established biogas-to-energy producer in the United States, having participated in the landfill gas to energy industry for over 20 years. We have established our operating portfolio through self-development, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Biogas is generated by microbes as they break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen, and comprised of non-fossil waste gas, with high concentrations of methane, which is the primary component of RNG and the source for combustion utilized by Renewable Power plants to generate Renewable Power. Biogas can not only be collected and processed to remove impurities for use as RNG (a form of high-Btu fuel) and injected into existing natural gas pipelines as it is fully interchangeable with fossil natural gas, but partially treated biogas can be used directly in heating applications (as a form of medium-Btu fuel) or in the production of Renewable Power. Our principal sources of biogas are landfill gas, which is produced by the decomposition of organic waste at landfills and dairy manure, which is processed through anaerobic digesters to produce the biogas.
We also design, develop, construct, operate and service Fueling Stations for trucking fleets across the country that use natural gas to displace diesel as their transportation fuel. We have participated in the alternative vehicle fuels industry for approximately 12 years and have established an expanding network of Fueling Stations for dispensing RNG. In addition, we have recently begun implementing design, development, and construction services for hydrogen fueling stations, and we are pursuing opportunities to diversify its sources of biogas to other waste streams.
On December 2, 2021, the Company (formerly known as ArcLight Clean Transition Corp. II, "Arclight"), OPAL HoldCo LLC ("OPAL Holdco") and OPAL Fuels LLC, a Delaware limited liability company ("OPAL Fuels" or "Opco"), entered into a business combination agreement (as it may be amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time, the “Business Combination Agreement”). On July 21, 2022, we closed the Business Combination Agreement and consummated the transactions contemplated thereby (the “Business Combination”).
Pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement, on July 21, 2022, (the "Closing Date"), Arclight changed its jurisdiction of incorporation by deregistering as a Cayman Islands exempted company and continuing and domesticating as a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware (the "Domestication"). Following the Domestication, on July 21, 2022, Arclight changed its name to "OPAL Fuels Inc." and each outstanding ArcLight Class B ordinary share converted into one ArcLight Class A ordinary share, each outstanding ArcLight Class A ordinary share became one share of Class A common stock of the Company, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Class A common stock”), and each outstanding warrant to purchase one ArcLight Class A ordinary share became a warrant to purchase one share of the Company's Class A common stock at an exercise price of $11.50 per share. Following the consummation of the Business Combination on July 21, 2022, the Company was organized in an “Up-C” structure. The Company is the managing member of OPAL Fuels. OPAL Fuels directly or indirectly holds substantially all of the consolidated assets and business of the Company. Please see Note 3. Business Combination, to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.
On November 18, 2022, the Company announced the commencement of an exchange offer (the “Offer”) and consent solicitation relating to its outstanding (i) public warrants to purchase shares of Class A common stock of the Company, par value $0.0001 per share which warrants trade on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “OPALW”(the “Public Warrants”), and (ii) private placement warrants to purchase shares of Class A common stock (the “Private Placement Warrants”) and together with the public warrants, the (“Warrants”). The Company offered all holders of the Warrants the opportunity to receive 0.250 shares of Class A common stock in exchange for each outstanding Warrant tendered by the holder and exchanged pursuant to the Offer. Concurrently with the Offer, the Company solicited
consents from holders of the Warrants to amend the warrant agreement that governs all of the warrants (the “Warrant Agreement”) to permit the Company to require that each warrant that is outstanding upon the closing of the Offer be exchanged for 0.225 shares of Class A common stock, which is a ratio 10% less than the exchange ratio applicable to the Offer (the “Warrant Amendment”).
On December 22, 2022, the Company completed the exchange offer and issued 3,309,296 shares of Class A common stock in exchange for the warrants tendered in the Offer. Pursuant to the Warrant Amendment dated December 21, 2022, the Company exercised its right to exchange the Warrants remaining outstanding at the closing of the Offer for 0.225 shares of Class A common stock per Warrant (the “Post-Offer Exchange”) and issued 497,080 shares of Class A common stock on December 23, 2022. Following the completion of the Offer and the Post-Offer Exchange the Public Warrants were suspended from trading on the Nasdaq and delisted. There are no longer any Warrants outstanding.
On December 15, 2022, the Company entered into a long-term agreement with UPS (the "UPS Agreement") pursuant to which the Company will provide operations and maintenance services to 51 UPS renewable natural gas dispensing stations across the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will receive an amount based on an agreed price per gas gallon equivalent dispensed at each station.
Senior Secured Credit Facility
On December 19, 2022, Fortistar Methane 3 LLC (“FM3”), an indirect subsidiary of the Company, and the borrower under the senior secured credit facility (the "Senior Secured Credit Facility"), dated as of September 21, 2015, provided by a lender group led by MUFG Union Bank Ltd, as administrative agent, and guaranteed by certain direct subsidiaries of FM3, and Opal Fuels, a direct subsidiary of the Company, and the other parties to the Senior Secured Credit Facility entered into an Omnibus and Consent Agreement (the “FM3 Amendment”). The FM3 Amendment amended the Senior Secured Credit Facility, among other things, to (a) extend the maturity date of the obligations thereunder from December 20, 2022 to March 20, 2023, (b) permit Opal Fuels to purchase the rights and obligations of certain exiting lenders at par, (c) prepay a portion of the outstanding loans made by the remaining lenders and (d) permit the release of certain project company subsidiaries of FM3 from the collateral securing the obligations under the Senior Secured Credit Facility. As of December 31, 2022, Opal Fuels holds approximately $45.0 million of the outstanding loans under the FM3 Credit Agreement as an affiliate lender. On March 20, 2023, the Company repaid in full the remaining outstanding balance under this loan facility. Please see Note.19 Subsequent Events for additional information.
OPAL Term Loan II
On August 4, 2022, OPAL Fuels Intermediate Holdco 2 LLC ("OPAL Intermediate Holdco 2"), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, entered into a new senior secured credit facility (the "OPAL Term Loan II") with a syndicate of lenders. The indebtedness is guaranteed by certain of the direct and indirect subsidiaries of OPAL Intermediate Holdco 2. OPAL Term Loan II provides for an approximately two year delayed term loan facility (the "DDTL Facility") of up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $100.0 million and debt service reserve facility (the "DSR Facility") of up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $5.0 million. The proceeds of the DDTL Facility are to be used to fund a portion of the construction of the RNG projects owned, either in full or through a joint venture with a third party, by the subsidiary guarantors and the proceeds of the DSR Facility are to be used solely to satisfy the balance to be maintained in the debt service reserve account. In connection with the transaction, the Company paid $2.2 million as financing fees to the lenders and incurred $1.4 million of expenses.
We aim to maintain and grow our position as a leading producer and dispenser of RNG in the United States and maintain and increase our position as a leading provider of RNG to the heavy and medium-duty commercial vehicle market in the U.S. We support these objectives through a multi-pronged strategy of:
•Promoting the reduction of methane and GHG emissions and expanding the use of renewable fuels to displace fossil-based fuels: We share the renewable fuel industry’s commitment to providing sustainable renewable energy solutions and offering products with high economic and ecological value. By simultaneously replacing fossil-based fuels and reducing overall methane emissions, our projects have a positive environmental impact. We are committed to the sustainable development, deployment, and utilization of RNG to reduce the country’s
dependence on fossil fuels. We strive to optimize the economics of capturing biogas from our host landfills and dairy farms for conversion to RNG by balancing the capital and operating costs with the current and future quality and quantity of biogas.
•Expanding our industry position as a full-service partner for development opportunities, including through strategic transactions: Throughout our over 20 years of biogas conversion experience, we have developed the full range of biogas conversion project related capabilities from landfill gas collection system expertise, to engineering, construction, management and operations, through EHS oversight and Environmental Attributes management. Our full suite of capabilities allows us to serve as a multi-project partner, including through strategic transactions.
•Expanding our capabilities to new feedstock sources and technologies: We believe we will be able to enter new markets for our products, such as providing fuel for the production of renewable energy sources. With our experience and industry expertise, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities to meet the clean energy needs of other industries looking to use renewable energy in their operations. We are actively reviewing opportunities beyond our core LFG and dairy RNG business. Specifically, we intend to diversify our project portfolio beyond landfill biogas through the expansion into additional methane producing assets.
•Empowering our customers to achieve their sustainability and carbon reduction objectives: We are well positioned to empower our customers to achieve their sustainability and carbon reduction goals, including significantly reducing GHG emissions from their commercial transportation activities, at a cost to customers that is competitive to other fuels like diesel. We also assist our customers in their transition to cleaner transportation fuels by helping them obtain federal, state and local tax credits, grants and incentives, vehicle financing, and facilitating customer selection of vehicle specifications to meet their needs.
Vertical Integration of Business
The combination of Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, together with the dispensing, generation, and monetization of the associated Environmental Attributes, differentiates us from our principal competitors. This vertical integration allows for a direct pathway to qualify biogas for Environmental Attributes and offers an attractive network of Fueling Stations to heavy and medium-duty trucking fleets running on natural gas.
Our involvement across the RNG value chain, from production to dispensing of RNG, gives us the opportunity to avoid value leakage that competitors may incur by having to rely upon third-parties for either RNG supply or dispensing. The additional value captured benefits us by allowing us to offer better terms to our increasing number of transportation customers. The increasing adoption of RNG as a fuel for transportation use amongst our customers subsequently gives us more opportunities to secure additional gas rights for Biogas Conversion Projects.
Our vertical integration also attracts low carbon intensity ("CI") project developers that need partners to market and dispense their fuel to obtain LCFS credits and provide the required economic returns on their projects. As a result, we gain opportunities to source new Biogas Conversion Projects as well as secure RNG marketing agreements from these developers. In addition, fleet owners are attracted to our biogas conversion and dispensing resources which results in the growth of dispensing, station construction and service businesses.
Management and Project Expertise
Our management team has decades of combined experience in the design, development, construction, maintenance, and operation of Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations that dispense RNG, as well as the monetization of the associated Environmental Attributes. We believe our team’s proven track record and focus give us a strategic advantage in continuing to grow our business. Our diverse experience and integration of key technical, environmental, and administrative support functions underpin our ability to design and operate projects and execute its day-to-day activities.
Our experience and existing project portfolio have provided access to a wide spectrum of available biogas-to-RNG and biogas-to-Renewable Power conversion technologies. We are technology agnostic and base project design on the available technologies (and related equipment) most suitable for the specific application, including membranes, media, and solvent-based gas cleanup technologies. We are actively engaged in the management of each project site and regularly serve in engineering, construction management, and commissioning roles. This allows us to develop a comprehensive
understanding of the operational performance of each technology and how to optimize application of the technology to specific projects, including through enhancements and improvements of operating or abandoned projects. At LFG-to-RNG projects, technologies deployed at each project are relatively consistent and mature and management has extensive experience with such technologies. At livestock waste-to-RNG projects, digester technologies may be different from site to site but upgrading technology is generally consistent from site to site and they have both been widely used in the past several decades. Additionally, we also work with key vendors on initiatives to develop and test upgrades to existing technologies.
We also have a network of experienced and creditworthy EPC contractors to perform design, development, procurement and construction services under supervision by us. Typically, our contracts for EPC services contain fixed price, date certain provisions and liquidated damages provisions, which greatly reduce the risks typically associated with construction projects. We also work with key vendors on initiatives to develop and test upgrades to existing technologies.
Access to Development Opportunities
We have many relationships throughout the industry supply chain from technology and equipment providers to feedstock owners to RNG off-takers. We believe the strong reputation we have attained in combination with its understanding of the various and complex requirements for generating and monetizing Environmental Attributes gives us a competitive advantage relative to new market entrants. We further benefit from our vertical integration by offering dispensing and monetization services to third-party developers, which can lead to project acquisition or partnership opportunities for us.
We leverage our relationships built over the past several decades to identify and execute new project opportunities. Typically, new development opportunities come from our existing relationships with landfill owners and dairy developers who value our long operating history and strong reputation in the biogas conversion industry. This includes new projects or referrals from existing partners. We actively seek to extend the term of our contracts at project sites and views our positive relationships with the owners and managers of its host landfills and dairy farms as a contributing factor to our ability to extend contract terms as they come due.
Large and Diverse Project Portfolio
We believe we have one of the largest and most technologically optimized Biogas Conversion Project portfolios in the RNG industry. Our ability to solve unique project development challenges and integrate such solutions across our entire project portfolio has supported the long-term successful partnerships we have with its Biogas Conversion Project hosts. Because we are able to meet the varying needs of its host partners, we have a strong reputation and are actively sought out for new project and acquisition opportunities. Additionally, our size and financial discipline generally affords the ability to achieve priority service and pricing from contractors, service providers, and equipment suppliers.
EHS and Compliance
Our executive team places the highest priority on the health and safety of our staff and third parties at our project sites, as well as the preservation of the environment. Our corporate culture is built around supporting these priorities, as reflected in our well-established practices and policies. By setting and maintaining high standards in the renewable energy field, we are often able to contribute positively to the safety practices and policies of its host landfills, which reflects favorably on us with potential hosts when choosing a counterparty. Our high safety standards include use of wireless gas monitoring safety devices, active monitoring of all field workers, performance of regular EHS audits and the use of technology throughout our safety processes from employee training in compliance with operational processes and procedures to emergency preparedness. By extension, we incorporate our EHS standards into our subcontractor selection qualifications to ensure our commitment to high EHS standards is shared by our subcontractors which provides further assurances to our host landfills.
Nature of Business
Capture and Conversion Business
We typically secure our Biogas Conversion Projects through a combination of long-term gas rights, manure supply agreements, and property lease agreements with biogas site hosts. Our Biogas Conversion Projects provide our landfill and dairy farm partners with a variety of benefits, including (i) a means to monetize biogas from their sites, (ii)
regulatory compliance for landfills, (iii) a source of environmentally beneficial waste management practices for dairy farms and (iv) a valuable revenue stream. Once we have negotiated gas rights or manure supply agreements, we then design, develop, build, own and operate facilities that convert the biogas into RNG or uses the processed biogas to produce Renewable Power. We sell the RNG produced by the Biogas Conversion Projects through RNG marketing and dispensing agreements and generate associated Environmental Attributes. These Environmental Attributes are then sold to obligated parties as defined under the RFS promulgated by the U.S. federal government and Low Carbon Fuel Standard Programs established by several states. We also sell Renewable Power to public utilities through long-term power purchase agreements.
We believe there are other sources of biogas in the United States, and internationally, that could be utilized for potential future Biogas Conversion Project opportunities. We expect to continue our growth by taking advantage of these opportunities while also continuing to capitalize on additional vertical integration opportunities. Our evaluation and execution of project opportunities will benefit from our ability to leverage our industry experience, relationships with customers and vendors, knowledge about transmission and distribution utility interconnections, and capabilities to design, develop, construct, operate, maintain and service Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations. We exercise financial discipline in pursuing these projects by targeting project returns that are in line with the relative risk of the specific projects.
Our current Biogas Conversion Projects generate RNG from landfill sites and dairy farms. We view the acquisition of new landfill gas, dairy farm, and other biogas waste projects as significant opportunities for us to expand our RNG business, complementing the ongoing conversion of certain of our existing Renewable Power plants to RNG production facilities. We believe our business is scalable, which is expected to continue to support growth through development and acquisitions.
We differentiate ourself from our competitors based on our vertically integrated business model and long history of working with leading vendors, technologies and utilities. Our competitive advantage is further strengthened by our expertise in designing, developing, constructing and operating Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations.
Dispensing and Monetization Business
We are a leading provider of RNG marketing and dispensing in the alternative vehicle fuels market for heavy and medium-duty trucking fleets throughout the United States. In this sector, we focus on dispensing RNG through Fueling Stations that serve fleets that use natural gas instead of diesel fuel. These Fueling Stations and dispensing services are key for our business because Environmental Attributes are generated through dispensing RNG at these stations for use as vehicle fuel for transportation, and, once generated, the Environmental Attributes can then be monetized. During 2022, we dispensed 29.3 million gasoline gallon equivalent ("GGEs") of RNG to the transportation market, generating corresponding Environmental Attributes, utilizing our current network of 242 Fueling Stations in 40 states in the United States, including more than 35 stations in California.
In the coming years, we believe we will be able to provide hydrogen fuel to vehicle fleets by constructing and servicing hydrogen fueling stations as well as providing RNG for hydrogen production. As fleet operators deploy more hydrogen powered vehicles, we anticipate constructing and servicing stations that use hydrogen derived from RNG to deliver low carbon hydrogen fuel to customers. We are currently in the design, engineering phase and construction of the first several of these hydrogen fueling stations.
How We Generate Revenue
Overview. Our revenues are driven principally from the sale of Environmental Attributes that are generated from dispensing RNG as transportation fuel for heavy and medium-duty trucking fleets at Fueling Stations. In addition, we generate revenue from the sale of (i) Renewable Power, (ii) design, development, construction and service of Fueling Stations, and (iii) from sales of RNG produced by OPAL as pipeline quality natural gas.
Environmental Attributes. Currently, our Environmental Attributes revenue stream is primarily comprised of RINs, LCFS credits, and renewable energy credits ("RECs"). If RNG is dispensed into vehicles as transportation fuel, RINs will be generated under the RFS program. In certain states, there are LCFS programs, which allow a credit to be generated based on a fuel’s carbon intensity score. If RNG is used to produce hydrogen which is consumed in the transportation
market in a state where an LCFS program is available, a LCFS credit may be generated as well. Lastly, LFG-to-Renewable Power projects can create Environmental Attributes, in the form of a REC, in certain states and can be bundled with electricity off-take or monetized separately. See "Biogas RNG Market Opportunity".
Power Purchase Agreements. Our Renewable Power projects generally have associated long-term Power Purchase Agreements (“PPAs”) with creditworthy utility off-takers or municipalities. Nearly all of our Renewable Power off-takers have investment grade credit ratings with either S&P or Moody’s. As discussed above, we also generate RECs from Renewable Power projects through the conversion of biogas to Renewable Power.
Fueling Station Construction and Services. We have significant experience in the engineering, design, construction and operation of Fueling Stations that dispense RNG. Since 2009, TruStar Energy Holdings LLC ("OPAL Fuel Station Services"), one of our subsidiaries, together with its predecessors, has served as the general contractor or supervised qualified third-party contractors and completed over 350 Fueling Station projects. We use a combination of custom designed and off-the-shelf equipment to build these stations. We also perform in-house manufacturing and modularized portable CNG compressor packages for smaller dispensing stations, utilizing its patented technology that allows faster and easier station installations. These portable packages can include defueling panels that allow smaller fleet owners to avoid expensive maintenance shop upgrades. In addition, we also generate revenues by providing O&M services for customer stations; and by helping our customers obtain federal, state and local tax credits, grants and incentives.
Biogas Conversion Projects
Typically, a Biogas Conversion Project includes two phases: (i) biogas collection and (ii) processing and purifying biogas.
At landfills, biogas collection systems can be configured as vertical wells and horizontal collectors. The most common method is drilling vertical wells into the waste mass and connecting the wellheads to lateral piping that transports the gas to a collection header using a blower or vacuum induction system. Collection system operators “tune” or adjust the wellfield to maximize the volume and quality of biogas collected while maintaining environmental compliance. The existing compliance structure for landfills in the United States benefits us since the EPA requires larger landfills to have collection systems in place to collect and destroy biogas emissions. We turn this compliance cost into a revenue stream for the landfill and are able to leverage existing collection infrastructure in biogas plant design.
A basic biogas processing plant includes: (i) a moisture removal system, (ii) blowers to provide a vacuum to “pull” the gas and pressure to convey the gas and (iii) a flare for destroying unutilized gas. System operators monitor parameters to maximize system efficiency. Using biogas in a Renewable Power facility usually requires some treatment of the landfill gas to remove excess moisture, particulates, and other impurities. The type and extent of treatment depends on site-specific biogas characteristics and the type of Renewable Power facility. This partially cleaned biogas can be burned on-site to generate Renewable Power which can be immediately used or deployed into the grid. To further upgrade the gas to pipeline quality RNG, the partially treated biogas then goes through separation of the CO2 from the methane molecules. Further treatment of the biogas is often required to remove residual nitrogen and/or oxygen to meet pipeline specifications.
For dairy waste-to-RNG projects, manure is collected and then scraped or flushed into a reception pit or lagoon, and may be fed into a digester. The biogas equipment then anaerobically digests the manure and produces biogas. There are three different types of anaerobic digesters: (i) covered lagoons (existing lagoons that use large cover to capture methane); (ii) complete mix (large tanks that heat and mix manure), and (iii) plug-flow (long rectangular tanks; unmixed). The biogas is then upgraded to meet pipeline quality specifications.
If a biogas capture and conversion project is not within close proximity to a pipeline, the RNG is transported by road using tube trailers to a gas injection point. This is referred to as a virtual pipeline.
Biogas RNG Market Opportunity
Biogas can be collected and processed to remove impurities for use as RNG (a form of high-Btu fuel) and injected into existing natural gas pipelines as it is fully interchangeable with fossil natural gas. Partially treated biogas can be used directly in heating applications (as a form of medium-Btu fuel) or in the production of Renewable Power. OPAL’s current primary sources of biogas are landfills and dairy farms.
Landfill- and livestock-sourced biogas serve as the base to produce RNG, while also reducing GHG emissions. While landfill projects for RNG and Renewable Power have been developed over the past few decades, undeveloped landfills remain a significant source of biogas. Moreover, as technology continues to develop and economic incentives grow, we believe additional sources of biogas will become available for RNG production.
Overview of Landfill Gas Sources
LFG, or landfill gas, is created through the naturally occurring anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. Large landfills have been required by the EPA to capture municipal solid waste landfill emissions for decades due to various regulatory requirements aimed at reducing GHG emissions. The amount of LFG produced from a landfill generally increases as more waste is added to the site. Once a permitted landfill site is completely filled, the landfill will place a cap over the waste. Gas production then follows a generally predictable and modest decline over the next 30 or more years. As a result, LFG has a predictable long-term production profile which, when coupled with the expectation of continued landfill waste growth in the United States for the next 30 years, creates predictable long-term LFG feedstock.
To capitalize on this feedstock opportunity, and to help landfill owners meet growing regulatory requirements for curbing GHG emissions, we enter into long-term gas rights and site lease agreements with landfill owners. The agreement terms are typically at least 20 years. In most cases, the agreements contain renewal provisions. With respect to all of our existing or proposed LFG-to-RNG Biogas Conversion Projects currently in operation or under construction (a total of 12 projects), all but one relates to landfills that are currently open and accepting more waste, which we believe provides a high degree of visibility into the long-term volumes of RNG capable of being generated as each of these projects.
Using proven gas purification technology, biogas can be processed onsite to remove impurities, and used at around 50% methane to generate Renewable Power. Biogas can be further processed and upgraded to remove CO2 as well as remaining contaminants to increase the methane content and reach pipeline quality specifications, creating RNG. The resulting RNG can be used for all purposes suitable for traditional fossil fuel-based natural gas such as vehicle fuel (e.g., for consumer, industrial and transportation uses, or further converted to renewable hydrogen). RNG can be transported using existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure or through tube trailers. This is an important factor that enables OPAL to design, develop and operate RNG projects to generate value from production of RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes (i.e., RINs and LCFS credits) throughout the United States.
Overview of Livestock Sources
Livestock are the top agricultural source of GHG worldwide, according to the EPA. Livestock waste, particularly from dairies, produces biomethane which can be converted to RNG. After being converted to RNG, it can be sold as RNG for consumer, industrial and transportation uses, or further converted to renewable hydrogen. When RNG is produced from livestock waste and used as a vehicle fuel, it effectively reduces emissions from the transportation fleets and also from the livestock facilities that otherwise do not have to collect such methane and is often considered carbon negative. Additionally, revenues generated from dispensing RNG produced from livestock farms can be significantly higher than dispensing revenue from RNG produced from landfills due to state-level low-carbon fuel incentives for these projects.
We view dairy farms as a significant opportunity for us to expand our RNG business. Processing biogas from dairy farms requires similar expertise and capabilities as processing biogas from landfills.
The presence of our digester benefits dairy farmers in a number of ways, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. We assist in managing the waste for the dairy farmer, which they would otherwise have to manage. Additionally, processing this waste in a digester is significantly more environmentally friendly by reducing GHG emissions. Finally, a byproduct of the production process can be returned to farmers for use as bedding, alleviating the need to purchase other materials for bedding for the cows and/or adding a revenue stream for the dairy farmer when sold to third parties.
Highly Fragmented Market
The LFG market is heavily fragmented, which we believe represents an opportunity for companies like us to find project opportunities. According to the EPA, the top ten players account for approximately 54% of installed LFG
capacity as of December 31, 2022, and over 90% of developers own five or fewer projects. This market dynamic creates the opportunity for consolidation by well capitalized, experienced market participants such as OPAL.
While LFG has accounted for most of the growth in Biogas Conversion Projects to date, we believe additional economically viable LFG project opportunities exist. According to the EPA LMOP project database, as of August 2022, there were 538 LFG projects in operation in the United States, including 366 operating LFG-to-electricity projects that may be converted to produce RNG as well as 470 additional candidate landfills. Based on EPA data, these 470 candidate landfills have the potential to collect a combined 326.7 million standard cubic feet of LFG per day. Based on our industry experience, technical knowledge and analysis, we believe many of these sites are potentially economically viable for RNG project acquisitions.
Biogas from livestock farm waste also represents a significant opportunity for RNG production that remains largely untapped. According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of June 2018, biogas recovery systems are feasible at 2,704 incremental dairy farms and 5,409 incremental swine farms in the United States. These farms have the potential to produce roughly 172.0 million MMBtu of RNG annually, or the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from over 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline. Although many of the EPA identified project sites are not currently economically viable because of distance from pipelines and contaminants in the biogas, among other reasons as described above, we believe there is potential for sustained growth in biogas conversion from livestock waste sources given our experience in evaluating sites and assessing their viability, evolving consumer preferences, regulatory conditions, ongoing waste industry trends, and project economics. Additionally, all-in prices paid for RNG from livestock farms can be significantly higher than prices for RNG from landfills due to state-level LCFS incentives for these projects. Given our understanding of biogas processing and our market leadership in RNG, including access to a broad network of Fueling Stations for dispensing, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities in this emerging market. Our first dairy development project, Sunoma, is located at Paloma Dairy and came online in November 2021.
Well-Established Regulatory Framework
RINs are credits used by Obligated Parties for regulatory compliance as part of the RFS program. The RFS program is a federal law introduced in 2005 and updated in 2007 to incorporate renewable content into various transportation fuels. Through this RFS program, RINs can be sold to counterparties in order for them to meet their renewable standard requirements. RNG from landfills and livestock waste, among other sources, qualifies as a cellulosic biofuel with a 60% GHG reduction requirement (“D3”) RIN, which is currently the highest priced RIN and commands a premium compared to non-cellulosic renewable fuels such as ethanol and renewable diesel.
We generate RINs when RNG is dispensed into vehicles as transportation fuel, and the RINs can then be sold to, and traded with, market participants who can either retire them or trade them again. By using the RINs, Obligated Parties retire the RINs for compliance purposes. Market participants in the RIN program typically include Obligated Parties and registered RIN market participants. Participants include both domestic and foreign companies.
The LCFS programs are state-level market-based programs designed to decrease CI and GHG emissions from the transportation sector. Currently, California and Oregon have established LCFS programs. Additionally, multiple jurisdictions are considering implementation of LCFS programs; for example Canada has proposed programs and Washington State’s program will begin in 2023.
The LCFS programs are attractive because the LCFS credits can be additive to RINs. In California, the most established program, the LCFS program is administered by the CARB, which sets annual CI standards. Fuel producers in the transportation fuel pool that have lower CI scores than the target established by CARB generate LCFS credits, and those with higher CI scores than the annual standard will generate deficits. A fuel producer with deficits must have enough LCFS credits through either generation or acquisitions to be in annual compliance with the annual standard. OPAL is poised to take advantage of the LCFS programs given that RNG from dairies has very low or negative CI, and therefore generates valuable credits in states with LCFS programs. Although not included in OPAL’s base case model, landfill RNG projects can attract LCFS credits as well but are not as valuable as the lower CI dairy RNG credits.
Currently, it is estimated that RNG production in the United States can only cover about 1% of the US heavy and medium-duty vehicles fuel market. RNG production is projected to triple by 2027, increasing the RNG industry share to as much as 2.5%. Although it is likely utilities and other consumers will compete with the vehicle fuel market to acquire such RNG, we believe there is adequate potential to continue placing RNG volumes into the transportation market. The legislated D3 RIN requirements are many multiples of current industry production. The EPA sets an RVO each year
generally in excess of what the industry is expected to produce but well below the statutory requirement. The EPA has sharply increased the required volume of the D3 RINS in recent years, with the current D3 RIN RVO level encouraging growth in the industry.
Economic Benefits Incentivize Switching to RNG
RNG vehicles, especially heavy and medium-duty commercial vehicles, not only have a lower cost of ownership than similar vehicles running on diesel, they also have a lower cost of ownership than their renewable energy peers, especially hydrogen and battery electric vehicles, assuming expected D3 RINs and LCFS pricing. This comparative advantage creates significant economic incentives for heavy and medium-duty commercial vehicle owners to favor RNG.
As of the date of this report, we owned and operated 25 projects, seven of which are RNG projects and 18 of which are Renewable Power Projects. As of that date, our RNG projects in operation had a design capacity of 3.9 million MMBtus per year and our Renewable Power Projects in operation had a nameplate capacity of 118.6 MW per hour. In addition to these projects in operation, we are actively pursuing expansion of our RNG-generating capacity and, accordingly, have a portfolio of RNG projects in construction or in development, with four of our current Renewable Power Projects being considered candidates for conversion to RNG projects in the foreseeable future.
Below is a table setting forth the RNG projects in operation and construction in our portfolio:
Design capacity (MMbtus per year) (1)
|Source of bio gas|
|RNG projects in operation:|
|New River||663,570 ||LFG||100%|
Noble Road (3)
Pine Bend (3)
|Sub total||3,917,101 |
|RNG projects in construction:|
|Prince William ||1,725,282 ||LFG||100%|
|Hilltop ||255,500 ||Dairy||100%|
|Vander Schaaf||255,500 ||Dairy||100%|
|New England||318,514 ||LFG||100%|
|Sub total||4,678,220 |
(1) The Design capacity represents the Company's proportional ownership in the project. Design capacity may not reflect actual production of RNG from the projects, which will depend on many variables including, but not limited to, quantity and quality of the biogas, operational up-time of the facility, and actual productivity of the facility.
(2) Certain projects have provisions that will adjust, or “flip,” the percentage of distributions to be made to us over time, typically triggered by achievement of hurdle rates that are calculated as internal rates of return on capital invested in the project.
(3) We record our ownership interests in these projects as equity method investments in our consolidated financial statements.
Our primary competition is from other companies or solutions for access to biogas from waste. Evolving consumer preferences, regulatory conditions, ongoing waste industry trends, and project economics have a strong effect on the competitive landscape and our relative ability to continue to generate revenues and cash flows. We believe based on (i) our status as one of the largest operators of LFG-to-RNG projects, (ii) our over 20-year track record of operating and developing projects, (iii) our vertically integrated business platform, (iv) our deep relationships with some of the largest landfill owners and (v) our relationships with dairy farms in the country, we are well-positioned to continue to operate and grow its portfolio and respond to competitive pressures. We have demonstrated a track record of strategic flexibility across our over 20-year history which has allowed us to pivot towards projects and markets that we believe deliver optimal returns and shareholder value in response to changes in market, regulatory and competitive pressures.
The biogas market is heavily fragmented. We believe both our size compared to other LFG companies and our capital structure puts us in a strong position to compete for new project development opportunities or acquisitions of existing projects. However, competition for such opportunities, including the prices being offered for gas supply, will impact the expected profitability of projects, and may make projects unsuitable to pursue. Likewise, prices being offered by our competitors for fuel supply may increase the royalty rates that we pay under our fuel supply agreements when such agreements expire and need to be renewed or when expansion opportunities present themselves at the landfills where our projects currently operate. It is also possible that more landfill owners and dairy farm owners may seek to install their own RNG production facilities on their sites, which would reduce the number of opportunities for us to develop new projects. Our overall size, reputation, access to capital, experience and decades of proven execution on LFG project development and operation position us to compete strongly amongst our industry peers.
Each of our projects is subject to federal, state and local air quality, solid waste, and water quality regulations and other permitting requirements. Specific construction and operating permit requirements may differ among states. Specific permits we frequently must obtain when developing our projects include: air permits, nonhazardous waste management permits, pollutant discharge elimination permits, zoning and beneficial use permits. Our existing projects must also maintain compliance with relevant federal, state and local EHS requirements.
Our RNG projects are subject to federal RFS program regulations, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the “EPACT 2005”) and EISA. The EPA administers the RFS program with volume requirements for several categories of renewable fuels. The EPA’s RFS regulations establish rules for fuel supplied and administer the RIN system for compliance, trading credits and rules for waivers. The EPA calculates a blending standard for each year based on estimates of gasoline usage from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency. Separate quotas and blending requirements are determined for cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel. Further, we are required to register each RNG project with the EPA and relevant state regulatory agencies. We qualify our RINs through a voluntary Quality Assurance Plan, which typically takes from three to five months from first injection of RNG into the commercial pipeline system. Further, we typically make a large investment in the project prior to receiving the regulatory approval and RIN qualification. In addition to registering each RNG project, we are subject to quarterly audits under the Quality Assurance Plan of our projects to validate our qualification.
Our RNG projects are also subject to state renewable fuel standard regulations. By way of example, the LCFS program in California requires producers of petroleum-based fuels to reduce the CI of their products by at least 10% by 2020 and 20% by 2030 from a 2010 baseline. Petroleum importers, refiners and wholesalers can either develop their own low-carbon fuel products or buy California LCFS credits from other companies that develop and sell low-carbon alternative fuels, such as biofuels, electricity, natural gas or hydrogen. We are subject to a qualification process similar to that for RINs, including verification of CI levels and other requirements that currently exists for LCFS credits in California.
The EPA under the Clean Air Act (the “CAA”) regulates emissions of pollutants to protect the environment and public health and contains provisions for New Source Review (the “NSR”) permits and Title V permits. New Biogas Conversion Projects may be required to obtain construction permits under the NSR program. The combustion of biogas results in emissions of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. The CAA and state and local laws and regulations impose significant monitoring, testing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for these emissions. Requirements vary for control of these emissions, depending on local air quality. Applicability of the NSR permitting requirements will depend on the level of emissions resulting from the technology used and the project’s location. Many Biogas Conversion Projects must obtain operating permits that satisfy Title V of the 1990 CAA Amendments. The operating permit describes the emission limits and operating conditions that a facility must satisfy and specifies the reporting requirements that a facility must meet to show compliance with all applicable air pollution regulations. A Title V operating permit must be renewed every five years. Even when a biogas project does not require a Title V permit, the project may be subject to other federal, state and/or local air quality regulations and permits.
In addition, our operations and the operations of the landfills at which we operate may be subject to New Source Performance Standards and emissions guidelines, pursuant to the CAA, applicable to municipal solid waste landfills and to oil and gas facilities. Among other things, these regulations are designed to address the emission of methane, a potent GHG, into the atmosphere.
Before an RNG project can be developed, all the Resource Conservation and Recovery (the “RCRA”) Subtitle D requirements (requirements for nonhazardous solid waste management) must be satisfied. In particular, methane is explosive in certain concentrations and poses a hazard if it migrates beyond the project boundary. Biogas collection systems must meet RCRA Subtitle D standards for gas control. RNG projects may be subject to other federal, state and local regulations that impose requirements for nonhazardous solid waste management.
Certain Biogas Conversion Projects may be subject to federal requirements to prepare for and respond to spills or releases from tanks and other equipment located at these projects and provide training to employees on operation, maintenance and discharge prevention procedures and the applicable pollution control laws. At such projects, we may be required to develop spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans to memorialize our preparation and response plans and to update them on a regular basis.
Our operations may result in liability for hazardous substances or other materials placed into soil or groundwater. Pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 or other federal, state or local laws governing the investigation and cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances, we may be required to investigate and/or remediate soil and groundwater contamination at our projects, contiguous and adjacent properties and other properties owned and/or operated by third parties.
Additionally, Biogas Conversion Projects may need to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits if wastewater is discharged directly to a receiving water body. If wastewater is discharged to a local sewer system, Biogas Conversion Projects may need to obtain an industrial wastewater permit from a local regulatory authority for discharges to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works. The authority to issue these permits may be delegated to state or local governments by the EPA. The permits, which typically last five years, limit the quantity and concentration of pollutants that may be discharged. Permits may require wastewater treatment or impose other operating conditions to ensure compliance with the limits. In addition, the Clean Water Act and implementing state laws and regulations require individual permits or coverage under general permits for discharges of storm water runoff from certain types of facilities.
FERC regulates the sale of electricity at wholesale and the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce pursuant to its regulatory authority under the Federal Power Act. FERC also regulates certain natural gas transportation and storage facilities and services, and regulates the rates and terms of service for natural gas transportation in interstate commerce under the Natural Gas Act and the Natural Gas Policy Act.
With respect to electricity transmission and sales, FERC’s jurisdiction includes, among other things, authority over the rates, charges and other terms for the sale of electricity at wholesale by public utilities (entities that own or operate projects subject to FERC jurisdiction) and for transmission services. With respect to its regulation of the transmission of electricity, FERC requires transmission providers to provide open access transmission services, which supports the
development of competitive markets by assuring nondiscriminatory access to the transmission grid. FERC has also encouraged the formation of RTOs to allow greater access to transmission services and certain competitive wholesale markets administered by ISOs and RTOs.
In 2005, the U.S. federal government enacted the EPACT 2005 conferring new authority for FERC to act to limit wholesale market power if required and strengthening FERC’s civil penalty authority (including the power to assess fines of up to $1.3 million per day per violation, as adjusted due to inflation), and adding certain disclosure requirements. EPACT 2005 also directed FERC to develop regulations to promote the development of transmission infrastructure, which provides incentives for transmitting utilities to serve renewable energy projects and expanded and extended the availability of U.S. federal tax credits to a variety of renewable energy technologies, including wind power. EPACT 2005’s market conduct, penalty and enforcement provisions also apply to fraud and certain other misconduct in the natural gas sector.
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act established a class of generating facilities that would receive special rate and regulatory treatment, termed QFs. There are two categories of QFs: qualifying small power production facilities and qualifying cogeneration facilities. A small power production facility is a generating facility of 80 MW or less whose primary energy source is hydro, wind, solar, biomass, waste, or geothermal. A cogeneration facility is a generating facility that produces electricity and another form of useful thermal energy (such as heat or steam) in a way that is more efficient than the separate production of both forms of energy. QFs are generally subject to reduced regulatory requirements. Small power production facilities up to 20 MW and “eligible” facilities as defined by section 3(17)(E) of the Federal Power Act are exempt from rate regulation under Sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act.
In addition, PUHCA provides FERC and state regulatory commissions with access to the books and records of holding companies and other companies in holding company systems. It also provides for the review of certain costs. Companies that are holding companies under PUHCA solely with respect to one or more exempt wholesale generators, certain QFs or foreign utility companies are exempt from these PUHCA books and records requirements.
State Utility Regulation
While federal law provides the utility regulatory framework for our sales of electricity at wholesale in interstate commerce, there are also important areas in which state regulatory control over traditional public utilities that fall under state jurisdiction may have an effect on our projects. For example, the regulated electricity utility buyers of electricity from our projects are generally required to seek state public utility commission approval for the pass through in retail rates of costs associated with PPAs entered into with a wholesale seller. Certain states, such as New York, regulate the acquisition, divestiture, and transfer of some wholesale power projects and financing activities by the owners of such projects. California, which is one of our markets, requires compliance with certain operations and maintenance reporting requirements for wholesale generators. In addition, states and other local agencies require a variety of environmental and other permits.
State law governs whether an independent generator or power marketer can sell retail electricity in that state, and whether gas can be sold by an entity other than a traditional, state-franchised gas utility. Some states, such as Florida, prohibit most sales of retail electricity except by the state’s franchised utilities. In other states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, an independent generator may sometimes sell retail electricity power to a co-located or adjacent business customer, and a gas supplier can sometimes make on-premises or adjacent-premises gas deliveries to a single plant or customer. Some states, such as Massachusetts and New York, permit retail power and gas marketers to use the facilities of the state’s franchised utilities to sell power and/or gas to retail customers as competitors of the utilities.
RNG Production and Sale
Our projects typically convert biogas to RNG for sale as a fuel product. FERC regulates the natural gas pipelines that transport gas in interstate commerce, and specifies or approves a gas pipeline’s tariff that sets the rates, terms and conditions, gas quality, and other requirements applicable to transportation of natural gas on the pipelines, including shipping RNG. Our sites are not permitted, and may not be physically able, to deliver RNG to a FERC-regulated pipeline unless the pipeline’s receipt of the gas is consistent with the standards adopted in the pipeline’s FERC tariff. State regulators determine whether RNG may be purchased by the state’s local gas utilities, and whether a site operator may directly sell gas to a retail, or direct end-use, customer. Purely local gas sales not utilizing FERC-regulated or certificated facilities are typically not subject to FERC gas regulation. The local distribution of gas to end-use customers by a state-
regulated gas utility is also typically outside the scope of FERC’s gas regulatory jurisdiction. The opening and operation of a landfill or dairy farm that is expected to produce gas does not ordinarily require a FERC certificate or the acceptance by FERC of a gas tariff.
The regulations that are applicable to our projects vary according to the type of energy being produced and the jurisdiction of the facility. As part of our growth strategy, we are looking to grow by pursuing development and acquisition opportunities. Such opportunities may exist in jurisdictions where we have no current operations and, as such, we may become exposed to different regulations for which we have no experience. Some states periodically revisit their regulation of electricity and gas sales. Other states, such as South Carolina and Florida, have adhered to traditional exclusive franchise practices, and in these and other states most electricity and gas customers may receive service only from a utility that holds an exclusive geographic franchise to provide service at that customer’s location. In some states that have experienced energy price hikes or market volatility, such as New York, Texas and California, investments in expanding facilities or buying or building additional facilities may be subject to changing regulatory requirements that may encourage competitive market entry.
Effect of Existing or Probable Government Regulations on Our Business
Our business is affected by numerous laws and regulations on the international, federal, state and local levels, including energy, environmental, conservation, tax and other laws and regulations relating to our industry. Failure to comply with any laws and regulations may result in the assessment of administrative, civil and criminal penalties, the imposition of injunctive relief or both. Moreover, changes in any of these laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business. In view of the many uncertainties with respect to current and future laws and regulations, including their applicability to us, we cannot predict the overall effect of such laws and regulations on our future operations.
We believe our operations comply in all material respect with applicable laws and regulations and that the existence and enforcement of such laws and regulations have no more restrictive an effect on our operations than on other similar companies in our industry. We do not anticipate any material capital expenditures to comply with international, federal and state environmental requirements. See “Business — Legal Proceedings.”
Our corporate headquarters are located in White Plains, New York, where we occupy approximately 13,600 square feet of shared office space with an affiliate of Fortistar pursuant to an Administrative Services Agreement. We believe this office space is adequate for our needs for the immediate future and that, should it be necessary, we can lease additional space to accommodate any future growth.
Our services office and maintenance facility is located in Oronoco, Minnesota, where we own and occupy a 20,000 square foot building of combined office space, maintenance shop and loading dock located on 3.25 acres. The building was acquired in September 2018 and is adequate for our needs for the immediate future. Should it be necessary, we believe we can expand the building to accommodate future growth.
Our construction office and maintenance facility is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where we occupy approximately 29,935 square feet of combined office space, maintenance shop and loading dock. In March, 2022, the Company entered into an amendment to the lease which extended the lease term till January 2026. We believe the space that we currently lease is adequate for our needs for the immediate future but we will likely seek additional space during the course of 2023 to accommodate future growth, which we believe will be available to us on satisfactory terms.
As of December 31, 2022, OPAL had approximately 298 full-time employees, all of whom are located in the United States. Our employee work force consists of field operations personnel as well as office-based employees. None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement or a labor union and we believe we have a good relationship with our employees. We value a diverse workforce. We are committed to a culture of integrity, inclusivity, and excellence. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer in our hiring and promoting practices, benefits and wages.
•SAFETY - Passion for safety
•INTEGRITY - Straightforward, open and honest
•RELATIONSHIPS - Engaging all stakeholders
•EXCELLENCE - Quality and creativity
Talent management and leadership
We take a systemic approach to hiring, training and developing our employees based on our code of ethics. This includes creating individual goals based on company priorities and providing employees periodic feedback in order to assess individual performance. We have developed internal promoting practices based on objective annual performance evaluations, encouraging employees to develop within their chosen career path and providing necessary professional trainings as needed.
Human rights, health and safety
Safety, including the health of our employees is one of our values and we perform all of our operations with safety in mind. We maintain and update our safety manual for all field personnel on an annual basis and conduct safety training sessions to all of our employees on a regular basis. We encourage near miss reporting from all of our employees so that we can take preventative steps before the accidents occur.
We continuously strive to provide a secure working environment for both our office-based and field operations personnel. During COVID-19, we have taken extraordinary measures to protect the health of our employees by allowing them to work from home. We took measures to adapt all of our office to the new safety precautions to include social distancing guidelines as well as ensuring mask wearing compliance when required. We continued our focus in 2022 on keeping our employees and their families safe from COVID-19 through a variety of workplace health and safety measures, including providing hybrid working schedule, required mask compliance per the local health guidelines, quarantined and contact traced employees, deployed hand sanitizer machines and strongly encouraged all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We offer free COVID-19 test kits to our employees.
Our website can be found at www.opalfuels.com. We make available, free of charge through our website, our Annual Report on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8‑K, our proxy statement, our Registration Statements and Forms 3, 4 and 5 filed on behalf of directors and executive officers, and amendments to these reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the SEC. We are not including the information contained on our website or any other website as a part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10‑K or any other filing we make with the SEC. The filings are also available through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Our Board of Directors (the “Board”) has documented its governance practices by adopting several corporate governance policies. These governance policies, including our Corporate Governance Guidelines and Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as the charter for the Audit Committee of the Board may also be viewed on our website. Copies of such documents will be provided to stockholders without charge upon written request to the corporate secretary at the address shown on the cover page of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.
Glossary of Terms
The following are definitions of terms used in this Form 10-K.
“ArcLight” refers to ArcLight Clean Transaction Corp. II, a blank check company incorporated as a Cayman Islands exempt company, and our previous name prior to the Closing.
“Ares” refers to ARRC Beacon LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.
“BCA” or “Business Combination Agreement” refers to the Business Combination Agreement dated as of December 2, 2021 (as the same has been or may be amended, modified, supplemented or waived from time to time), by and among ArcLight, OPAL Fuels and OPAL Holdco.
“Business Combination” refers to the transaction contemplated by the BCA.
“Bylaws” refers to the bylaws of OPAL.
“Charter” refers to certificate of incorporation of OPAL.
“Class A common stock” refers to the shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of OPAL.
“Class A Units” refers to the Class A Units as defined in the Second A&R LLC Agreement.
“Class B common stock” refers to the shares of Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of OPAL.
“Class B Units” refers to the Class B Units as defined in the Second A&R LLC Agreement.
“Class C common stock” refers to the shares of Class C common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of OPAL.
“Class D common stock” refers to the shares of Class D common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of OPAL.
“Closing” refers to the closing of the Business Combination.
“Closing Date” refers to July 21, 2022.
“Company”, “we”, “our”, “us” or similar terms refers to OPAL Fuels Inc. individually or on a consolidated basis, as the context may require.
“Exchange Act” refers to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
“FASB” refers to the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
“Fortistar” refers to Fortistar LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.
“Fueling Stations” refers to facilities where (i) natural gas is dispensed into fuel tanks of vehicles for use as transportation fuel, and (ii) transactional data from the dispensing of the fuel is recorded so that Environmental Attributes can be subsequently reported, matched with the dispensed fuel to the extent sourced from RNG, and generated under the federal or state RFS or LCFS programs and other current and potential future programs aimed at providing support for RNG into the transportation market. At the Fueling Stations, the natural gas is pressurized using compressor systems and, in this state, is referred to as CNG. Because Environmental Attributes associated with RNG are nominated/assigned to the physical quantity of CNG dispensed at the Fueling Station, when the CNG is dispensed into to fuel tanks for use as transportation fuel and subsequently reported to the EPA and/or state environmental agency and matched with the production of RNG, the respective RINs and LCFS credits are generated. Some of these stations are designed, developed, constructed, operated and maintained by us while others are third party stations where we may only provide maintenance services.
“Hillman” refers to Hillman RNG Investments, LLC, an affiliate of Fortistar, a Delaware limited liability company.
“Investment Company Act” refers to the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.
“Sarbanes-Oxley Act” refers to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
“Securities Act” refers to the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
“Sponsor” refers to ArcLight CTC Holdings II, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership.
“Tax Receivable Agreement” refers to the Tax Receivable Agreement, dated July 21, 2022, by and among OPAL Fuels Inc, Opal Holdco LLC and the Parties named therein as included in Exhibit 10.6 to the Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on July 29, 2021, as the same may be amended, modified, supplemented or waived from time to time in accordance with its terms.
In addition, the following is a glossary of key industry terms used herein:
“ADG” refers to anaerobic digester gas.
“Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation” refers to the rules adopted by the California Air Resources Board on June 25, 2020 requiring the sale of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.
“Biogas Conversion Projects” refers to projects derived from the recovery and processing of biogas from landfills and other non-fossil fuel sources, such as livestock and dairy farms, for beneficial use as a replacement to fossil fuels.
“Btu” refers to British thermal units.
“CARB” refers to the California Air Resources Board.
“CI” refers to carbon intensity.
“CNG” refers to compressed natural gas.
“CO2” refers to carbon dioxide.
“D3” refers to cellulosic biofuel with a 60% GHG reduction requirement.
“EHS” refers to environment, health and safety.
“EISA” refers to Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
“Environmental Attributes” refer to federal, state and local government incentives in the United States, provided in the form of RINs, RECs, LCFS credits, rebates, tax credits and other incentives to end users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of renewable energy projects, that promote the use of renewable energy.
“EPA” refers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“EPACT 2005” refers to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
“FERC” refers to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“GHG” refers to greenhouse gases.
“ISOs” refers to independent system operators.
“LCFS” refers to Low Carbon Fuel Standard or similar types of federal and state programs.
“LFG” refers to landfill gas.
“MBR Authority” refers to (a) authorization by FERC pursuant to the Federal Power Act to sell electric energy, capacity and/or ancillary services at market-based rates, (b) acceptance by FERC of a tariff providing for such sales, and (c) granting by FERC of such regulatory waivers and blanket authorizations as are customarily granted by FERC to holders
of market-based rate authority, including blanket authorization under section 204 of the Federal Power Act to issue securities and assume liabilities.
“Obligated Parties” means refiners or importers of gasoline or diesel fuel under the RFS program.
“QFs” refers to qualifying small power production facilities under the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended
“RECs” refers to renewable energy credits.
“Renewable Power” refers to electricity generated from renewable sources.
“RFS” refers to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard.
“RINs” refers to Renewable Identification Numbers.
“RNG” refers to renewable natural gas.
“RPS” refers to Renewable Portfolio Standards.
“RTOs” refers to regional transmission organizations.
“RVOs” refers to renewable volume obligations.
“September 2020 Executive Order” refers to Executive Order N-79-20 issued by the Governor of the State of California in September 2020.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Risks Related to Our Business
Risks Related to Our Third Party Relationships and Government Regulation of Our Business
We are dependent on contractual arrangements with, and the cooperation of, owners and operators of biogas project sites where our Biogas Conversion Projects are located for the underlying biogas rights granted to us in connection with our Biogas Conversion Projects and for access to and operations on the biogas project sites where we utilize those underlying biogas rights.
We do not own any of the landfill or livestock waste sites, which we sometimes refer to in this report as “biogas project sites,” from which our Biogas Conversion Projects collect biogas or on which we operate and manage our Biogas Conversion Projects, and therefore we depend on contractual relationships with, and the cooperation of, the biogas conversion project site owners and operators for our operations. The invalidity of, or any default or termination under, any of our gas rights agreements, leases, easements, licenses and rights-of-way may interfere with our rights to the underlying biogas and our ability to use and operate all or a portion of certain of our Biogas Conversion Projects facilities, which may have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We obtain biogas rights to utilize the biogas and the biogas project sites on which our projects operate under contractual arrangements, with the associated biogas rights generally being for fixed terms of 20 years (or more) and certain additional renewal options. The gas rights associated with our 30 projects in operation or under construction, 3 of which include Renewable Power projects that are in construction to be converted to RNG, are due to expire at varying points over the next 25 years. See “Business — Our Projects.” In addition, the biogas rights are typically specific to the right to produce electricity generated from Renewable Power or RNG; and accordingly, when we pursue conversion of a project from the production of Renewable Power to the production of RNG, which has been part of our strategy over recent periods, we must secure the associated biogas rights for the production of RNG. While we have generally been successful in renewing biogas rights and in securing the additional rights necessary in connection with conversion from production of Renewable Power to RNG on specific projects, we cannot guarantee that this success will continue in the future on commercial terms that are attractive to us or at all, and any failure to do so, or any other disruption in the relationship with any of the biogas conversion project site owners and operators from whose biogas project sites our Biogas Conversion Projects obtain biogas or for whom we operate biogas facilities, may have a material adverse effect on our business operations, financial condition and operational results.
In addition, the ownership interests in the land subject to these licenses, easements, leases and rights-of-way may be subject to mortgages securing loans or other liens (such as tax liens) and other easements, lease rights and rights-of-way of third parties (such as leases of mineral rights). As a result, certain of our Biogas Conversion Projects’ rights under these licenses, easements, leases or rights-of-way may be subject, and subordinate, to the rights of those third parties in certain instances. We may not be able to protect our operating projects against all risks of loss of our rights to use the land on which our Biogas Conversion Projects are located, and any such loss or curtailment of our rights to use the land on which our projects are located and any increase in rent due on such lands could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The owners and operators of biogas project sites generally make no warranties to us as to the quality or quantity of gas produced.
The biogas conversion project site owners and operators generally do not make any representation or warranty to us as to the quality or quantity of biogas produced at their sites. Accordingly, we may be affected by operational issues encountered by biogas conversion project site owners and operators in operating their facilities, such as, among other things: (i) their ability to perform in accordance with their commitments to third parties (other than us) under agreements and permits; (ii) transportation of source materials, (iii) herd health and labor issues at the dairy farms generating the manure to be processed at our digester facilities; (iv) gas collection issues at landfill projects such as broken pipes, ground water accumulation, inadequate land cover and labor issues, and (v) the particular character and mix of trash received, at the biogas conversion project site facilities. We cannot guarantee that our production will be free from operational risks, nor can we guarantee the production of a sufficient quantity and quality of biogas from the owners and operators of biogas conversion project sites. However, our facilities are engineered and designed to process varying levels of biogas quantities and varying levels of potential biogas impurities.
We from time to time face disputes or disagreements with owners and operators of biogas project sites which could materially impact our ability to continue to develop and/or operate an existing Biogas Conversion Project on its
current basis, or at all, and could materially delay or eliminate our ability to identify and successfully secure the rights to construct and operate other future Biogas Conversion Projects.
The success of our business depends, in part, on maintaining good relationships with biogas conversion project site owners and operators. As a result, our business may be adversely affected if we are unable to maintain these relationships.
Our economic interests in biogas conversion project sites are not always aligned with the economic interests of the site owners and operators. We may disagree with owners and operators about a number of concerns, including, without limitation, the operations of the biogas project sites, easement and access rights, the renewal of gas and manure rights on favorable terms, and temporary shutdowns for routine maintenance or equipment upgrades. Biogas conversion project site owners and operators may make unilateral decisions beneficial to them to address business concerns. They may or may not consult with us, including in circumstances where they have a contractual obligation to do so, and unilateral decisions made by the biogas conversion project site owners and operators regarding the operations or management of their business could impact our ability to produce RNG or Renewable Power, and generate the associated Environmental Attributes. If we have a favorable relationship with site owners and operators, we may be able to mitigate certain risks if given the opportunity to provide input into the owners’ and operators’ decision-making process.
In addition, the financial condition of the biogas conversion project sites may be affected in large part by conditions and events that are beyond our control. Significant deterioration in the financial condition of any biogas conversion project waste site could cause the biogas conversion project site owners and operators to unilaterally decide to shut down or reduce their landfill or livestock waste operations. Any such closure or reduction of operations at a waste site could impact our ability to produce RNG or Renewable Power, and generate the associated Environmental Attributes, and we may not have an opportunity to propose a solution to protect our infrastructure in any existing Biogas Conversion Project.
If we are unable to maintain good relationships with these site owners and operators, or if they take any actions that disrupt or halt production of RNG or Renewable Power, our business, growth strategy, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
For the U.S. transportation fuel market, we are dependent on the production of vehicles and engines capable of running on natural gas and we have no control over these vehicle and engine manufacturers. We are also dependent on the willingness of owners of truck fleets to adopt natural gas powered vehicles and to contract with us for the provision of CNG to said fleets.
Vehicle and engine manufacturers control the development, production, quality assurance, cost and sales and marketing of their products, all of which shape the performance, availability and reputation of such vehicles in the marketplace. We are dependent on these vehicle and engine manufacturers to succeed in our target RNG fuel dispensing markets, and we have no influence or control over their activities.
These vehicle and engine manufacturers may decide not to expand or maintain, or may decide to discontinue or curtail, their product lines for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, as a result of the adoption of governmental policies or programs such as the rules adopted by the California Air Resources Board on June 25, 2020 requiring the sale of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks (the “Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation”) and Executive Order N-79-20 issued by the Governor of the State of California in September 2020 (the “September 2020 Executive Order”). The supply of engines or vehicle product lines by these vehicle and engine manufacturers may also be disrupted due to delays, restrictions or other business impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions or crises. The limited production of engines and vehicles that run on natural gas increases their cost and limits availability, which restricts large-scale adoption, and may reduce resale value. These factors may also contribute to operator reluctance to convert their vehicles to be compatible with natural gas fuel.
Failure of third parties to manufacture quality products or provide reliable services in a timely manner could cause delays in developing, constructing, bringing online and operating our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, which could damage our reputation, adversely affect our partner relationships or adversely affect our growth.
Our success depends on our ability to design, develop, construct, maintain and operate Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations in a timely manner, which depends in part on the ability of third parties to provide us with timely and reliable products and services. In developing and operating our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, we rely on products meeting our design specifications and components manufactured and supplied by third parties, and on services performed by our subcontractors. We also rely on subcontractors to perform some of the construction and installation work related to our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, and we sometimes need to engage subcontractors with whom we have no prior experience in connection with these matters.
If our subcontractors are unable to provide services that meet or exceed our counterparties’ expectations or satisfy our contractual commitments, our reputation, business and operating results could be harmed. In addition, if we are unable to avail ourselves of warranties and other contractual protections with our suppliers and service providers, we may incur liability to our counterparties or additional costs related to the affected products and services, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, any delays, malfunctions, inefficiencies or interruptions in these products or services could adversely affect our ability to timely bring a project online, the quality and performance of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, and may require considerable expense to find replacement products and to maintain and repair these facilities. These circumstances could cause us to experience interruption in (i) our production and distribution of RNG and Renewable Power, (ii) generation of related Environmental Attributes, (iii) meeting our obligations to dispense RNG at Fueling Stations, and (iv) maintaining current relationships and attracting new relationships, in each case, potentially harming our brand, reputation and growth prospects.
Our operations are subject to numerous stringent EHS laws and regulations that may expose us to significant costs and liabilities. From time to time, we have been issued notices of violations from government entities that our operations have failed to comply with such laws and regulations, particularly in regards to the operation of our LFG electric generating facilities. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations may result in the assessment of sanctions, including administrative, civil or criminal penalties, the imposition of investigatory or remedial obligations, and the issuance of orders limiting or prohibiting some or all of our operations.
Our operations are subject to stringent and complex federal, state and local EHS laws and regulations, including those relating to (i) the release, emission or discharge of materials into the air, water and ground, (ii) the generation, storage, handling, use, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes, and (iii) the health and safety of our employees and other persons.
These laws and regulations impose numerous obligations applicable to our operations, including (i) the acquisition of permits before construction and operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations; (ii) the restriction of types, quantities and concentration of materials that can be released into the environment; (iii) the limitation or prohibition of our activities on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands and other protected areas; (iv) the application of specific health and safety criteria addressing worker protection; and (v) the imposition of substantial liabilities for pollution resulting from the operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations. In addition, construction and operating permits issued pursuant to environmental laws are necessary to operate our business. Such permits are obtained through applications that require considerable technical documentation and analysis, and sometimes require long time periods to obtain or review. Delays in obtaining or renewing such permits, or denial of such permits and renewals, are possible, and would have a negative effect on our financial performance and prospects for growth. These laws, regulations and permitting requirements can necessitate expensive pollution control equipment or operational changes to limit actual or potential impacts to the environment.
Our operations inherently risk incurring significant environmental costs and liabilities due to the need to manage waste and emissions from our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations. Spills or other releases of regulated substances, including spills and releases that may occur in the future, could expose us to material losses, expenditures and liabilities under applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations. Under certain of such laws, rules and regulations, we could be held strictly liable for the removal or remediation of previously released materials or property contamination, regardless of whether we were responsible for the release or contamination and even if our operations met previous standards in the industry at the time they were conducted. In connection with certain acquisitions of Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations, we could acquire, or be required to provide indemnification against, environmental liabilities that could expose us to material losses. In addition, claims for damages to persons or property, including natural resources, may result from the EHS impacts of our operations. Our insurance may not cover all environmental risks and costs or may not provide sufficient coverage if an environmental claim is made against us.
Environmental laws, rules and regulations have changed rapidly in recent years and generally have become more stringent over time, and we expect this trend to continue. The most material of these changes relate to the control of air emissions from the combustion equipment and turbine engines we use to generate Renewable Power from landfill biogas. Such equipment, including internal combustion engines, are subject to stringent federal and state permitting and air emissions requirements. California has taken an aggressive approach to setting standards for engine emissions, and standards already in place have caused us to not be able to operate some of our electric generating equipment in areas of that state. If other states were to follow California’s lead, we could face challenges in maintaining our electric generating operations and possibly, other operations in such jurisdictions.
Continued governmental and public emphasis on environmental issues can be expected to result in increased future investments for environmental control compliance at our facilities. Present and future environmental laws, rules and regulations, and interpretations of such laws, rules and regulations, applicable to our operations, more vigorous enforcement policies and discovery of currently unknown conditions may require substantial costs or expenditures that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In January 2021, the current US presidential administration signed multiple executive orders related to the climate and environment. These executive orders (i) direct federal agencies to review and reverse more than one hundred actions taken by the previous US presidential administration on or relating to the environment, (ii) instruct the Director of National Intelligence to prepare a national intelligence estimate on the security implications of the climate crisis and direct all agencies to develop strategies for integrating climate considerations into their international work, (iii) establish the National Climate Task Force, which assembles leaders from across twenty one federal agencies and departments, (iv) commit to environmental justice and new, clean infrastructure projects, (v) commence development of emissions reduction targets and (vi) establish the special presidential envoy for climate on the National Security Council. At this time, we cannot predict the outcome of any of these executive orders on our operations.
Existing, and future changes to, federal, state and local regulations and policies, including permitting requirements applicable to us, and enactment of new regulations and policies, may present technical, regulatory and economic barriers to the generation, purchase and use of Renewable Power and RNG, and may adversely affect the market for the associated Environmental Attributes. A failure on our part to comply with any laws, regulations or rules, applicable to us may adversely affect our business, investments and results of operations.
The markets for Renewable Power, RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes are influenced by US federal and state governmental regulations and policies concerning such resources. These regulations and policies are frequently modified, which could result in a significant future reduction in the potential demand for Renewable Power, RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes. Any new governmental regulations applicable to our Biogas Conversion Projects or markets for Renewable Power, RNG or the associated Environmental Attributes may result in significant additional expenses or related development costs and, as a result, could cause a significant reduction in demand by our current and future counterparties. Failure to comply with such requirements could result in (i) the disconnection and/or shutdown of the non-complying facility, (ii) our inability to sell Renewable Power or RNG from the non-complying facility, (iii) penalties and defaults arising from contracts that we have that contemplate production from the non-complying facility, (iv) the imposition of liens, fines, refunds and interest, and/or civil or criminal liability, and (v) delay or prevent new Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations from being developed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) annually sets proposed and actual RVOs for the Renewable Identification Numbers (“RIN”) market in accordance with the mandates established by EISA. The EPA’s issuance of timely and sufficient annual RVOs to accommodate the RNG industry’s growing production levels may be needed to stabilize the RIN market. There can be no assurance that the EPA will timely set annual RVOs or that the RVOs will continue to increase or be sufficient to satisfy the growing supply of RNG which may be targeted for the US transportation fuel market. The EPA may set RVOs inaccurately or inconsistently, and the manner in which the EPA sets RVOs may change under legislative or regulatory revisions. The current authorization for the EPA’s issuance of RVOs will expire beginning in 2023, and the EPA may issue RVOs under a modified system that has yet to be developed, which creates additional uncertainty as to RIN pricing. Uncertainty as to how the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) program will continue to be administered and supported by the EPA under the current US presidential administration can create price volatility in the RIN market. Given this regulatory uncertainty, we cannot assure that (i) we will be able to monetize RINs at the same price levels as we have in the past, (ii) production shortfalls will not impact our ability to monetize RINs at favorable current pricing, and (iii) the price environment for RINs will be favorable to us.
On the state level, the economics of RNG are enhanced by low-carbon fuel initiatives, particularly a well-established LCFS program in California and similar developing programs in Oregon and Washington (with several other states also actively considering similar initiatives). In California’s case, in 2009, the California Air Resource Board (“CARB”) adopted LCFS regulations aimed at reducing the CI of transportation fuel sold and purchased in the state. A CI score is calculated as grams of CO₂ equivalent per megajoule of energy by the fuel. Under the California and California-type LCFS programs, the CI score is dependent upon a full lifecycle analysis that evaluates the GHG emissions associated with producing, transporting, and consuming the fuel. LCFS credits can be generated in three ways: (i) fuel pathway crediting that provides low carbon fuels used in California transportation, (ii) project-based crediting that reduces GHG emissions in the petroleum supply chain, and (iii) zero emission vehicle crediting that supports the build out of infrastructure. CARB awards these credits to RNG projects based on such project’s CI score relative to the targeted CI score for both gasoline and diesel fuels. The number of monetizable LCFS credits per unit of fuel increases with a lower CI score. We cannot assure that we will be able to maintain or reduce our CI score to monetize LCFS credits generated from our Biogas Conversion Projects. Moreover, the inability to sell LCFS credits or to sell at unattractive prices could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to generate revenue from sales of RINs and LCFS credits depends on our strict compliance with such federal and state programs, which are complex and can involve a significant degree of judgment. If the agencies that administer and enforce these programs disagree with our judgments, otherwise determine that we are not in compliance, conduct reviews of our activities or make changes to the programs, then our ability to generate or sell these credits could be temporarily restricted pending completion of reviews or as a penalty, permanently limited or lost entirely, and we could also be subject to fines or other sanctions. Moreover, the inability to sell RINs and LCFS credits in general, or at unattractive prices, could adversely affect our business.
Additionally, our business is influenced by laws, rules and regulations that require reductions in carbon emissions and/or the use of renewable fuels, such as the programs under which we generate environmental credits. These programs and regulations, which have the effect of encouraging the use of RNG as a vehicle fuel, could expire or be repealed or amended for a variety of reasons. For example, parties with an interest in gasoline and diesel, electric or other alternative vehicles or vehicle fuels, including lawmakers, regulators, policymakers, environmental or advocacy organizations, producers of alternative vehicles or vehicle fuels or other powerful groups, may invest significant time and money in efforts to delay, repeal or otherwise negatively influence programs and regulations that promote RNG. Many of these parties have substantial resources and influence. Further, changes in federal, state or local political, social or economic conditions, including a lack of legislative focus on these programs and regulations, could result in their modification, delayed adoption or repeal. Any failure to adopt, delay in implementing, expiration, repeal or modification of these programs and regulations, or the adoption of any programs or regulations that encourage the use of other alternative fuels or alternative vehicles over RNG, could reduce the market demand for RNG as a vehicle fuel and harm our operating results, liquidity, and financial condition.
For instance, in certain states, including California, lawmakers and regulators have implemented various measures designed to increase the use of electric, hydrogen and other zero-emission vehicles, including establishing firm goals for the number of these vehicles operating on state roads by specified dates and enacting various laws and other programs in support of these goals. Although the influence and applicability of these or similar measures on our business remains uncertain, a focus on “zero tailpipe emissions” vehicles over vehicles such as those operating on RNG that have an overall net carbon negative emissions profile, but some tailpipe emissions, could adversely affect the market for our fuels.
New laws, changes to existing laws, new interpretations of existing laws, increased governmental enforcement of environmental laws or other developments could require us to make significant additional expenditures. Continued government and public emphasis on environmental issues can be expected to result in increased future investments for environmental controls at our plants. Present and future environmental laws and regulations, and interpretations of those laws and regulations, applicable to our operations, more vigorous enforcement policies and discovery of currently unknown conditions may require substantial expenditures that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In January 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to review and take action to address any federal regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any similar agency actions promulgated during the prior administration that may be inconsistent with the current
administration’s policies and to address climate change. The federal agencies review of previous agency actions remain ongoing. In January 2021, President Biden also issued an executive order solely targeting climate change. Pursuant to these executive orders, on February 19, 2021 the United States formally rejoined the Paris Climate
Agreement, an international treaty that provides for the cutting of carbon emissions every five years, beginning in 2023. In August 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for development and production of renewable energy. These incentives include grants, loan guaranties, development funding, investment tax credits, and production tax credits. At this time, we cannot predict the outcome of any of these executive actions on our operations.
All of our current electric generating facilities are qualifying small power production facilities (“QFs”) under the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended. We are permitted to make wholesale sales (that is, sales for resale) of renewable electricity, capacity, and ancillary services from our QFs with a net generating capacity that does not exceed 20 megawatts or that is an “eligible” facility as defined by section 3(17)(E) of the Federal Power Act without obtaining (a) authorization by FERC pursuant to the Federal Power Act to sell electric energy, capacity and/or ancillary services at market-based rates, (b) acceptance by FERC of a tariff providing for such sales, and (c) granting by FERC of such regulatory waivers and blanket authorizations as are customarily granted by FERC to holders of market-based rate authority, including blanket authorization under section 204 of the Federal Power Act to issue securities and assume liabilities (“MBR Authority”) or any other approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). A QF typically may not use any fuel other than a FERC-approved alternative fuel, but for limited use of commercial-grade fuel for certain specified start-up, emergency and reliability purposes. We are required to document the QF status of each of our facilities in applications or self-certifications filed with FERC, which typically requires disclosure of upstream facility ownership, fuel and size characteristics, power sales, interconnection matters, and related technical disclosures Congress could amend the Federal Power Act and eliminate QF status, in which case we would likely have to obtain MBR Authority and sell competitively in the market. If this were to happen, in all likelihood our QFs would not be competitive in the market place.
We currently do not intend to develop, construct or operate electric generating facilities that would require us to apply for and receive MBR Authority from FERC. Nevertheless, were we to do so, eligibility for MBR Authority is predicated on a variety of factors, primarily including the overall market power that the power seller — together with all of its FERC-defined “affiliates” — has in the relevant market. FERC defines affiliates as entities with a common parent that own, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting securities in the two entities. Accordingly, our eligibility and the eligibility of our affiliates to obtain and maintain MBR Authority for additional facilities, were we or such affiliate required to obtain such authority, would require an evaluation of the energy assets owned directly or indirectly by us and each of our affiliates, satisfying market-power limitations established by FERC. If our affiliates invest heavily in generating or other electric facilities in a particular geographic market, their market presence could make it difficult for us or our affiliates to obtain and maintain such MBR Authority, or to secure FERC authorization to acquire additional generating facilities, in that market.
Our market-based sales are subject to certain market behavior rules established by FERC, and if any of our Biogas Conversion Projects that generate Renewable Power are deemed to have violated such rules, we will be subject to potential disgorgement of profits associated with the violation, penalties, refunds of unlawfully collected amounts with interest, and, if a facility obtains MBR Authority, suspension or revocation of such MBR Authority. If such projects that had MBR Authority were later to lose their MBR Authority, they would be required to obtain FERC’s acceptance of a cost-of-service rate schedule and could become subject to the significant accounting, record-keeping, and reporting requirements that are typically imposed on vertically-integrated utilities with cost-based rate schedules. This could have a material adverse effect on the rates we are able to charge for power from our facilities maintaining MBR Authority, if any, that generate Renewable Power.
The regulatory environment for electric generation has undergone significant changes in the last several years due to federal and state policies affecting wholesale competition and the creation of incentives for the addition of large amounts of new renewable generation and, in some cases, transmission assets. These changes are ongoing, and we cannot predict the future design of the wholesale power markets or the ultimate effect that the changing regulatory environment will have on our business.
Our biogas conversion project site owners and operators are also subject to extensive federal, state and local regulations and policies, including permitting requirements, on account of their separate operations. Any failure on their part to comply with any laws, regulations, rules or permits, applicable to them may also adversely affect our business, investments and results of operations.
The operations of biogas conversion project site owners and operators are also subject to stringent and complex governmental regulations and policies at the federal, state and local level in the United States. Many complex laws,
rules, orders and interpretations govern environmental protection, health, safety, land use, zoning, transportation and related matters. At times, such governmental regulations and policies may require biogas conversion project site owners and operators to curtail their operations or close sites temporarily or permanently, which may adversely impact our business, investments and results of operations.
Certain permits are required to build, operate and expand sites owned by biogas conversion project site owners and operators, and such permits have become more difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain. Permits may often take years to obtain as a result of numerous hearing and compliance requirements with regard to zoning, environmental and other regulations. The permits required to be obtained and maintained by biogas conversion project site owners and operations are commonly subject to resistance from citizen or other groups and other political pressures, including allegations by such persons that a site is in violation of any applicable permits, laws or regulations. Failure by project site owners and operators to obtain or maintain any required permit to operate its site would adversely affect our production of Renewable Power, RNG and generation of the associated Environmental Attributes, as applicable.
A failure by biogas conversion project site owners and operators to comply with extensive federal, state and local regulations and policies, including permitting requirements, may result in the suspension or cessation of waste site operations, which would reduce or halt Renewable Power or RNG production and generation of the associated Environmental Attributes. Any such disruption could also damage the reputation of our brand. In the event our production of Renewable Power or RNG is disrupted, we may fail to meet the contractual obligations to some of our counterparties to deliver Renewable Power, RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes, in which case we would be subject to financial damage and/or penalty claims from these counterparties.
The financial performance of our business depends upon tax and other government incentives for the generation of RNG and Renewable Power, any of which could change at any time and such changes may negatively impact our growth strategy.
Our financial performance and growth strategy depend in part on governmental policies that support renewable generation and enhance the economic viability of owning Biogas Conversion Projects or Fueling Stations. These projects currently benefit from various federal, state and local governmental incentives such as investment tax credits, cash grants in lieu of investment tax credits, loan guarantees, Renewable Portfolio Standards (“RPS”) programs, modified accelerated cost-recovery system of depreciation and bonus depreciation. RNG specifically generates meaningful revenue through generation and monetization of Environmental Attributes provided for under several different programs, most commonly, RFS, LCFS and RPS.
Many states have adopted RPS programs mandating that a specified percentage of electricity sales come from eligible sources of renewable energy. However, the regulations that govern the RPS programs, including pricing incentives for renewable energy, or reasonableness guidelines for pricing that increase valuation compared to conventional power (such as a projected value for carbon reduction or consideration of avoided integration costs), may change. If the RPS requirements are reduced or eliminated, it could lead to fewer future power contracts or lead to lower prices for the sale of power in future power contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our future prospects. Such material adverse effects may result from decreased revenues, reduced economic returns on Biogas Conversion Projects and other potential future investments or joint ventures, increased financing costs, and/or difficulty obtaining financing.
If we are unable to utilize various federal, state and local governmental incentives to acquire additional Biogas Conversion Projects or Fueling Stations in the future, or the terms of such incentives are revised in a manner that is less favorable to us, we may suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, we face similar risks with respect to the RFS program. Any future changes to, federal, state and local regulations and policies, including permitting requirements applicable to us, and enactment of new regulations and policies, may present technical, regulatory and economic barriers to the generation, purchase and use of Renewable Power and RNG, and may adversely affect the market for the associated Environmental Attributes. A failure on our part to comply with any laws, regulations or rules, applicable to us may adversely affect our business, investments and results of operations.
We rely on interconnection, transmission and pipeline facilities that we do not own or control and that are subject to constraints within a number of our regions. If these facilities fail to provide us with adequate capacity or have
unplanned disruptions, we may be restricted in our ability to deliver Renewable Power and RNG to our counterparties and we may either incur additional costs or forego revenues.
We depend on electric interconnection and transmission facilities and gas pipelines owned and operated by others to deliver the energy and fuel we generate at our Biogas Conversion Projects to our counterparties. Some of our electric generating Biogas Conversion Projects may need to hold electric transmission rights in order to sell power to purchasers that do not have their own direct access to our generators. Our access to electric interconnection and transmission rights is subject to tariffs developed by transmission owners, ISOs and RTOs, which have been filed with and accepted by FERC or the Public Utility Commission in the jurisdictions in question. These tariffs establish the price for transmission service, and the terms under which transmission service is rendered. Under FERC’s open access transmission rules, tariffs developed and implemented by transmission owners, ISOs and RTOs must establish terms and conditions for obtaining interconnection and transmission services that are not unduly discriminatory or preferential. However, as a generator and seller of power, we do not have any automatic right, in any geographic market, to firm, long-term, grid-wide transmission service without first requesting such service, funding the construction of any upgrades necessary to provide such service, and paying a transmission service rate. Physical constraints on the transmission system could limit the ability of our electric generating projects to dispatch their power output and receive revenue from sales of Renewable Power.
A failure or delay in the operation or development of these distribution channels or a significant increase in the costs charged by their owners and operators could result in the loss of revenues or increased operating expenses. Such failures or delays could limit the amount of Renewable Power our operating facilities deliver or delay the completion of our construction projects, which may also result in adverse consequences under our power purchase agreements and LFG rights agreements. Further, such failures, delays or increased costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our RNG production projects are similarly interconnected with gas distribution and interstate pipeline systems that are necessary to deliver RNG. A failure or delay in the operation or development of these distribution or pipeline facilities could result in a loss of revenues or breach of contract because such a failure or delay could limit the amount of RNG that we are able to produce or delay the completion of our construction projects. In addition, certain of our RNG transportation capacity may be curtailed without compensation due to distribution and pipeline limitations, reducing our revenues and impairing our ability to capitalize fully on a particular project’s potential. Such a failure or curtailment at levels above our expectations could impact our ability to satisfy our contractual obligations and adversely affect our business. Additionally, we experience work interruptions from time to time due to federally required maintenance shutdowns of distribution and pipeline facilities.
We may acquire or develop RNG projects that require their own pipeline interconnections to available interstate pipeline and distribution networks. In some cases, these pipeline and distribution networks to which such projects are connected may cover significant distances. A failure in the construction or operation of these pipeline and distribution networks that causes the RNG project to be out of service, or subject to reduced service, could result in lost revenues because it could limit our production of RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes that we are able to generate.
We rely on third-party utility companies to provide our Biogas Conversion Projects with adequate utility supplies, including sewer, water, gas and electricity, in order to operate our Biogas Conversion Project facilities. Any failure on the part of such companies to adequately supply our facilities with such utilities, including any prolonged period of loss of electricity, may have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We are dependent on third-party utility companies to provide sufficient utilities including sewer, water, gas and electricity, to sustain our operations and operate our Biogas Conversion Projects. Any major or sustained disruptions in the supply of utilities, such as water, gas or electricity or any fire, flood or other natural calamities, may disrupt our operations or damage our production facilities or inventories and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we consume a significant amount of electricity in connection with our Biogas Conversion Projects and any increases in costs or reduced availability of such utilities could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to risks associated with litigation or administrative proceedings that could materially impact our operations, including proceedings in the future related to our projects we subsequently acquire.
We are subject to risks and costs, including potential negative publicity, associated with lawsuits, in particular with respect to environmental claims and lawsuits or claims contesting the construction or operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Station projects. The result of and costs associated with defending any such lawsuit or claim, regardless of the merits and eventual outcome, may be material and could have a material adverse effect on our operations. In the future, we may be involved in legal proceedings, disputes, administrative proceedings, claims and other litigation that arise in the ordinary course of our business related to Biogas Conversion Projects or Fueling Stations. For example, individuals and interest groups may sue to challenge the issuance of a permit for a Biogas Conversion Project or a Fueling Station project, or seek to enjoin construction or operation of that facility. We may also become subject to claims from individuals who live in the proximity of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations based on alleged negative health effects related to our operations. In addition, we have been and may subsequently become subject to legal proceedings or claims contesting the construction or operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations.
Any such legal proceedings or disputes could delay our ability to complete construction of a Biogas Conversion Project or Fueling Station in a timely manner or at all, or materially increase the costs associated with commencing or continuing commercial operations of such projects. Settlement of claims and unfavorable outcomes or developments relating to such proceedings or disputes, such as judgments for monetary damages, injunctions or denial or revocation of permits, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to implement our growth strategy and, ultimately, our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We currently own, and in the future may acquire, certain assets in which we have limited control over management decisions, including through joint ventures, and our interests in such assets may be subject to transfer or other related restrictions.
We own, and in the future may acquire, certain Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations through joint ventures. In the future, we may invest in other projects with a joint venture or strategic partner. Joint ventures inherently involve a lesser degree of control over business operations, which could result in an increase in the financial, legal, operational or compliance risks associated with a Biogas Conversion Project or Fueling Station, including, but not limited to, variances in accounting internal control requirements. Our co-venture partners may not have the level of experience, technical expertise, human resources management and other attributes necessary to operate these assets optimally. To the extent we do not have a controlling interest in a Biogas Conversion Project or Fueling Station, our joint venture partners could take actions that decrease the value of our investment and lower our overall return. In addition, conflicts of interest may arise in the future with our joint venture partners, where our joint venture partners’ business interests are inconsistent with our and our stockholders’ interests. Further, disagreements or disputes with our joint venture partners could result in litigation, resulting in increase of expenses incurred and potentially limit the time and effort our officers and directors are able to devote to remaining aspects of our business, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The approval of our joint venture partners also may be required for us to receive distributions of funds from assets or to sell, pledge, transfer, assign or otherwise convey our interest in such assets. Alternatively, our joint venture partners may have rights of first refusal, rights of first offer or other similar rights in the event of a proposed sale or transfer of our interests in such assets. In addition, we may have, and correspondingly our joint venture partners may have, rights to force the sale of the joint venture upon the occurrence of certain defaults or breaches by the other partner or other circumstances, and there may be circumstances in which our joint venture partner can replace our affiliated entities that provide operation and maintenance and asset management services if they default in the performance of their obligations to the joint venture. These restrictions and other provisions may limit the price or interest level for our interests in such assets, in the event we want to sell such interests.
Our gas rights agreements, power purchase agreements, fuel-supply agreements, interconnection agreements, RNG dispensing agreements and other agreements, including contracts with owners and operators of biogas conversion project sites, often contain complex provisions, including those relating to price adjustments, calculations and other terms based on gas price indices and other metrics, as well as other terms and provisions, the interpretation of which could result in disputes with counterparties that could materially affect our results of operations and customer or other business relationships.
Certain of our gas rights agreements, power purchase agreements, fuel supply agreements, interconnection agreements, RNG dispensing agreements and other agreements, including contracts with owners and operators of biogas conversion project sites, require us to make payments or adjust prices to counterparties based on past or current changes in natural gas price indices, project productivity or other metrics and involve complex calculations.
Moreover, the underlying indices governing payments under such agreements are subject to change, may be discontinued or replaced. The interpretation of these price adjustments and calculations and the potential discontinuation or replacement of relevant indices or metrics could result in disputes with the counterparties with respect to such agreements. Any such disputes could adversely affect Biogas Conversion Project revenues, including revenue from associated Environmental Attributes, profit margins, customer or supplier relationships, or lead to costly litigation, the outcome of which we would be unable to predict.
Market Risks Related to Our Business
A reduction in the prices we can obtain for the Environmental Attributes generated from RNG, which include RINs, LCFS credits, and other incentives, could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
A significant portion of our revenues comes from the sale of RINs and LCFS credits, which exist because of legal and governmental regulatory requirements. A change in law or in governmental policies concerning renewable fuels, landfill or animal waste site biogas or the sale of RINs and LCFS could be expected to affect the market for, and the pricing of, the RINs and LCFS credits that we can generate through production at our Biogas Conversion Projects. A reduction in the prices we receive for RINs and LCFS credits, or a reduction in demand for RINs or LCFS credits, whether through market forces generally, through the actions of market participants generally, or through the consolidation or elimination of participants competing in the market for the purchase and retirement of RINs or LCFS credits, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
The volatility in the price of oil, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, RNG, or Environmental Attribute prices could adversely affect our business.
Historically, the prices of Environmental Attributes, RNG, natural gas, crude oil, gasoline and diesel have been volatile and this volatility may continue to increase in future. Factors that may cause volatility in the prices of Environmental Attributes, RNG, natural gas, crude oil, gasoline and diesel include, among others, (i) changes in supply and availability of crude oil, RNG and natural gas; (ii) governmental regulations; (iii) inventory levels; (iv) consumer demand; (v) price and availability of alternatives; (vi) weather conditions; (vii) negative publicity about crude oil or natural gas drilling; (viii) production or transportation techniques and methods; (ix) macro-economic environment and political conditions; (x) transportation costs; and (xi) the price of foreign imports. Specifically, prices for crude oil, which is the commodity used to make gasoline and diesel, have been lower in recent years, due in part to over-production and increased supply without a corresponding increase in demand, and oil prices decreased further in 2020, hitting an all-time low due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, that trend has reversed with oil prices rebounding substantially. Nevertheless, if the prices of crude oil, gasoline and diesel decline again, or if the price of RNG or natural gas increases without corresponding increases in the prices of crude oil, gasoline and diesel or Environmental Attributes, we may not be able to offer our counterparties an attractive price advantage for our vehicle fuels. The market adoption of our vehicle fuels could be slowed or limited, and/or we may be forced to reduce the prices at which we sell our vehicle fuels in order to try and attract new counterparties or prevent the loss of demand from existing counterparties. In addition, we expect that natural gas and crude oil prices will remain volatile for the near future because of market uncertainties over supply and demand, including but not limited to the current state of the world economies, energy infrastructure and other factors. Fluctuations in natural gas prices affect the cost to us of the natural gas commodity. High natural gas prices adversely affect our operating margins when we cannot pass the increased costs to our counterparties. Conversely, lower natural gas prices reduce our revenue when the commodity cost is passed to our counterparties.
Pricing conditions may also exacerbate the cost differential between vehicles that use our vehicle fuels and gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, which may lead operators to delay or refrain from purchasing or converting to vehicles running on our fuels. Generally, vehicles that use our fuels cost more initially than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles because the components needed for a vehicle to use our vehicle fuels add to the vehicle’s base cost. Operators then seek to recover the additional base cost over time through a lower cost to use alternative vehicle fuels. Operators may, however, perceive an inability to timely recover these additional initial costs if alternative vehicle fuels are not available at prices sufficiently lower than gasoline and diesel. Such an outcome could decrease our potential customer base and harm our business prospects.
We face significant upward pricing pressure in the market with respect to our securing the biogas rights necessary for proposed new Biogas Conversion Projects and our conversion of existing Renewable Power rights to RNG rights on existing Biogas Conversion Projects that we plan to convert.
We must reach agreement with the prospective biogas project site owner or developer in order to secure the biogas rights necessary for each proposed Biogas Conversion Project. Additionally, each project typically requires a site lease, access easements, permits, licenses, rights of way or other similar agreements. Historically, in exchange for the biogas rights and additional agreements, we have paid the site owner and/or developer a royalty or other similar payment based on revenue generated by the project or volume of biogas used by the project. Over recent years, as competition for development of biogas conversion project sites has increased and biogas project site owners and developers have become more sophisticated, it has become increasingly common for the prospective biogas project site owners and developers to ask for or require larger royalties or similar payments in order to secure the biogas rights. In addition, it is becoming increasingly common for some prospective biogas project site owners or developers to ask for or require equity participation in the prospective project.
In addition, we face similar pricing pressures when we attempt to renew our biogas rights on existing Biogas Conversion Projects at the end of their contractual periods and in situations where we plan to convert existing Renewable Power projects to RNG projects.
These pricing pressures could lead us to decide not to pursue certain prospective Biogas Conversion Projects or not to pursue the renewal or conversion of one or more existing Renewable Power projects and, accordingly, negatively impact our overall financial condition, results of operations and prospects. These pricing pressures could also impact the profitability of prospective Biogas Conversion Projects, and, accordingly, negatively impact our overall financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We currently face declining market prices for LCFS credits specifically within California as well as significant upward pressure on the costs associated with dispensing RNG specifically within California to generate the LCFS credits.
The market prices for LCFS credits specifically within California have declined over the past year, and the market for dispensing RNG with relatively low CI scores in California has become increasingly competitive because of increasing supply of RNG with these relatively low CI scores. As such, fleet operators using vehicles fueled by natural gas have been able to demand RNG marketers like us provide them with greater economic incentives for allowing us to dispense the fuel at the Fueling Stations, typically in the form of a greater share of our marketing fee or a greater share in the monetary value of the Environmental Attributes we generate when dispensing the fuel. The persistence of the current California dynamic is dependent upon future market developments, and as such the LCFS credits that we generate and sell may or may not produce future revenue that is comparable to historical LCFS revenue.
A prolonged environment of low prices or reduced demand for Renewable Power could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Long-term Renewable Power and RNG prices may fluctuate substantially due to factors outside of our control. The price of Renewable Power and RNG can vary significantly for many reasons, including: (i) increases and decreases in generation capacity in our markets; (ii) changes in power transmission or fuel transportation capacity constraints or inefficiencies; (iii) power supply disruptions; (iv) weather conditions; (v) seasonal fluctuations; (vi) changes in the demand for power or in patterns of power usage, including the potential development of demand-side management tools and practices; (vii) development of new fuels or new technologies for the production of power; (viii) federal and state regulations; and (ix) actions of the Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) and regional transmission organizations (“RTOs”) that control and administer regional power markets.
Increased rates of recycling and legislation encouraging recycling, increased use of waste incineration, advances in waste disposal technology, decreased demand for meat and livestock products could decrease the availability or change the composition of waste for biogas conversion project gas.
The volume and composition of LFG produced at open landfill sites depends in large part on the volume and composition of waste sent to such landfill sites, which could be affected by a number of factors. For example, increased rates of recycling or increased use of waste incineration could decrease the volume of waste sent to
landfills, while organics diversion strategies such as composting can reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills. There have been numerous federal and state regulations and initiatives over the recent years that have led to higher levels of recycling of paper, glass, plastics, metal and other recyclables, and there are growing discussions at various levels of government about developing new strategies to minimize the negative environmental impacts of landfills and related emissions, including diversion of biodegradable waste from landfills. Although many recyclable materials other than paper do not decompose and therefore do not ultimately contribute to the amount of LFG produced at a landfill site, recycling and other similar efforts may have negative effects on the volume and proportion of biodegradable waste sent to landfill sites across the United States. As a consequence, the volume and composition of waste sent to landfill sites from which our Biogas Conversion Projects collect LFG could change, which could adversely affect our business operations, prospects, financial condition and operational results.
In addition, research and development activities are currently ongoing to provide alternative and more efficient technologies to dispose of waste, to produce by-products from waste and to produce energy, and an increasing amount of capital is being invested to find new approaches to waste disposal, waste treatment and energy generation.
It is possible that this deployment of capital may lead to advances which could adversely affect our sources of LFG or provide new or alternative methods of waste disposal or energy generation that become more accepted, or more attractive, than landfills.
We currently use, and may continue in the future to use, forward-sale and hedging arrangements, to mitigate certain risks, but the use of such arrangements could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
We currently use, and may continue in the future to use, forward sales transactions to sell Environmental Attributes and Renewable Power before they are generated. In addition, we use interest rate swaps to manage interest rate risk. We may use other types of hedging contracts, including foreign currency hedges if we expand into other countries. If we elect to enter into such hedges, the related asset could recognize financial losses on these arrangements as a result of volatility in the market values of the underlying asset or if a counterparty fails to perform under a contract. If actively quoted market prices and pricing information from external sources are not available, the valuation of such contracts would involve judgment or the use of estimates. As a result, changes in the underlying assumptions or use of alternative valuation methods could affect the reported fair value of such contracts. If the values of such contracts change in a manner that we do not anticipate, or if a counterparty fails to perform under such a contract, it could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
Additional Risk Factors Relating to Our Biogas Capture Business
Our ability to acquire, convert, develop and operate Biogas Conversion Projects, as well as expand production at current Biogas Conversion Projects, is subject to many risks.
Our business strategy includes (i) the conversion of LFG projects from Renewable Power to RNG production where we already controls biogas gas rights, (ii) growth through the procurement of LFG rights and manure rights to develop new RNG projects, (iii) the acquisition and expansion of existing Biogas Conversion Projects, and (iv) growth through the procurement of rights to other sources of biogas for production of additional transportation fuels and generation of associated Environmental Attributes. This strategy depends on our ability to successfully convert existing LFG projects and identify and evaluate acquisition opportunities and complete new Biogas Conversion Projects or acquisitions on favorable terms. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully identify new opportunities, acquire additional biogas rights and develop new RNG projects or convert existing projects on favorable terms or at all. In addition, we may compete with other companies for these development and acquisition opportunities, which may increase our costs or cause us to refrain from making acquisitions at all.
We may also achieve growth through the expansion of production at certain of our current Biogas Conversion Projects as the related landfills and dairy farms are expanded or otherwise begin to produce more gas or manure, respectively, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reach or renew the necessary agreements with site owners on economically favorable terms or at all. If we are unable to successfully identify and consummate future Biogas Conversion Project opportunities or acquisitions of Biogas Conversion Projects, or expand RNG production at our current Biogas Conversion Projects, it will impede our ability to execute our growth strategy. Further, we may also experience delays and cost overruns in converting existing facilities from Renewable Power to RNG production. During the conversion of existing projects, there may be a gap in revenue while the electricity project is offline until
the conversion is completed and the new RNG facility commences operations, which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to acquire, convert, develop and operate Biogas Conversion Projects, as well as expand production at current Biogas Conversion Projects, is subject to several additional risks, including:
• regulatory changes that affect the value of RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes, which could have a significant effect on the financial performance of our Biogas Conversion Projects and the number of potential Biogas Conversion Projects with attractive economics;
•changes in energy commodity prices, such as natural gas and wholesale electricity prices, which could have a significant effect on our revenues and expenses;
• changes in pipeline gas quality standards or other regulatory changes that may limit our ability to transport RNG on pipelines for delivery to third parties or increase the costs of processing RNG to allow for such deliveries;
•changes in the broader waste collection industry, including changes affecting the waste collection and biogas potential of the landfill industry, which could limit the LFG resource that we currently target for our Biogas Conversion Projects;
•substantial construction risks, including the risk of delay, that may arise due to forces outside of our control, such as those related to engineering and environmental problems, inclement weather, inflationary pressures on materials and labor, and supply chain and labor disruptions;
•operating risks and the effect of disruptions on our business, including the effects of global health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, weather conditions, catastrophic events, such as fires, explosions, earthquakes, droughts and acts of terrorism, and other force majeure events that impact us, our counterparties, suppliers, distributors and subcontractors;
•accidents involving personal injury or the loss of life;
•entering into markets where we have less experience, such as our Biogas Conversion Projects for biogas recovery at livestock farms;
•the ability to obtain financing for a Biogas Conversion Project on acceptable terms or at all and the need for substantially more capital than initially budgeted to complete Biogas Conversion Projects and exposure to liabilities as a result of unforeseen environmental, construction, technological or other complications;
•failures or delays in obtaining desired or necessary land rights, including ownership, leases, easements, zoning rights and building permits;
• a decrease in the availability, increased pricing on, and a delay in the timeliness of delivery of raw materials and components, necessary for the Biogas Conversion Projects to function or necessary for the conversion of a Biogas Conversion Projects from Renewable Power to RNG production;
•obtaining and keeping in good standing permits, authorizations and consents from local city, county, state and US federal government agencies and organizations;
•penalties, including potential termination, under short-term and long-term contracts for failing to produce or deliver a sufficient quantity and acceptable quality of RNG in accordance with our contractual obligations;
•unknown regulatory changes related to the transportation of RNG, which may increase the transportation cost for delivering under our contracts then in effect;
• the consent and authorization of local utilities or other energy development off-takers to ensure successful interconnection to energy grids to enable power and gas sales; and
•difficulties in identifying, obtaining and permitting suitable sites for new Biogas Conversion Projects.
Any of these factors could prevent us from acquiring, developing, converting, operating or expanding our Biogas Conversion Projects, or otherwise adversely affect our business, growth potential, financial condition and results of operations.
Multiple factors, including lower levels of gas collection and delays in commencement and completion of construction, have negatively impacted our business during the year ended December 31, 2022. While we continue to execute on our business plan, we expect these factors to continue during 2023.
Acquiring Biogas Conversion Projects involves numerous risks, including potential exposure to pre-existing liabilities, unanticipated costs in acquiring and implementing the project, and lack of or limited experience in new geographic markets.
The acquisition of existing Biogas Conversion Projects involves numerous risks, many of which may be indiscoverable through the due diligence process, including exposure to previously existing liabilities and unanticipated costs associated with the pre-acquisition period; difficulty in integrating the acquired projects into our existing business; and, if the projects are in new markets, the risks of entering markets where we have limited experience, less knowledge of differences in market terms for gas rights agreements and dispensing agreements, and, for international projects, possible exposure to exchange-rate risk to the extent we need to finance development and operations of foreign projects to repatriate earnings generated by such projects. While we perform due diligence on prospective acquisitions, we may not be able to discover all potential operational deficiencies in such projects. A failure to achieve the financial returns we expect when we acquire Biogas Conversion Projects could have a material adverse effect on our ability to implement our growth strategy and, ultimately, our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Additional risks related to acquiring existing projects, include:
• the purchase price we pay could significantly deplete our cash reserves or result in dilution to our existing stockholders;
• the acquired companies or assets may not improve our customer offerings or market position as planned;
•we may have difficulty integrating the operations and personnel of the acquired companies;
• key personnel and counterparties of the acquired companies may terminate their relationships with the acquired companies as a result of or following the acquisition;
• we may experience additional financial and accounting challenges and complexities in certain areas, such as tax planning and financial reporting;
• we may incur additional costs and expenses related to complying with additional laws, rules or regulations in new jurisdictions;
•we may assume or be held liable for risks and liabilities (including for environmental-related costs) as a result of our acquisitions, some of which we may not discover during our due diligence or adequately adjust for in our acquisition arrangements;
• our ongoing business and management’s attention may be disrupted or diverted by transition or integration issues and the complexity of managing geographically diverse enterprises;
• we may incur one-time write-offs or restructuring charges in connection with an acquisition;
•we may acquire goodwill and other intangible assets that are subject to amortization or impairment tests, which could result in future charges to earnings;
•we may acquire goodwill and other intangible assets that are subject to amortization or impairment tests, which could result in future charges to earnings; and
•we may not be able to realize the cost savings or other financial benefits we anticipated.
Our Biogas Conversion Projects face operational challenges, including among other things the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes or performance below expected levels of output or efficiency due to wear and tear of our equipment, latent defects, design or operator errors, force majeure events, or lack of transmission capacity or other problems with third party interconnection and transmission facilities.
The ongoing operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects involves risks that include the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes or performance below expected levels of output or efficiency due to wear and tear of our equipment, latent defects, design or operator errors or force majeure events, among other factors. Operation of our
Biogas Conversion Projects also involves risks that we will be unable to transport our product to our counterparties in an efficient manner due to a lack of capacity or other problems with third party interconnection and transmission facilities. Unplanned outages of equipment, including extensions of scheduled outages due to mechanical failures or other problems, occur from time to time and are an inherent risk of our business. Unplanned outages typically increase our operation and maintenance expenses and may reduce our revenue. Biogas conversion project site owners and operators can also impact our production if, in the course of ongoing operations, they damage the site’s biogas collection systems. Our inability to operate our facilities efficiently, manage capital expenditures and costs and generate earnings and cash flow could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are generally also required under many of our agreements to deliver a minimum quantity of Renewable Power, RNG and/or the associated Environmental Attributes to the counterparty. Unless we can rely on a force majeure or other provisions in the related agreements, falling below such a threshold could subject us to financial expenses and penalties, as well as possible termination of key agreements and potential violations of certain permits, which could further impede our ability to satisfy production requirements. Therefore, any unexpected reduction in output at any of our Biogas Conversion Projects that leads to any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
An unexpected reduction in RNG production by third-party producers of RNG with whom we maintain marketing agreements to purchase RNG and/or the associated Environmental Attributes, or their inability or refusal to deliver such RNG or Environmental Attributes as provided under such agreements, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and could adversely affect or performance under associated dispensing agreements.
The success of our RNG business depends, in large part, on our ability to (i) secure, on acceptable terms, an adequate supply of RNG and/or Environmental Attributes from third-party producers, (ii) sell RNG in sufficient volumes and at prices that are attractive to counterparties and produce acceptable margins for us, and (iii) generate and monetize Environmental Attributes under applicable federal or state programs at favorable prices. If we fail to maintain and build new relationships with third party producers of RNG, we may be unable to supply RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes to meet the demand of our counterparties, which could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to dispense an adequate amount of RNG is subject to risks affecting RNG production. Biogas Conversion Projects that produce RNG often experience unpredictable production levels or other difficulties due to a variety of factors, including, among others, (i) problems with equipment, (ii) severe weather, pandemics, or other health crises, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, (iii) construction delays, (iv) technical difficulties, (v) high operating costs, (vi) limited availability, or unfavorable composition of collected feedstock gas, and (vii) plant shutdowns caused by upgrades, expansion or required maintenance. In addition, increasing demand for RNG will result in more robust competition for supplies of RNG, including from other vehicle fuel providers, gas utilities (which may have distinct advantages in accessing RNG supply including potential use of ratepayer funds to fund RNG purchases if approved by a utility’s regulatory commission) and other users and providers. If we or any of our third party RNG suppliers experience these or other difficulties in RNG production processes, or if competition for RNG development projects and supply increases, then our supply of RNG and our ability to resell it as a vehicle fuel and generate the associated Environmental Attributes could be jeopardized.
Construction, development and operation of our Biogas Conversion Projects involves significant risks and hazards.
Biogas Conversion Projects as well as construction and operation of Fueling Stations involve hazardous activities, including acquiring and transporting fuel, operating large pieces of rotating equipment and delivering our renewable electricity and RNG to interconnection and transmission systems, including gas pipelines. Hazards such as fire, explosion, structural collapse and machinery failure are inherent risks in our operations. These and other hazards can cause significant personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property, plant and equipment and contamination of, or damage to, the environment. The occurrence of any one of these hazards may result in curtailment or termination of our operations or liability to third parties for damages, environmental cleanup costs, personal injury, property damage and fines and/or penalties, any of which could be substantial.
Our Biogas Conversion Projects facilities and Fueling Stations or those that we otherwise acquire, construct or operate may be targets of terrorist activities, as well as events occurring in response to or in connection with them, that could result in full or partial disruption of our facilities’ ability to generate, transmit, transport or distribute electricity or RNG. Strategic targets, such as energy-related facilities, may be at greater risk of future terrorist activities than other domestic targets. Hostile cyber intrusions, including those targeting information systems, as well as electronic control systems used at the generating plants and for the related distribution systems, could severely disrupt our business operations and result in loss of service to our counterparties, as well as create significant expense to repair security breaches or system damage. In the past we have experienced cyber security breaches, which we believe have not had a significant impact on the integrity of our systems or the security of data, including personal information maintained by us, but there can be no assurance that any future breach or disruption will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operations.
Furthermore, some of our facilities are located in areas prone to extreme weather conditions, most notably extreme cold such as has recently occurred in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Minnesota. Certain of our other Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations as well as certain key vendors conduct their operations in other locations, such as California and Florida, that are susceptible to natural disasters. The frequency of weather-related natural disasters may be increasing due to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions or related climate change effects. The occurrence of natural disasters such as tornados, earthquakes, droughts, floods, wildfires or localized extended outages of critical utilities or transportation systems, or any critical resource shortages, affecting us could cause a significant interruption in our business or damage or destroy our facilities.
We rely on warranties from vendors and obligate contractors to meet certain performance levels, but the proceeds from such warranties or performance guarantees may not cover lost revenues, increased expenses or liquidated damages payments, should we experience equipment breakdown or non-performance by our contractors or vendors. We also maintain an amount of insurance protection that we consider adequate to protect against these and other risks, but we cannot provide any assurance that our insurance will be sufficient or effective under any or all circumstances and against any or all hazards or liabilities to which we may be subject. Also, our insurance coverage is subject to deductibles, caps, exclusions and other limitations. A loss for which we are not fully insured could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Because of rising insurance costs and changes in the insurance markets, we cannot provide any assurance that our insurance coverage will continue to be available at all or at rates or on terms similar to those presently available. Our insurance policies are subject to annual review by our insurers and may not be renewed on similar or favorable terms or at all. Any losses not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our failure to dispense a specified quality or quantity of RNG could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, by subjecting us to, among other things, possible penalties or terminations under the various contractual arrangements under which we operate, including pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement related to the sale of our Environmental Attributes.
Our RNG business consists of producing RNG from Biogas Conversion Projects, procuring RNG from third party producers, and dispensing this RNG to counterparties through Fueling Stations and other potential end markets to generate and monetize the associated Environmental Attributes. If we fail to produce and dispense a specified quality or quantity of RNG, our business may be adversely impacted.
As an RNG supplier the quality and quantity of RNG we produce at our Biogas Conversion Projects may be negatively affected by, among other things, lack of feedstock or the relative mix in the components of the feedstock, mechanical breakdowns, faulty technology, competitive markets or changes to the laws and regulations that mandate the use of renewable energy sources. In addition, we rely in part on third party suppliers to provide us with certain amounts of the specified quality and quantity of RNG that we are obligated to deliver under contractual commitments to our distribution counterparties but that we have not otherwise produced at our Biogas Conversion Projects.
If we are unable to obtain an adequate supply of RNG through a combination of Biogas Conversion Project production and supplies from third party RNG producers, we may be forced to pay a financial penalty under such contracts, including under a purchase and sale agreement under which we market a substantial majority of our Environmental Attributes through NextEra. Even if we are able to produce and obtain an adequate supply of RNG to satisfy the quantity requirements of our counterparties, RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes must also meet or exceed quality standards. If we and our third party suppliers are unable to meet applicable quality standards,
through one or more of the factors discussed above or otherwise, we could be subject to financial penalties under such contracts.
In connection with the marketing of the Environmental Attributes generated from our activities, in November 2021, we signed a purchase and sale agreement with NextEra providing for the exclusive purchase by NextEra of 90% of our Environmental Attributes (RINs and LCFS credits), including those generated by our owned Biogas Conversion Projects and those granted to us in connection with dispensing of RNG on behalf of third-party projects. Under the agreement, we are to receive the net proceeds paid to NextEra by NextEra customers for the purchase of such Environmental Attributes (or in certain circumstances an index-based price or pre-negotiated price) less a specified discount. The agreement provides for an initial five year term, followed by automatic one-year renewals unless terminated by either party at least 90 days prior to the last day of the initial term or then-current renewal term.
Under the agreement, we have committed to sell a minimum quarterly volume of Environmental Attributes to NextEra, which if not satisfied on a cumulative basis (giving credit for certain excess volume sold to NextEra during the contract term) as of the end of the contract term (or upon an early termination of the agreement) would result in our paying NextEra a shortfall payment calculated by (i) multiplying the amount of the volume shortfall by a fraction of the then-current index price of the Environmental Attribute and (ii) adding a specified premium (the “Shortfall Amount”). Similarly, if the agreement is terminated by NextEra due to an event of default (generally defined as a failure by us to pay any undisputed amounts under the agreement, a material uncured breach of our representations or warranties or other obligations under the agreement, or the dissolution, bankruptcy or insolvency of us or certain of our affiliates), NextEra would be entitled to receive, without any duplication, any then-current Shortfall Amount plus an accelerated payment calculated based off of the remaining minimum quarterly volume commitments for the balance of the initial term (or for the next four quarters of the next renewal term, if neither party had provided notice of non-renewal as described above prior to the commencement of such renewal term), which accelerated payment would be similarly calculated by (i) multiplying such remaining minimum quarterly volume commitments by a fraction of the then-current index price of the Environmental Attribute and (ii) adding a specified premium. The amount of such potential payments declines over the course of the contract term as we deliver Environmental Attribute volume under the contract. However, if the agreement was to be terminated as of the date of this report and we were not to deliver any further Environmental Attribute volume to NextEra under the agreement, the maximum potential payment to NextEra under these provisions would be approximately $10.6 million based on current market prices for such Environmental Attributes.
The success of our RNG projects depends on our ability to timely generate and ultimately receive certification of the Environmental Attributes associated with our RNG production and sale. A delay or failure in the certification of such Environmental Attributes could have a material adverse effect on the financial performance of our Biogas Conversion Projects.
We are required to register our RNG projects with the EPA and relevant state regulatory agencies. Further, we qualify our RINs through a voluntary Quality Assurance Plan, which typically takes from three to five months from first injection of RNG into the commercial pipeline system. Although no similar qualification process currently exists for LCFS credits, we expect such a process to be implemented and would expect to seek qualification on a state-by-state basis under such future programs. Delays in obtaining registration, RIN qualification, and any future LCFS credit qualification of a new project could delay future revenues from the project and could adversely affect our cash flow. Further, we typically make a large investment in the project prior to receiving the regulatory approval and RIN qualification. By registering each RNG project with the EPA’s voluntary Quality Assurance Plan, we are subject to quarterly third-party audits and semi-annual on-site visits of our projects to validate generated RINs and overall compliance with the RFS program. We are also subject to a separate third party’s annual attestation review. The Quality Assurance Plan provides a process for RIN owners to follow, for an affirmative defense to civil liability, if used or transferred Quality Assurance Plan verified RINs were invalidly generated. A project’s failure to comply could result in remedial action by the EPA, including penalties, fines, retirement of RINs, or termination of the project’s registration, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Maintenance, expansion and refurbishment of our Biogas Conversion Projects involve the risk of unplanned outages or reduced output, resulting from among other things periodic upgrading and improvement, unplanned breakdowns in equipment, and forced outages.
Our Biogas Conversion Project facilities may require periodic upgrading and improvement. Any unexpected operational or mechanical failure, including failure associated with breakdowns and forced outages, could reduce our
facilities’ generating capacity below expected levels, reducing our revenues and jeopardizing our ability to earn profits and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we make major modifications to our facilities, such modifications may result in material additional capital expenditures. We may also choose to repower, refurbish or upgrade our facilities based on our assessment that such expenditures will provide adequate financial returns. Such facility modifications require time before commencement of commercial operations, and key assumptions underpinning a decision to make such an investment may prove incorrect, including assumptions regarding construction costs, timing, available financing and future power and renewable natural gas prices. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In order to secure development, operational, dispensing and other necessary contract rights for our Biogas Conversion Projects, we typically face a long and variable development cycle that requires significant resource commitments and a long lead time before we realize revenues.
The development, design and construction process for our Biogas Conversion Projects generally lasts from 20 to 48 months, on average. Prior to signing a development agreement, we typically conduct a preliminary audit of the site host’s needs and assess whether the site is commercially viable based on our expected return on investment, investment payback period and other operating metrics, as well as the necessary permits to develop a Biogas Conversion Project on that site. This extended development process requires the dedication of significant time and resources from our sales and management personnel, with no certainty of success or recovery of our expenses. A potential site host may go through the entire sales process and not accept our proposal. Further, upon commencement of operations, it typically takes 4 to 12 months or longer for the Biogas Conversion Project to ramp up to our expected production level. All of these factors, and in particular, increased spending that is not offset by increased revenues, can contribute to fluctuations in our quarterly financial performance and increase the likelihood that our operating results in a particular period will fall below investor expectations.
Our Biogas Conversion Projects may not produce expected levels of output, and the amount of Renewable Power or RNG actually produced at each of our respective projects will vary over time, and, therefore so will generation of associated Environmental Attributes.
Our Biogas Conversion Projects rely on organic material, the decomposition of which causes the generation of gas consisting primarily of methane. The Biogas Conversion Projects use such methane gas to generate Renewable Power or RNG. The estimation of biogas production volume is an inexact process and dependent on many site-specific conditions, including the estimated annual waste volume, composition of waste, regional climate and the capacity and construction of the site. Production levels are subject to a number of additional risks, including (i) a failure or wearing out of our or our landfill operators’, counterparties’ or utilities’ equipment; (ii) an inability to find suitable replacement equipment or parts; (iii) less than expected supply or quality of the project’s source of biogas and faster than expected diminishment of such biogas supply; or (iv) volume disruption in our fuel supply collection system. As a result, the volume of Renewable Power or RNG generated from such sites may in the future vary from our initial estimates, and those variations may be material. In addition, we have in the past incurred, and may in the future incur, material asset impairment charges if any of our Biogas Conversion Projects incur operational issues that indicate our expected future cash flows from the relevant project are less than the project’s carrying value. Any such impairment charge could adversely affect our operating results in the period in which the charge is recorded.
In addition, in order to maximize collection of LFG, we may need to take various measures, such as drilling additional gas wells in the landfill sites to increase LFG collection, balancing the pressure on the gas field based on the data collected by the landfill site operator from the gas wells to ensure optimum LFG utilization and ensuring that we match availability of engines and related equipment to availability of LFG. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to take all necessary measures to maximize collection. In addition, the LFG available to our LFG projects is dependent in part on the actions of the landfill site owners and operators. We may not be able to ensure the responsible management of the landfill site by owners and operators, which may result in less than optimal gas generation or increase the likelihood of “hot spots” occurring. Hot spots can temporarily reduce the volume of gas that may be collected from a landfill site, resulting in a lower gas yield.
Biogas projects utilizing other types of feedstock, specifically livestock waste and dairy farm projects, typically produce significantly less RNG than landfill facilities. As a result, the commercial viability of such projects is more dependent on various factors and market forces outside of our control, such as changes to law or regulations that could affect the value of such projects or the incentives available to them. In addition, there are other factors currently
unknown to us that may affect the commercial viability of other types of feedstock. Moreover, fluctuations in manure supply, the end use markets and the spread of diseases among herds could have a material impact on the success and completion of our Biogas Conversion Projects. As such, continued expansion into other types of feedstock could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our business plans include expanding from Renewable Power and RNG production projects into additional transportation-related infrastructure, including production and development of hydrogen vehicle Fueling Stations. Any such expansions may present unforeseen challenges and result in a competitive disadvantage relative to our more-established competitors in the markets into which we wish to expand.
We currently operate Biogas Conversion Projects that convert primarily landfill biogas into Renewable Power and RNG. However, we are actively developing projects that use anaerobic digesters to capture and convert emissions into low-carbon RNG, electricity and green hydrogen, and may expand into additional feedstocks in the future. We are also actively developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure. In addition, we are actively considering expansion into other lines of business, including carbon sequestration and Renewable Power for our projects, and the production of green hydrogen. These initiatives could expose us to increased operating costs, unforeseen liabilities or risks, and regulatory and environmental concerns associated with entering new sectors of the energy industry, including requiring a disproportionate amount of our management’s attention and resources, which could have an adverse impact on our business as well as place us at a competitive disadvantage relative to more established non-LFG market participants.
Sequestering CO2 is subject to numerous laws and regulations with uncertain permitting timelines and costs. We also intend to explore the production of renewable hydrogen sourced from a number of our projects’ RNG, and we may enter into long-term fixed price off-take contracts for green hydrogen that we may produce at our projects.
We are currently working with a leading developer of on-site hydrogen generators to put in place construction design and services agreements in order to develop hydrogen gas-as-a-service offerings at Fueling Stations. We do not have an operating history in the green hydrogen market and our forecasts are based on uncertain operations in the future.
Some LFG projects in which we might invest in the future may be subject to cost-of-service rate regulation, which would limit our potential revenue from such LFG projects. If we invest, directly or indirectly, in an electric transmitting LFG project that allows us to exercise transmission market power, FERC could require our affiliates with MBR Authority to implement mitigation measures as a condition of maintaining our or our affiliates’ MBR Authority. FERC regulations limit using a transmission project for proprietary purposes, and we may be required to offer others (including competitors) open-access to our transmission asset, should we acquire one. Such acquisitions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our gas and manure rights agreements for Biogas Conversion Projects are subject to certain conditions. A failure to satisfy such conditions could result in the loss of such rights.
Our gas and manure rights agreements for Biogas Conversion Projects generally require that we achieve commercial operations for a project as of a specified date. If we do not satisfy such a deadline, the agreement may be terminated at the option of the biogas conversion project site owner without any reimbursement of any portion of the purchase price paid for the gas or manure rights or any other amounts we have invested in the project. Delays in construction or delivery of equipment may result in our failing to meet the commercial operations deadline in a gas or manure rights agreement. The denial or loss of a permit essential to a Biogas Conversion Project could impair our ability to construct or operate a project as required under the relevant agreement. Delays in the review and permitting process for a project can also impair or delay our ability to construct or acquire a project and satisfy any commercial operations deadlines, or increase the cost such that the project is no longer attractive to us.
Furthermore, certain of our gas and manure rights agreements for Biogas Conversion Projects require us to purchase a certain amount of LFG and manure, respectively. Any issues with our production at the corresponding projects, including due to weather, unplanned outages or transmission problems, to the extent not caused by the landfill or dairy farm, or covered by force majeure provisions in the relevant agreement, could result in failure to purchase the required amount of LFG or manure and the loss of these gas rights. Our gas and manure rights agreements often grant us the right to build additional generation capacity in the event of increased supply, but failure to use such increased supply after a prescribed period of time can result in the loss of these rights. In addition, we typically need approval from landfill owners in order to implement Renewable Power-to-RNG conversion projects,
and we are also dependent on landfill owners for additional gas rights as well as land leases and easements for these conversion projects.
Additional Risk Factors Relating to Our Dispensing Business
Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to identify, acquire, develop and operate public and private Fueling Stations for public and commercial fleet vehicles in order to dispense RNG for use as vehicle fuel and generate the associated Environmental Attributes.
Our specific focus on RNG to be used as a transportation fuel in the United States exposes us to risks related to the supply of and demand for RNG and the associated Environmental Attributes, the cost of capital expenditures, governmental regulation, and economic conditions, among other factors. As an RNG dispenser we may also be negatively affected by lower RNG production resulting from lack of feedstock, mechanical breakdowns, faulty technology, competitive markets or changes to the laws and regulations that mandate the use of renewable energy sources.
In addition, other factors related to the development and operation of renewable energy projects could adversely affect our business, including: (i) changes in pipeline gas quality standards or other regulatory changes that may limit our ability to transport RNG on pipelines or increase the costs of processing RNG; (ii) construction risks, including the risk of delay, that may arise because of inclement weather or labor disruptions; (iii) operating risks and the effect of disruptions on our business; (iv) budget overruns and exposure to liabilities because of unforeseen environmental, construction, technological or other complications; (v) failures or delays in obtaining desired or necessary rights, including leases and feedstock agreements; and (vi) failures or delays in obtaining and keeping in good standing permits, authorizations and consents from local city, county, state and US federal government agencies and organizations. Any of these factors could prevent completion or operation of projects, or otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our success is dependent on the willingness of commercial fleets and other counterparties to adopt, and continue use of RNG, which may not occur in a timely manner, at expected levels or at all. Our vehicle fleet counterparties may choose to invest in renewable vehicle fuels other than RNG.
Our success is highly dependent on the adoption by commercial fleets and other consumers of natural gas vehicle fuels, which has been slow, volatile and unpredictable in many sectors. For example, adoption and deployment of natural gas in heavy and medium-duty trucking has been slower and more limited than we anticipated. If the market for natural gas vehicle fuels does not develop at improved rates or levels, or if a market develops but we are not able to capture a significant share of the market or the market subsequently declines, our business, growth potential, financial condition, and operating results would be harmed.
Additional factors that may influence the adoption of natural gas vehicle fuels, many of which are beyond our control, include, among others:
•Lack of demand for trucks that use natural gas vehicle fuels due to business disruptions and depressed oil prices;
•Adoption of governmental policies or programs or increased publicity or popular sentiment in favor of vehicles or fuels other than natural gas, including long-standing support for gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, changes to emissions requirements applicable to vehicles powered by gasoline, diesel, natural gas, or other vehicle fuels and/or growing support for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles;
•Perceptions about the benefits of natural gas vehicle fuels relative to gasoline, diesel and other alternative vehicle fuels, including with respect to factors such as supply, cost savings, environmental benefits and safety;
•Perceptions about the benefits of natural gas vehicle fuels relative to gasoline, diesel and other alternative vehicle fuels, including with respect to factors such as supply, cost savings, environmental benefits and safety;
•The volatility in the supply, demand, use and prices of crude oil, gasoline, diesel, RNG, natural gas and other vehicle fuels, such as electricity, hydrogen, renewable diesel, biodiesel and ethanol;
•Inertia among fleets and fleet vehicle operators, who may be unable or unwilling to prioritize converting a fleet to our vehicle fuels over an operator’s other general business concerns, particularly if the operator is not sufficiently incentivized by emissions regulations or other requirements or lacks demand for the conversion from its counterparties or drivers;
•Vehicle cost, fuel efficiency, availability, quality, safety, convenience (to fuel and service), design, performance and residual value, as well as operator perception with respect to these factors, generally and in our key customer markets and relative to comparable vehicles powered by other fuels;
•The development, production, cost, availability, performance, sales and marketing and reputation of engines that are well-suited for the vehicles used in our key customer markets, including heavy and medium-duty trucks and other fleets;
•Increasing competition in the market for vehicle fuels generally, and the nature and effect of competitive developments in such market, including improvements in or perceived advantages of other vehicle fuels and engines powered by such fuels;
•The availability and effect of environmental, tax or other governmental regulations, programs or incentives that promote our products or other alternatives as a vehicle fuel, including certain programs under which we generate Environmental Attributes by selling RNG as a vehicle fuel, as well as the market prices for such credits; and
•Emissions and other environmental regulations and pressures on producing, transporting, and dispensing our fuels.
In June 2020, CARB adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation, which requires manufacturers to sell a gradually increasing proportion of zero-emission electric trucks, vans and pickup trucks from 2024 onwards. By the year 2045, the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation seeks to have every new commercial vehicle sold in California be zero-emissions. Further, in September 2020, the Governor of the State of California issued the September 2020 Executive Order providing that it shall be the goal of California that (i) 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will be zero-emission by 2035, (ii) 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in California will be zero-emission by 2045 for all operations, where feasible, and by 2035 for drayage trucks, and (iii) the state will transition to 100% zero-emission off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035 where feasible. The September 2020 Executive Order also directed CARB to develop and propose regulations and strategies aimed at achieving the foregoing goals. Among other things, we believe the intent of the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation and the September 2020 Executive Order is to limit and ultimately discontinue the production and use of internal combustion engines because such engines have “tailpipe” emissions. If either the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation or any additional regulations adopted by CARB, including because of the September 2020 Executive Order, is permitted to take effect, it may slow, delay or prevent the adoption by fleets and other commercial consumers of our vehicle fuels, particularly in California. Moreover, because of the adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation and the issuance of the September 2020 Executive Order, other states have taken steps to enact similar regulations, which actions may accelerate if either regulation is permitted to take effect, thereby slowing, delaying or preventing the adoption of our vehicle fuels in those states as well.
Acquisition, financing, construction, and development of Fueling Station projects by us or our partners that own projects may not commence on anticipated timelines or at all.
Our strategy is to continue to expand, including through the acquisition of additional Fueling Station projects and by signing additional supply agreements with third party project owner partners. From time to time we and our partners enter into nonbinding letters of intent for projects. Until the negotiations are final, however, and the parties have executed definitive documentation, we or our partners may not be able to consummate any development or acquisition transactions, or any other similar arrangements, on the terms set forth in the applicable letter of intent or at all.
The acquisition, financing, construction and development of projects involves numerous risks, including:
• difficulties in identifying, obtaining, and permitting suitable sites for new projects;
• failure to obtain all necessary rights to land access and use;
• inaccuracy of assumptions with respect to the cost and schedule for completing construction;
• inaccuracy of assumptions with respect to the biogas potential, including quality, volume, and asset life;
• the ability to obtain financing for a project on acceptable terms or at all;
• delays in deliveries or increases in the price of equipment or other materials;
• permitting and other regulatory issues, license revocation and changes in legal requirements;
• increases in the cost of labor, labor disputes and work stoppages or the inability to find an adequate supply of workers;
• failure to receive quality and timely performance of third-party services;
• unforeseen engineering and environmental problems;
• cost overruns or supply chain disruptions;
• accidents involving personal injury or the loss of life
•weather conditions, health crises, pandemics, catastrophic events, including fires, explosions, earthquakes, droughts and acts of terrorism, and other force majeure events; and
• interconnection and access to utilities.
In addition, new projects have no operating history. A new project may be unable to fund principal and interest payments under its debt service obligations or may operate at a loss.
Our Fueling Station construction activities for commercial fleets and other counterparties are subject to business and operational risks, including predicting demand in a particular market or markets, land use, permitting or zoning difficulties, responsibility for actions of sub-contractors on jobs in which we serve as general contractor, potential labor shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, and cost overruns.
As part of our business activities, we design and construct Fueling Stations that we either own and operate ourselves or provide these services for our counterparties. These activities require a significant amount of judgment in determining where to build and open Fueling Stations, including predictions about fuel demand that may not be accurate for any of the locations we target. As a result, we may build Fueling Stations that we may not open for fueling operations, and we may open Fueling Stations that fail to generate the volume or profitability levels we anticipate, either or both of which could occur due to a lack of sufficient customer demand at the specific locations or for other reasons. For any Fueling Stations that are completed but unopened, we would have substantial investments in assets that do not produce revenue, and for Fueling Stations that are open and underperforming, we may decide to close them.
We also face many operational challenges in connection with our Fueling Station design and construction activities. For example, we may not be able to identify suitable locations for the Fueling Stations we or our counterparties seek to build. Additionally, even if preferred sites can be located, we may encounter land use or zoning difficulties, problems with utility services, challenges obtaining and retaining required permits and approvals or local resistance, including due to reduced operations of permitting agencies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, any of which could prevent us or our counterparties from building new stations on such sites or limit or restrict the use of new or existing stations. Any such difficulties, resistance or limitations or any failure to comply with local permit, land use or zoning requirements could restrict our activities or expose us to fines, reputational damage or other liabilities, which would harm our business and results of operations.
In addition, we act as the general contractor and construction manager for new Fueling Station construction and facility modification projects, and we typically rely on licensed subcontractors to perform the construction work. We may be liable for any damage we or our subcontractors cause or for injuries suffered by our employees or our subcontractors’ employees during the course of work on our projects. Additionally, shortages of skilled subcontractor labor and any supply chain disruptions affecting access to and cost of construction materials could significantly delay a project or otherwise increase our costs. Further, our expected profit from a project is based in part on assumptions about the cost of the project, and cost overruns, delays or other execution issues may, in the case of projects we complete and sell to counterparties, result in our failure to achieve our expected margins or cover our costs, and in the case of projects we build and own, result in our failure to achieve an acceptable rate of return. If any of these events occur, our business, operating results and cash flows could be negatively affected.
Additional Risk Factors Relating to Our Business in General
Certain of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations are newly constructed or are under construction and may not perform as we expect.
We have a number of Biogas Conversion Projects under construction that will begin production over the next 18-24 months. Therefore, our expectations of the operating performance of these facilities are based on assumptions
and estimates made without the benefit of operating history. Our forecasts with respect to our new and developing projects, and related estimates and assumptions, are based on limited operating history or expected operating results. These facilities also include digesters under development for which we have no operating history. The ability of these facilities to meet our performance expectations is subject to the risks inherent in newly constructed energy generation and RNG production facilities and the construction of such facilities, including delays or problems in construction, degradation of equipment in excess of our expectations, system failures, and outages. The failure of these facilities to perform as we expect could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our contracts with government entities may be subject to unique risks, including possible termination of or reduction in the governmental programs under which we operate, instances in which our contract provisions allow the government entity to terminate, amend or change terms at their convenience, and competitive bidding processes for the award of contracts.
We have, and expect to continue to seek, long-term Fueling Station construction, maintenance and fuel sale contracts with various government entities. In addition to normal business risks, including the other risks discussed in these risk factors, our contracts with government entities are often subject to unique risks, some of which are beyond our control. For example, long-term government contracts and related orders are subject to cancellation if adequate appropriations for subsequent performance periods are not made. Further, the termination of funding for a government program supporting any of our government contracts could result in the loss of anticipated future revenue attributable to such contract. Moreover, government entities with which we contract are often able to modify, curtail or terminate contracts with us at their convenience and without prior notice, and would only be required to pay for work completed and commitments made at or prior to the time of termination.
In addition, government contracts are frequently awarded only after competitive bidding processes, which are often protracted. In many cases, unsuccessful bidders for government contracts are provided the opportunity to formally protest the contract awards through various agencies or other administrative and judicial channels. The protest process may substantially delay a successful bidder’s contract performance, result in cancellation of the contract award entirely and distract management. As a result, we may not be awarded contracts for which we bid, and substantial delays or cancellation of government contracts may follow any successful bids as a result of any protests by other bidders. The occurrence of any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our level of indebtedness and our redeemable preferred non-controlling interests' redemption obligations could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations and acquisitions. It could also expose us to the risk of increased interest rates and limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry. We may be unable to obtain additional financing to fund our operations or growth.
As of December 31, 2022, our total indebtedness was $170 million, excluding deferred financing costs. Additionally, on November 29, 2021, we entered into an Exchange Agreement with Hillman pursuant to which OPAL Fuels issued to Hillman Series A-1 Preferred Units of OPAL Fuels, which are redeemable after four years at the option of Hillman for an aggregate redemption price of $30.0 million plus accrued and unpaid dividends thereon. In addition, we have drawn down the NextEra $100.0 million subscription commitment and issued to NextEra 1,000,000 Series A Preferred Units of OPAL Fuels, which are redeemable after four years at the option of NextEra for an aggregate redemption price of $100.0 million plus accrued and unpaid dividends thereon.
Our substantial indebtedness and preferred units redemption obligations could have important consequences, including, for example:
•being required to accept then-prevailing market terms in connection with any required refinancing of such indebtedness or redemption obligations, which may be less favorable than existing terms;
•being required to accept then-prevailing market terms in connection with any required refinancing of such indebtedness or redemption obligations, which may be less favorable than existing terms;
•failure to refinance, or to comply with the covenants in the agreements governing, these obligations could result in an event of default under those agreements, which could be difficult to cure or result in our bankruptcy;
• our debt service and dividend obligations require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to pay principal and interest on our debt and dividends on our preferred units, thereby reducing the funds available to us and our ability to borrow to operate and grow our business;
•Increase in interest rates on our existing debt facilities or a reduction in the supply of project debt financing could reduce our ability to construct and operate new RNG projects or fueling stations;
•our limited financial flexibility could reduce our ability to plan for and react to unexpected opportunities; and
• our substantial debt service obligations make us vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, credit and capital markets, industry and competitive conditions and adverse changes in government regulation and place us at a disadvantage compared with competitors with less debt or mandatory redeemable preferred units.
Any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we do not comply with our obligations under our debt instruments or with respect to our preferred units, we may be required to refinance all or part of our existing debt and preferred units, borrow additional amounts or sell securities, which we may not be able to do on favorable terms or at all. In addition, increases in interest and dividend rates and changes in debt and preferred equity covenants may reduce the amounts that we can borrow or otherwise finance, reduce our cash flows and increase the equity investment we may be required to make to complete construction of our Biogas Conversion Projects and Fueling Stations. These increases could cause some of our projects to become economically unattractive. If we are unable to raise additional capital or generate sufficient operating cash flow to repay our indebtedness and preferred unit obligations, we could be in default under our lending agreements and preferred unit designations and could be required to delay construction of new projects, reduce overhead costs, reduce the scope of our projects or abandon or sell some or all of our projects, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our existing credit facilities contain financial covenants and our credit facilities and preferred stock designations contain other restrictive covenants that limit our ability to return capital to equity holders or otherwise engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interests. Our inability to comply with those covenants could result in an event of default or material breach which, if not cured or waived, may entitle the related lenders or preferred unit holders to higher interest or dividend payment to demand repayment or enforce their security interests (in the case of indebtedness) and other remedies, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, failure to comply with such covenants may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment and accelerate all such indebtedness. Further, in certain circumstances following a failure to timely redeem our Preferred Stock, holders of such Preferred Stock have the right to designate a director to our board of directors.
In connection with certain project development opportunities, we have utilized project-level financing in the past and may need to do so again in the future; however, we may not be able to obtain such financing on commercially reasonable terms or at all. The agreements governing such financings typically contain financial and other restrictive covenants that limit a project subsidiary’s ability to make distributions to its parent or otherwise engage in activities that may be in its long-term best interests. Project-level financing agreements generally prohibit distributions from the project entities to us unless certain specific conditions are met, including the satisfaction of certain financial ratios or a facility achieving commercial operations. Our inability to comply with such covenants may prevent cash distributions by the particular project or projects to us and could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, may entitle the related lenders to demand repayment or enforce their security interests, which could result in a loss of project assets and/or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our cash could be adversely affected if the financial institutions in which we hold our cash fail.
The Company maintains domestic cash deposits in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insured banks. The domestic bank deposit balances may exceed the FDIC insurance limits. These balances could be impacted if one or more of the financial institutions in which we deposit monies fails or is subject to other adverse conditions in the financial or credit markets.
Liabilities and costs associated with hazardous materials and contamination and other environmental conditions may require us to conduct investigations or remediation at the properties underlying our projects, may adversely impact the value of our projects or the underlying properties, and may expose us to liabilities to third parties.
We may incur liabilities for the investigation and cleanup of any environmental contamination at the properties underlying or adjacent to our projects, or at off-site locations where we arrange for the disposal of hazardous substances or wastes. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 and other federal, state and local laws, an owner or operator of a property may become liable for costs of investigation and remediation, and for damages to natural resources. These laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the release of such hazardous substances or whether the conduct giving rise to the release was legal at the time when it occurred. In addition, liability under certain of these laws is joint and several, which means that we may be assigned liabilities for hazardous substance conditions that exceed our action contributions to the contamination conditions. We also may be subject to related claims by private parties alleging property damage and personal injury due to exposure to hazardous or other materials at or from those properties. We may incur substantial investigation costs, remediation costs or other damages, thus harming our business, financial condition and results of operations, as a result of the presence or release of hazardous substances at locations where we operate or as a result of our own operations.
The presence of environmental contamination at a project may adversely affect an owner’s ability to sell such project or borrow funds using the project as collateral. To the extent that an owner of the real property underlying one of our projects becomes liable with respect to contamination at the real property, the ability of the owner to make payments to us may be adversely affected.
We may also face liabilities in cases of exposure to hazardous materials, and claims for such exposure can be brought by any third party, including workers, employees, contractors and the general public. Claims can be asserted by such persons relating to personal injury or property damage, and resolving such claims can be expensive and time consuming, even if there is little or no basis for the claim.
We have a history of accounting losses and may incur additional losses in the future.
The Company has incurred net losses historically. We may incur losses in future periods, and we may never sustain profitability, either of which would adversely affect our business, prospects and financial condition and may cause the price of common stock to fall. Furthermore, historical losses may not be indicative of future losses due to many factors outside of our control including but not limited to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our future losses may be greater than our past losses. In addition, to try to achieve or sustain profitability, we may choose or be forced to take actions that result in material costs or material asset or goodwill impairments. We review our assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable, and we perform a goodwill impairment test on an annual basis and between annual tests in certain circumstances, in each case in accordance with applicable accounting guidance and as described in the financial statements and notes to the financial statements included in this report. Changes to the use of our assets, divestitures, changes to the structure of our business, significant negative industry or economic trends, disruptions to our operations, inability to effectively integrate any acquired businesses, further market capitalization declines, or other similar actions or conditions could result in additional asset impairment or goodwill impairment charges or other adverse consequences, any of which could have material adverse effects on our financial condition, our results of operations and the trading price of common stock.
Loss of our key management could adversely affect our business performance. Our management team has limited experience in operating a public company such as us.
We are dependent on the efforts of our key management. Although we believe qualified replacements could be found for any departures of key executives, the loss of their services could adversely affect our performance and the value of our Class A common stock.
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures intended to reduce its spread have, and may continue to, adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Beginning in late 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) spread throughout the world, including the United States, ultimately being declared a pandemic. Global health concerns and increased efforts to reduce the
spread of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted federal, state and local governments to restrict normal daily activities, which resulted in lockdowns, travel bans, quarantines, “shelter-in-place” orders requiring individuals to remain in their homes other than to conduct essential services or activities, business limitations and shutdowns (subject to exceptions for certain essential operations and businesses, including our business). Some of these governmental restrictions have since been scaled back or lifted, although an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 cases and the spread of new variants may result in the re-imposition of certain restrictions and may lead to other restrictions being implemented in response to efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Given the dynamic nature of these circumstances and the related adverse impact these restrictions have had, and may continue to have, on the economy generally, our business and financial results may continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our operations have been designated “essential critical infrastructure work” in the energy sector by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, meaning that we have been able to continue full operations. Despite our essential designation and our continued operations, however, we are subject to various risk and uncertainties because of the COVID-19 pandemic that could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, including the following:
•a further delay in the adoption of natural gas vehicle fuels by heavy-duty trucks and/or a delay in increasing the use of our vehicle fuels;
•a continued or further decrease in the volume of truck and fleet operations, including shuttle busses at airports, and lower-than-normal levels of public transportation generally, which have resulted in, and may continue to result in, decreased demand for our vehicle fuels;
• a further delay in the adoption of natural gas vehicle fuels by heavy-duty trucks and/or a delay in increasing the use of our vehicle fuels;
• a continued or further decrease in the volume of truck and fleet operations, including shuttle busses at airports, and lower-than-normal levels of public transportation generally, which have resulted in, and may continue to result in, decreased demand for our vehicle fuels;
• the impact of business disruptions on the production of vehicles and engines that use our fuels, which has resulted in, and may continue to result in, plant closures, decreased manufacturing capacity, and delays in deliveries; and
•depressed oil and diesel prices, especially relative to natural gas prices and for a prolonged period, which may decrease the price-related incentive for operators to adopt trucks that use our vehicle fuels.
The duration and extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results will depend on future developments, including the duration, severity and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, actions taken to contain its spread, any further resurgence of COVID-19, the severity and transmission rates of new variants of COVID-19, the availability, distribution and efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can (and will) resume within the markets in which we operate, each of which are highly uncertain at this time and are outside of our control. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we may continue to experience adverse effects to our business and financial results because of its global economic impact, including any economic downturn or recession that has occurred or may occur. The adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition could be material.
Some relationships with our counterparties and suppliers may experience disruptions as a result of the Business Combination, which may limit our business.
Parties with which OPAL Fuels did business prior to the Business Combination or with which we may do business in the future, including our counterparties and suppliers, may experience uncertainty as a result of the Business Combination, including with respect to current or future business relationships with us. As a result, our business relationships may be subject to disruptions if our counterparties and suppliers or others attempt to negotiate changes in existing business relationships or consider entering into business relationships with parties other than us. For example, certain of our counterparties, suppliers and third-party providers may have had contractual consent rights or termination rights that were triggered by a change of control or assignment of the rights and obligations of contracts that was transferred in connection with the Business Combination. These disruptions could harm relationships with our existing third parties with whom we have relationships and preclude us from attracting new
third parties, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, cash flows, and/or share price.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fails to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to accurately or timely report its financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect our business and stock price.
In connection with the preparation and audit of our consolidated financial statements for each of the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, we identified material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting.
A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of its annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected, on a timely basis.
These material weaknesses identified were as follows:
• A lack of an adequate control environment, including internal communications, to allow for timeliness of reviews for the accounting and disclosures of significant and unusual transactions and contracts;
• We did not have timely and effective reviews over standard account reconciliations and related accounting analysis which resulted in various audit adjustments that we corrected; and
• Our review controls over application of Accounting Standards Codification ('ASC")-606 were not designed and implemented appropriately during the current year.
These material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of substantially all of our accounts or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to our annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
We have developed and begun executing on a plan to remediate these material weaknesses. Our remediation plans include measures such as: designing and implementing formal processes, policies and procedures supporting our financial close process, creating standard balance sheet reconciliation templates and journal entry controls; and designing and implementing controls to formalize roles and review responsibilities to align with our team’s skills.
While we believe these efforts are likely to remediate the material weaknesses identified, we may not be able to complete our evaluation, testing or any required remediation in a timely fashion, or at all. The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting is subject to various inherent limitations, including cost limitations, judgments used in decision making, assumptions about the likelihood of future events, the possibility of human error and the risk of fraud. If we are unable to remediate the material weaknesses identified, our ability to record, process and report financial information accurately, and to prepare financial statements within the time periods specified by the forms of the SEC, could be adversely affected which, in turn, may adversely affect our reputation and business and the market price of our securities, including the Class A common stock. In addition, any such failures could result in litigation or regulatory actions by the SEC or other regulatory authorities, loss of investor confidence, delisting of our securities and harm to our reputation and financial condition, or diversion of financial and management resources from the operation of our business.
Our failure to timely and effectively implement controls and procedures required by Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could have a material adverse effect on its business.
We are currently not subject to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, we are required to provide management’s attestation on internal controls commencing with our annual report for the year ending December 31, 2022 in accordance with applicable SEC guidance. The standards required for a public company under Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are significantly more stringent than those required of OPAL Fuels historically as a privately-held company or by ArcLight prior to the Closing. Our management team may not be able to effectively and timely implement controls and procedures that adequately respond to the increased regulatory compliance and reporting requirements as a result of the Business Combination. If we are not able to implement the additional
requirements of Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner or with adequate compliance, we may not be able to assess whether its internal controls over financial reporting are effective, which may subject it to adverse regulatory consequences and could harm investor confidence and the market price of our securities.
Risks Related to the Company
Future sales and issuances of our Class A common stock could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our shareholders and could cause our share price to fall.
We expect that significant additional capital will be needed in the future to pursue our growth plan. To raise capital, we may sell shares of our Class A common stock, convertible securities or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. If we sell shares of our Class A common stock, convertible securities or other equity securities, investors may be materially diluted by subsequent sales. Such sales may also result in material dilution to our existing shareholders, and new investors could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to existing holders of our Class A common stock.
Future sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares of Class A common stock intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market, including the resale of the shares of held by our stockholders, could occur at any time. These sales, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares of Class A common stock intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock.
Approximately 155,237,646 of these shares of Class A common stock were subject to restrictions on transfer under a 180-day lock-up agreement entered into between us and the holders of those shares. These restrictions expired on January 17, 2023, resulting in these shares becoming eligible for public sale on January 18, 2023. Sales of such shares may be made under the registration statement filed under the Securities Act, or in reliance upon an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Pursuant to that certain Investor Rights Agreement, dated July 21, 2022, by and among OPAL Fuels Inc., each of the sellers named therein, the Sponsor and the sponsor principals, those stockholders are entitled to have the registration statement under the Securities Act kept effective for a prolonged period of time such that registered resales of their shares of Class A common stock can be made.
Until such time that such registration statement is no longer effective, the registration statement registering such securities will permit the resale of these shares. The resale, or expected or potential resale, of a substantial number of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market could adversely affect the market price for our Class A common stock and make it more difficult for you to sell your holdings at times and prices that you determine are appropriate. Furthermore, we expect that, because a large number of shares were registered pursuant to such registration statement, the Selling Holders thereunder will continue to offer the securities covered thereby for a significant period of time, the precise duration of which cannot be predicted. Accordingly, the adverse market and price pressures resulting from an offering pursuant to the registration statement may continue for an extended period of time.
If certain holders of our Class A common stock sell a significant portion of their securities, it may negatively impact the market price of the shares of our Class A common stock and such holders still may receive significant proceeds.
As of the date of this report, the market price of our Class A common stock is below $10.00 per share, which was the price per unit sold in the initial public offering of our predecessor, ArcLight, the per-share price of the 11,080,600 shares of our Class A common stock sold to the PIPE Investors and also the per share value of the consideration issued to OPAL Fuels Common equity holders upon consummation of our Business Combination. However, certain of our shareholders who hold shares of our Class A common stock that were originally purchased by Arclight’s Sponsor in a private placement prior to Arclight’s initial public offering (the “Founder Shares”), may nonetheless be inclined to sell such Founder Shares as they were originally purchased at an effective price significantly less than $10.00 per share. The currently outstanding Founder Shares were purchased at an effective price of $0.003 per share. Accordingly, holders of the Founder Shares could sell their securities at a per-share price
that is less than $10.00 and still realize a significant profit from the sale of those securities that could not be realized by our other shareholders.
Litigation or legal proceedings could expose us to significant liabilities and have a negative impact on our reputations or business.
We may become subject to claims, litigation, disputes and other legal proceedings from time to time. We evaluate these claims, litigation, disputes and other legal proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and to estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. Based on these assessments and estimates, we may establish reserves, as appropriate. These assessments and estimates are based on the information available to each management team at the time of its respective assessment and involve a significant amount of management judgment. Actual outcomes or losses may differ materially from our assessments and estimates.
Under the terms of ArcLight’s placement agent agreements with BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofA”), Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (“CS”), Barclays Capital Inc. (“Barclays”) and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“Citi” and together with BofA, CS and Barclays, the “Advisors”) entered into in connection with the PIPE Investment, its financial advisory agreement with Citi entered into in connection with the Business Combination, and its Underwriting Agreement with Citi and Barclays entered in connection with ArcLight’s IPO, ArcLight agreed to indemnify and hold harmless each of the respective Advisors, their affiliates and each of their respective directors, officers, agents and employees from and against any losses and claims arising in any manner out of or in connection with the services provided to ArcLight thereunder. Under the terms of OPAL Fuels’s financial advisory agreements with BofA and CS, OPAL Fuels agreed to indemnify and hold harmless each of BofA and CS, their affiliates and each of their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any losses and claims arising in any manner out of or in connection with the services provided to OPAL Fuels thereunder. Accordingly, if any claims, litigation, disputes or other legal proceedings are brought by third parties against any of the Advisors in relation to the services it provided to ArcLight or OPAL Fuels under any of these agreements, then we may be liable to pay for or reimburse such Advisor or Advisors for the losses and costs it incurs unless the losses and costs are finally judicially determined to have resulted from the gross negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct of such Advisor or Advisors or their respective directors, officers, employees and agents. Additionally, each of the agreements described above contains a contribution provision in the event that such indemnification is unavailable or otherwise prohibited by law, however, the contribution obligations of each Advisor are limited to the amount of compensation or fees actually paid to such party in respect of the engagement. As a result, the contribution obligations of Barclays and Citi under the Underwriting Agreement are limited to the initial underwriting commission paid at the time of ArcLight’s IPO and the Advisors otherwise have no further contribution liability under the other agreements (including the Underwriting Agreement) because they waived their rights to any fees or deferred underwriting commissions in connection with their resignations. Therefore, as a result of the Advisors’ resignations, and in contrast to other transactions where the underwriters and financial advisors did not resign and waive rights to fees or deferred underwriting commissions, as the case may be, our potential financial liability with respect to an indemnified loss where such indemnification is otherwise unavailable to the indemnified party may be higher under the respective agreements than it would have been had such underwriters and financial advisors not resigned and waived their rights to any fees or deferred underwriting commissions.
Even when not merited or whether or not we ultimately prevail, the defense of these lawsuits may divert management’s attention, and we may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. The results of litigation and other legal proceedings are inherently uncertain, and adverse judgments or settlements in some of these legal disputes may result in adverse monetary damages, penalties or injunctive relief against us which could negatively impact any of our financial positions, cash flows or results of operations. Further, any liability or negligence claim against us in US courts may, if successful, result in damages being awarded that contain punitive elements and therefore may significantly exceed the loss or damage suffered by the successful claimant. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage our reputation and make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future. A settlement or an unfavorable outcome in a legal dispute could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and/or prospects.
Furthermore, while we maintain insurance for certain potential liabilities, such insurance does not cover all types and amounts of potential liabilities and is subject to various exclusions as well as caps on amounts recoverable. Even if we believe a claim is covered by insurance, insurers may dispute its entitlement to recovery for a variety of potential reasons, which may affect the timing and, if the insurers prevail, the amount of our recovery.
Our business and operations could be negatively affected if we become subject to any securities litigation or shareholder activism, which could cause us to incur significant expense, hinder execution of business and growth strategy and impact its stock price.
In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. Shareholder activism, which could take many forms or arise in a variety of situations, has been increasing recently. Volatility in the stock price of our Class A common stock or other reasons may in the future cause it to become the target of securities litigation or shareholder activism. Securities litigation and shareholder activism, including potential proxy contests, could result in substantial costs and divert management’s and our board’s attention and resources from our business. Additionally, such securities litigation and shareholder activism could give rise to perceived uncertainties as to our future, adversely affect our relationships with service providers and make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel. Also, we may be required to incur significant legal fees and other expenses related to any securities litigation and activist shareholder matters. Further, our stock price could be subject to significant fluctuation or otherwise be adversely affected by the events, risks and uncertainties of any securities litigation and shareholder activism.
We are subject to changing law and regulations regarding regulatory matters, corporate governance and public disclosure that will increase both our costs and the risk of noncompliance.
We are subject to rules and regulations by various governing bodies, including, for example, the SEC, which are charged with the protection of investors and the oversight of companies whose securities are publicly traded, and to new and evolving regulatory measures under applicable law. Our efforts to comply with new and changing laws and regulations has resulted in increased general and administrative expenses.
Moreover, because these laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance becomes available. This evolution may result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and additional costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to our disclosure and governance practices. If we fail to address and comply with these regulations and any subsequent changes, we may be subject to penalty and our business may be harmed.
We are an “emerging growth company,” and our election to comply with the reduced disclosure requirements as a public company may make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors.
For so long as we remain an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements that are applicable to public companies that are not “emerging growth companies,” including not being required to comply with the independent auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, being required to provide fewer years of audited financial statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.
We may lose our emerging growth company status and become subject to the SEC’s internal control over financial reporting auditor attestation requirements. If we are unable to certify the effectiveness of our internal controls, or if our internal controls have a material weakness, we could be subject to regulatory scrutiny and a loss of confidence by stockholders, which could harm our business and adversely affect the market price of the common stock. We will cease to be an “emerging growth company” upon the earliest to occur of: (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.235 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date we qualify as a large accelerated filer, with at least $700.0 million of equity securities held by non-affiliates; (iii) the date on which we have, in any three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (iv) December 31, 2026 (the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of ArcLight becoming a public company).
As an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these reduced reporting burdens. Accordingly, the information we provide to our stockholders may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock. In addition, the JOBS Act also provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We have elected to take advantage of this extended transition period under the JOBS Act. As a result, our operating results and financial statements may not be comparable to the operating results and financial statements of other companies who have adopted the new or revised accounting standards. It is possible that some
investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive as a result, which may result in a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and higher volatility in our stock price.
Our current majority stockholder has control over all stockholder decisions because it controls a substantial majority of our voting power through “high vote” voting stock. Such majority stockholder, and the persons controlling such majority stockholder, including Fortistar and Mr. Mark Comora, our Chairman of the board of directors, may have potential conflicts of interest in connection with existing or proposed business relationships and decisions impacting us and, even in situations where it does not have a conflict of interest, its interests in such matters may be different than the other stockholders.
The dual-class structure of our common stock has the effect of concentrating voting control with Mr. Mark Comora who, through his control of OPAL Holdco and Hillman, beneficially owns in the aggregate a substantial majority of the voting power of our capital stock on most issues of corporate governance. Mr. Mark Comora beneficially owns 145,279,637 shares of OPAL, comprising 84.4% of our outstanding common stock as of March 27, 2023. All of these shares (with the exception of 880,600 shares of Class A common stock purchased by Fortistar in the PIPE Investment) are Class D common stock, which have no economic rights but are entitled to five votes per share, giving Mr. Mark Comora control over 96.6% of our voting power. OPAL Holdco and Hillman are controlled, indirectly, by Mr. Mark Comora through entities affiliated with Mr. Mark Comora, including Fortistar and certain of its other affiliates. Mr. Mark Comora is the Chairman of our board of directors.
Accordingly, Mr. Mark Comora is able to control most matters submitted to our stockholders for approval. This concentrated control will limit or preclude your ability to influence corporate matters for the foreseeable future, including the election of directors, amendments to our organizational documents, and any merger, consolidation, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other major corporate transaction requiring stockholder approval. This may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our capital stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders. More specifically, Mr. Mark Comora has the ability to control our management and our major strategic investments and decisions as a result of his ability to control the election or, in some cases, the replacement of our directors. In the event of the death of Mr. Mark Comora, control of the shares of common stock controlled by Mr. Mark Comora will be transferred to the persons or entities that he has designated. In his position as the Chairman of our board, Mr. Mark Comora owes a fiduciary duty to our stockholders and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of our stockholders. As a beneficial owner of our common stock, even as a controlling stockholder Mr. Mark Comora is entitled to vote the shares he controls, in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of our stockholders generally.
Future transfers by holders of Class C common stock and Class D common stock, which carry five votes per share, will generally result in those shares converting to Class A common stock and Class B common stock, respectively, which carry only one vote per share, unless in each case made to a Qualified Stockholder (as defined in the Second A&R LLC Agreement). The conversion of Class D common stock to Class B common stock and the conversion of Class C common stock to Class A common stock, as the case may be, means that no third party stockholders can leverage the high vote to offset the voting power held by the OPAL Holdco and Hillman.
In addition, Fortistar and certain of its affiliates (other than our subsidiaries), which are controlled by Mr. Mark Comora (who also controls OPAL Holdco and Hillman), manage numerous investment vehicles and separately managed accounts. Fortistar and these affiliates may compete with us for acquisition and other business opportunities, which may present conflicts of interest for these persons. If these entities or persons decide to pursue any such opportunity, we may be precluded from procuring such opportunities. In addition, investment ideas generated within Fortistar and these affiliates may be suitable both for us and for current or future investment vehicles managed by Fortistar and these affiliates and may be directed to such investment vehicles rather than to us. Neither Fortistar nor members of our management team who are also members of the management of Fortistar or of any of these affiliates, including Mr. Mark Comora and Mr. Nadeem Nisar (who serves on our board), have any obligation to present us with any potential business opportunity of which they become aware, unless, (i) such opportunity is expressly offered to such person solely in his or her capacity as a one of our directors or officers, (ii) such opportunity is one we are legally and contractually permitted to undertake and would otherwise be reasonable for us to pursue, and (iii) the director or officer is permitted to refer that opportunity to us without violating another legal obligation. Fortistar and/or members of our management team, such as Mr. Mark Comora or Mr. Nisar in their capacities as management of Fortistar or in their other endeavors, may be required to present potential business opportunities to the related entities described above, current or future affiliates of Fortistar, or third parties, before they present such opportunities to us. The personal and financial interests of such persons described above may be in conflict with the interests of ours and
influence their motivation in identifying and selecting our business opportunities, their support or lack thereof for pursuing such business opportunities and our operations.
The existence of a family relationship between Mr. Mark Comora, as our Chairman of our board, and Mr. Adam Comora, as our Co-Chief Executive Officer, may result in a conflict of interest on the part of such persons between what he, in his capacity as Chairman or Co-Chief Executive Officer, respectively, may believe is in our best interests and the interests of our stockholders in connection with a decision to be made by us through our board, standing committees thereof, and management and what he may believe is best for himself or his family members in connection with the same decision.
Mr. Mark Comora and Mr. Adam Comora are father and son. In his position as the Chairman of our board, Mr. Mark Comora owes a fiduciary duty to our stockholders and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the stockholders. And in his position as our Co-Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adam Comora owes a fiduciary duty to our stockholders and must act in good faith in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the stockholders. Nevertheless, the existence of this family relationship may result in a conflict of interest on the part of such persons between what he may believe is in our best interests and the best interests of our stockholders and what he may believe is best for himself or his family members in connection with a business opportunity or other matter to be decided by OPAL through its board, standing committees thereof, and management. Moreover, even if such family relationship does not create an actual conflict, the perception of a conflict in the press or the financial or business community generally could create negative publicity or other reaction with respect to the business opportunity or other matters to be decided by us through our board, standing committees thereof, and management, which could adversely affect the business generated by us and our relationships with its existing customers and other counterparties, impact the behavior of third party participants or other persons in the proposed business opportunity or other matter to be decided, otherwise negatively impact our business prospects related to such matter, or negatively impact the trading market for our securities.
Our only material assets are our direct interests in OPAL Fuels, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from OPAL Fuels to pay dividends and taxes and other expenses.
We are a holding company and have no material assets other than our ownership of Class A Units in OPAL Fuels. We therefore have no independent means of generating revenue. We intend to cause our subsidiaries (including OPAL Fuels) to make distributions in an amount sufficient to cover all applicable taxes and other expenses payable and dividends, if any, declared by us. The agreements governing our debt facilities impose, and agreements governing our future debt facilities are expected to impose, certain restrictions on distributions by such subsidiaries to us, and may limit our ability to pay cash dividends. The terms of any credit agreements or other borrowing arrangements that we may enter into in the future may impose similar restrictions. To the extent that we needs funds, and any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries is restricted from making such distributions under these debt agreements or applicable law or regulation, or is otherwise unable to provide such funds, it could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition.
If we are deemed an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act as a result of our ownership of OPAL Fuels, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on its business.
A person may be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the Investment Company Act if it owns investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items), absent an applicable exemption. We have no material assets other than our interests in OPAL Fuels. As managing member of OPAL Fuels, we generally have control over all of the affairs and decision making of OPAL Fuels. On the basis of our control over OPAL Fuels, we believe our direct interest in OPAL Fuels is not an “investment security” within the meaning of the Investment Company Act. If we were to cease participation in the management of OPAL Fuels, however, our interest in OPAL Fuels could be deemed an “investment security,” which could result in our being required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and becoming subject to the registration and other requirements of the Investment Company Act.
The Investment Company Act and the rules thereunder contain detailed parameters for the organization and operations of investment companies. Among other things, the Investment Company Act and the rules thereunder limit or prohibit transactions with affiliates, impose limitations on the issuance of debt and equity securities, prohibit the
issuance of stock options and impose certain governance requirements. We intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act. However, if anything were to happen which would require us to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, requirements imposed by the Investment Company Act, including limitations on its capital structure, ability to transact business with affiliates and ability to compensate key employees, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as currently conducted, impair the agreements and arrangements between and among us, OPAL Fuels, members of their respective management teams and related entities or any combination thereof and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are a controlled company, and thus not subject to all of the corporate governance rules of Nasdaq. You will not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such requirements.
We are considered a “controlled company” under the rules of Nasdaq. Controlled companies are exempt from the Nasdaq corporate governance rules requiring that listed companies have (i) a majority of the board of directors consist of “independent” directors under the listing standards of Nasdaq, (ii) a nominating/corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors and a written nominating/corporate governance committee charter meeting the Nasdaq requirements and (iii) a compensation committee composed entirely of independent directors and a written compensation committee charter meeting the requirements of Nasdaq. We expect to take advantage of some or all of the exemptions described above for so long as we are a controlled company. If we use some or all of these exemptions, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of Nasdaq.
The dual-class structure of our common stock may adversely affect the trading market for the shares of Class A common stock.
We cannot predict whether our dual class structure, which affords the shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock one vote per share while affording the shares of Class C common stock and Class D common stock with five votes per share, combined with our concentrated voting control by OPAL Holdco due to its ownership of shares of Class D common stock, will result in a lower or more volatile market price of the shares of Class A common stock or in adverse publicity or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indexes. Under any such announced policies or future policies, our dual class capital structure could make us ineligible for inclusion in certain indices, and as a result, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other investment vehicles that attempt to passively track those indices will not be investing in our stock. It is unclear what effect, if any, these policies will have on the valuations of publicly traded companies excluded from such indices, but it is possible that they may depress valuations as compared to similar companies that are included. As a result, the market price of shares of Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to comply with the continued listing standards of Nasdaq.
Our shares of Class A common stock are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “OPAL”. If Nasdaq delists our securities from trading on its exchange for failure to meet the listing standards, we and our stockholders could face significant negative consequences. The consequences of failing to meet the listing requirements include:
•limited availability of market quotations for our securities;
•a determination that the Class A common stock is a “penny stock” which will require brokers trading in the Class A common stock to adhere to more stringent rules;
•possible reduction in the level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for shares of the Class A common stock;
•a limited amount of analyst coverage; and
• a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.
Because there are no current plans to pay cash dividends on shares of common stock for the foreseeable future, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your shares of common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
We intend to retain future earnings, if any, for future operations, expansion and debt repayment and there are no current plans to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. The declaration, amount and payment of any future
dividends on shares of common stock will be at the sole discretion of our board, who may take into account general and economic conditions, our financial condition and results of operations, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax, and regulatory restrictions, implications on the payment of dividends by us to our its stockholders or by our subsidiaries to us and such other factors our board may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is limited by covenants of any indebtedness we incur. As a result, you may not receive any return on an investment in the shares of Class A common stock unless you sell your shares of Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
Anti-takeover provisions are contained in the Organizational Documents that could delay or prevent a change of control.
Certain provisions of the Organizational Documents may have an anti-takeover effect and may delay, defer or prevent a merger, acquisition, tender offer, takeover attempt or other change of control transaction that a stockholder of ours might consider is in its best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the shares of our Class A common stock.
These provisions, among other things:
•authorize our board to issue new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval and create, subject to applicable law, a series of preferred stock with preferential rights to dividends or our assets upon liquidation, or with superior voting rights to the existing shares of common stock;
•eliminate the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;
•eliminate the ability of stockholders to fill vacancies on our board;
•establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings;
•permit our board to establish the number of directors;
•provide that our board is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal the Bylaws; and
•limit the jurisdictions in which certain stockholder litigation may be brought.
These anti-takeover provisions, together with the control of the voting power of by OPAL Holdco, could make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire us, even if the third party’s offer may be considered beneficial by many of our stockholders. As a result, our stockholders may be limited in their ability to obtain a premium for their shares. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions you desire.
In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits that we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.
Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine, and the IRS or another tax authority may challenge all or a part of the existing tax basis, tax basis increases, or other tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement, and a court could sustain such challenge. The parties to the Tax Receivable Agreement will not reimburse us for any payments previously made if such tax basis is, or other tax benefits are, subsequently disallowed, except that any excess payments made to a party under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be netted against future payments otherwise to be made under the Tax Receivable Agreement, if any, after the determination of such excess.
If we experience a change of control (as defined under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which includes certain mergers, any plan of liquidation and other forms of business combinations or changes of control) or the Tax Receivable Agreement terminates early (at our election or as a result of a breach, including a breach for our failing to make timely payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for more than three months, except in the case of certain liquidity exceptions), we could be required to make a substantial, immediate lump-sum payment based on the present value of hypothetical future payments that could be required under the Tax Receivable Agreement. The calculation of the hypothetical future payments would be made using certain assumptions and deemed events set forth in the Tax Receivable Agreement, including (i) the sufficiency of taxable income to fully utilize the tax benefits, (ii) any OPAL Fuels Common Units (other than those held by us) outstanding on the termination date are exchanged on the
termination date and (iii) the utilization of certain loss carryovers over a certain time period. Our ability to generate net taxable income is subject to substantial uncertainty. Accordingly, as a result of the assumptions, the required lump-sum payment may be significantly in advance of, and could materially exceed, the realized future tax benefits to which the payment relates.
As a result of either an early termination or a change of control, we could be required to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement that exceed our actual cash savings. Consequently, our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. For example, assuming no material changes in the relevant tax law, we expect that if we experienced a change of control the estimated Tax Receivable Agreement lump-sum payment would range from approximately $192.0 million depending on OPAL Fuels’s rate of recovery of the tax basis increases associated with the deemed exchange of the OPAL Fuels Common Units (other than those held by us). This estimated Tax Receivable Agreement lump-sum payment is calculated using a discount rate equal to 6.32%, applied against an undiscounted liability of approximately $322.0 million. These amounts are estimates and have been prepared for informational purposes only. The actual amount of deferred tax assets and related liabilities that we will recognize will differ based on, among other things, the timing of the exchanges, the price of the shares of Class A common stock at the time of the exchange, and the tax rates then in effect. There can be no assurance that we will be able to finance our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement.
It is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will not be realized in accordance with ASC Topic 740, ‘Income Taxes’. As such, the Company has reduced the full carrying amount of the deferred tax assets with a valuation allowance under both scenarios. Management will continue to monitor and consider the available evidence from quarter to quarter, and year to year, to determine if more or less valuation allowance is required at that time.
Finally, because we are a holding company with no operations of its own, its ability to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement depends on the ability of OPAL Fuels to make distributions to it. To the extent that OPAL is unable to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for any reason, such payments will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid, which could negatively impact OPAL’s results of operations and could also affect its liquidity in periods in which such payments are made.
Cybersecurity and Information Technology Risks
A failure of our IT and data security infrastructure could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations. We rely upon the expertise, reliability and security of our outsourced IT provider and their services to expand and continually update this infrastructure in response to the changing needs of our business. Our existing IT systems and any new IT systems may not perform as expected. If we experience a problem with the functioning of any important IT system or a security breach of our network, including during system upgrades or new system implementations, the resulting disruptions could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We and some of our third-party vendors receive and store personal information in connection with our human resources operations and other aspects of our business. Despite our implementation of reasonable security measures, our IT systems, like those of other companies, are vulnerable to damages from computer viruses, natural disasters, fire, power loss, telecommunications failures, personnel misconduct, human error, unauthorized access, physical or electronic security breaches, cyber-attacks (including malicious and destructive code, phishing attacks, ransomware, and denial of service attacks), and other similar disruptions. Cybersecurity threat actors employ a wide variety of methods and techniques that are constantly evolving, increasingly sophisticated, and difficult to detect and successfully defend against.
Cybersecurity incidents could expose us to claims, litigation, regulatory or other governmental investigations, administrative fines and potential liability. A material network breach in the security of our IT systems could include the theft of our trade secrets, customer information, human resources information or other confidential data, including but not limited to personally identifiable information, that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
Many governments have enacted laws requiring companies to provide notice of cyber incidents involving certain types of data, including personal data. Any compromise of our security could result in a violation of applicable domestic and foreign security, privacy or data protection, consumer and other laws, regulatory or other
governmental investigations, enforcement actions, and legal and financial exposure, including potential contractual liability that could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, we may be required to incur significant costs to protect against and remediate damage caused by these disruptions or security breaches in the future that could have a material adverse effect on our business.
As a renewable energy producer, we face various security threats, including among others, computer viruses, malware, telecommunication and electrical failures, cyber-attacks or cyber-intrusions over the internet, attachments to emails, persons with access to systems inside our organization, cybersecurity threats to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or to expose, exfiltrate, alter, delete or render our data or systems unusable, threats to the security of our projects and infrastructure or third-party facilities and infrastructure, such as processing projects and pipelines, natural disasters, threats from terrorist acts and war.
We take various steps to identify and mitigate potential cybersecurity threats. As cyber incidents become more frequent and the sophistication of threat actors increases, our associated cybersecurity costs are expected to increase. Specifically, we expect to implement several incremental cybersecurity improvements over the next 18 to 36 months to enhance our defensive capabilities and resilience. Despite our ongoing and anticipated cybersecurity efforts, a successful cybersecurity incident could lead to additional material costs, including those related to the loss of sensitive information, repairs to infrastructure or capabilities essential to our operations, responding to litigation or regulatory investigations, and those related to a material and adverse impact on our reputation, financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.
Our business may be impacted by macroeconomic conditions, including fears concerning the financial services industry, inflation, rising interest rates and volatile market conditions, and other uncertainties beyond our control.
Actual events involving limited liquidity, defaults, non-performance or other adverse developments that affect financial institutions, transactional counterparties or other companies in the financial services industry or the financial services industry generally, or concerns or rumors about any events of these kinds or other similar risks, have in the past and may in the future lead to market-wide liquidity problems. For example, on March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank failed and was taken into receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; on March 12, 2023, Signature Bank and Silvergate Capital Corp. were each swept into receivership; the following week, a syndicate of U.S. banks infused $30 billion in First Republic Bank; and later that same week, the Swiss Central Bank provided $54 billion in covered loan and short-term liquidity facilities to Credit Suisse Group AG, all in an attempt to reassure depositors and calm fears of a banking contagion. Our ability to effectively run our business could be adversely affected by general conditions in the global economy and in the financial services industry. Various macroeconomic factors could adversely affect our business, including fears concerning the banking sector, changes in inflation, interest rates and overall economic conditions and uncertainties. A severe or prolonged economic downturn could result in a variety of risks, including our ability to raise additional funding on a timely basis or on acceptable terms. A weak or declining economy could also impact third parties upon whom we depend to run our business. Increasing concerns over bank failures and bailouts and their potential broader effects and potential systemic risk on the banking sector generally and on the biotechnology industry and its participants may adversely affect our access to capital and our business and operations more generally. Although we assess our banking relationships as we believe necessary or appropriate, our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance or capitalize our current and projected future business operations could be significantly impaired by factors that affect us, the financial institutions with which we have arrangements directly, or the financial services industry or economy in general.
Currently, we do not have a business relationship with any of the banking institutions mentioned above, and our cash, cash equivalents and short term investments have been unaffected by the turmoil in the financial industry; however, we cannot guaranty that the banking institution with which we do business will not face similar circumstances in the future, or that the third parties with whom we do business will not be negatively affected by such circumstances.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
We do not own any real property. Our corporate headquarters are located in White Plains, New York, where we occupy approximately 13,600 square feet of shared office space with an affiliate of Fortistar pursuant to an Administrative Services Agreement. In addition, we lease office and maintenance facilities in Oronoco, Minnesota and Rancho Cucamonga, California. Our interests in our RNG and Renewable Power projects are our only material properties. See Item 1. Business — Our projects for additional information.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Ohio Edison Arbitration Demand
Noble Road RNG LLC (“Noble Road”), a subsidiary of Opal Fuels, and Ohio Edison Company (“Ohio Edison”) entered into several contracts pursuant to which Ohio Edison agreed to, among other things furnish to Noble Road alternating current, sixty cycle, three phase electrical energy at approximately 12,500 volts, up to approximately 2,100 kW of capacity, and agreed to construct upgrades to Ohio Edison’s facilities to serve the required load to Noble Road’s RNG facility.
Noble Road sent Ohio Edison an arbitration demand on January 24, 2022 alleging that, as a result of Ohio Edison’s failure to perform under the contracts, Noble Road was substantially delayed in completing its commission activities at its RNG facility and, although it has been able to maintain operations through use of generators, is unable to operate the equipment at its RNG facility at expected capacity. In addition, Noble Road asserts that Ohio Edison’s breach of the contracts has caused and continues to cause substantial damage. In its demand, Noble Road has stated that it is willing to defer arbitration in order to allow the parties to focus on reaching a consensual resolution and has proposed that the parties agree to hold the arbitration in abeyance while current efforts to resolve the problems are ongoing. Noble Road and Ohio Edison have entered into a tolling agreement with respect to this matter which is in effect until October 3, 2023.
See Note 18. Commitments and Contingencies, to the Company’s consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Form 10-K, for information regarding legal proceedings in which we are involved.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our shares of Class A common stock are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the symbol "OPAL".
On March 27, 2023, the closing sale price of our shares of Class A common stock, as reported on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, was $7.26 per share.
The number of shareholders of record of our shares of Class A common stock was approximately 18 on March 27, 2023.
Payment of Dividends
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. Our Board of Directors currently intends to retain any future earnings to support operations and to finance the growth and development of our business, and therefore does not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the near term.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
On July 21, 2022, the Company adopted the OPAL Fuels Inc. 2022 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan (the "2022 Equity Compensation Plan"). Under the terms of the 2022 Equity Compensation Plan, a maximum of 19,811,726 shares of Class A common stock may be issued. Any director, officer, employee or consultant of the Company or any of its subsidiaries (including any prospective officer or employee) is eligible to be designated to participate in the 2022 Equity Compensation Plan.
The following table sets forth certain information as of December 31, 2022 regarding the 2022 Equity Compensation Plan. The 2022 Equity Compensation Plan was approved by our shareholders on July 21, 2022.
|Plan Category||Securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding restricted stock units, options, warrants and rights||Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights||Remaining securities for future issuance under equity compensation plans |
|Equity compensation plan approved by security holders||422,349 ||19,389,377 |
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities; Use of Proceeds from Registered Offerings
Purchases of Equity securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
ITEM 6. RESERVED
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
In this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section, references to "OPAL", "we", "us", "our", and the "Company" refer to OPAL Fuels Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes set forth in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data and the risk factors identified in Item 1A. Risk Factors of this Annual Report. For further discussion regarding our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, refer to the audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K, which was filed with Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on July 27, 2022. In addition to historical information, this discussion and analysis includes certain forward-looking statements which reflect our current expectations. The Company's actual results may materially differ from these forward-looking statements.
We are a renewable energy company specializing in the capture and conversion of biogas for the (i) production of RNG for use as a vehicle fuel for heavy and medium-duty trucking fleets, (ii) generation of electricity generated from renewable sources ("Renewable Power") for sale to utilities, (iii) generation and sale of Environmental Attributes (as defined below) associated with RNG and Renewable Power, and (iv) sales of RNG as pipeline quality natural gas. We also design, develop, construct, operate and service Fueling Stations for trucking fleets across the country that use natural gas to displace diesel as their transportation fuel. The Biogas Conversion Projects currently use LFG and dairy manure as the source of the biogas. In addition, we have recently begun implementing design, development, and construction services for hydrogen Fueling Stations, and we are pursuing opportunities to diversify our sources of biogas to other waste streams. The term “Environmental Attributes” refers to federal, state and local government incentives in the United States, provided in the form of renewable identification numbers (“RINs,”) RECs, low carbon fuel standard (“LCFS”) credits, rebates, tax credits and other incentives to end users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of renewable energy projects, that promote the use of renewable energy. We separately design, develop, construct, operate and service Fueling Stations for vehicle fleets across the country that dispense RNG and/or CNG to displace diesel as a fleet transportation fuel.
As of the date of this report, we owned and operated 25 projects, seven of which are RNG projects and 18 of which are Renewable Power Projects. As of that date, our RNG projects in operation had a design capacity of 3.9 million MMBtus per year and our Renewable Power Projects in operation had a nameplate capacity of 118.6 MW per hour. In addition to these projects in operation, we are actively pursuing expansion of our RNG-generating capacity and, accordingly, have a portfolio of RNG projects in construction or in development, with four of our current Renewable Power Projects being considered candidates for conversion to RNG projects in the foreseeable future.
The Company was formerly known as Arclight Clean Transition Corp II ("Arclight"), which was a blank check company incorporated in Cayman Islands on January 13, 2021. Arclight was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. OPAL Fuels LLC was formed in December 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of OPAL HoldCo under the laws of the State of Delaware. On December 31, 2020, Fortistar LLC and certain of its affiliated entities contributed their respective ownership interests in the following legal entities to OPAL Fuels in a common-control reorganization: TruStar Energy Holdings LLC, Fortistar RNG LLC, Fortistar Methane 3 Holdings LLC, Fortistar Methane 3 LLC, Fortistar Contracting LLC, and Fortistar Methane 4 LLC. On December 2, 2021, the Company, OPAL Holdco and OPAL Fuels entered into the Business Combination Agreement.
On July 21, 2022, we completed the Business Combination. After giving effect to the Business Combination, the redemption of public shares as described below, the consummation of the related PIPE investment, and the separation of the former ArcLight units, there were (i) 25,671,390 shares of our Class A common stock issued and outstanding, (ii) 144,399,037 shares of our Class D common stock issued and outstanding, (iii) no shares of Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (“Class B common stock”) issued and outstanding (shares of Class B common stock do not have any economic value but entitle the holder thereof to one vote per share) and (iv) no shares of our Class C common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, (“Class C common stock”) issued and outstanding (shares of Class C common stock entitle the holder thereof to five votes per share). The Class A common stock and warrants commenced trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols “OPAL” and “OPALW,” respectively, on July 22, 2022.
On November 18, 2022, the Company announced the commencement of the Offer and consent solicitation relating to its outstanding (i) Public Warrants, and (ii) private placement warrants to purchase shares of Class A common stock (the “Private Placement Warrants”) and together with the public warrants, the (“Warrants”). The Company offered all holders of the warrants the opportunity to receive 0.250 shares of Class A common stock in exchange for each outstanding warrant tendered by the holder and exchanged pursuant to the Offer. Concurrently with the Offer, the Company solicited consents from holders of the warrants to amend the Warrant Agreement to permit the Company to require that each warrant that is outstanding upon the closing of the Offer be exchanged for 0.225 shares of Class A common stock, which is a ratio 10% less than the exchange ratio applicable to the Offer (such amendment, the “Warrant Amendment”).
On December 22, 2022, the Company completed the exchange offer and issued 3,309,296 shares of Class A common stock in exchange for the warrants tendered in the Offer. Pursuant to the Warrant Amendment dated December 21, 2022, the Company effected the Post-Offer Exchange and issued 497,080 shares of Class A common stock. As a result of the completion of the Offer and the Post-Offer Exchange, there are no outstanding warrants. Accordingly, the public warrants were suspended from trading on the Nasdaq and delisted.
On December 15, 2022, the Company entered into the UPS Agreement pursuant to which the Company will provide operations and maintenance services to 51 UPS renewable natural gas dispensing stations across the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will receive an amount based on an agreed price per gas gallon equivalent dispensed at each station.
Senior Secured Credit Facility
On December 19, 2022, FM3, an indirect subsidiary of the Company, which is the borrower under the Senior Secured Credit Facility, dated as of September 21, 2015, provided by a lender group led by MUFG Union Bank Ltd, as administrative agent, and guaranteed by certain direct subsidiaries of FM3, and Opal Fuels, a direct subsidiary of the Company, and the other parties to the Senior Secured Credit Facility entered into the FM3 Amendment. The FM3 Amendment amended the Senior Secured Credit Facility, among other things, to (a) extend the maturity date of the obligations thereunder from December 20, 2022 to March 20, 2023, (b) permit Opal Fuels to purchase the rights and obligations of certain exiting lenders at par, (c) prepay a portion of the outstanding loans made by the remaining lenders and (d) permit the release of certain project company subsidiaries of FM3 from the collateral securing the obligations under the Senior Secured Credit Facility. Upon consummation of the FM3 Amendment, Opal Fuels holds approximately $45,000 of the outstanding loans under the FM3 Credit Agreement as an affiliate lender. On March 20, 2023, the Company repaid in full the remaining outstanding loan of $22,750.
OPAL Term Loan II
On August 4, 2022, OPAL Fuels Intermediate Holdco 2, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary the Company, entered into the OPAL Term Loan II with a syndicate of lenders. The indebtedness is guaranteed by certain of the direct and indirect subsidiaries of OPAL Intermediate Holdco 2. The OPAL Term Loan II provides for an approximately two year DDTL Facility of up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $100,000 and the DSR Facility of up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $5,000. The proceeds of the DDTL Facility are to be used to fund a portion of the construction of the RNG projects owned, either in full or through a joint venture with a third party, by the subsidiary guarantors and the proceeds of the DSR Facility are to be used solely to satisfy the balance to be maintained in the debt service reserve account. In connection with the transaction, the Company paid $2,200 as financing fees to the lenders and incurred $1,376 as third party fees.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our interim unaudited consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("U.S. GAAP") and the rules and regulations of the SEC, which apply to interim financial statements. The preparation of those financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the
reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues, expenses and warrants and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions and conditions.
Critical accounting policies are those that reflect significant judgments of uncertainties and potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. We have described below what we believe are our most critical accounting policies, because they generally involve a comparatively higher degree of judgment in their application. For a detailed description of all our accounting policies, see Note 2 Significant Accounting Policies, to our consolidated financial statements included herein.
We sell Renewable Power produced from LFG fueled power plants to utility companies through our PPAs. Revenue is recognized based on contract specified rates per MWh when delivered to the customer, as this considered to be completion of the performance obligation. Certain PPAs contain a lease element which we account for as operating lease revenue on a straight-line basis over the lease term. The Company utilizes commodity swap contracts to hedge against the unfavorable price fluctuations in market prices of electricity. The Company does not apply hedge accounting to these contracts. As such, unrealized and realized gain (loss) is recognized as component of Renewable Power revenues in the consolidated statement of operations.
Gas — Fuel Purchase Agreements
We own Fueling Stations for use by customers under fuel sale agreements. We bill these customers at an agreed upon price for each gallon sold and recognize revenue based on the amounts invoiced in according with the “right to invoice” practical expedient. These contracts may contain an embedded lease of the equipment which we account for as operating lease revenue. For some public stations where there is no contract with the customer, we recognize revenue at the point in time that the customer takes control of the fuel.
Interstate Gas Pipeline Delivery
We have agreements with two natural gas producers whereby we are contracted to transport the producers’ gas to an agreed delivery point on an interstate gas pipeline via our RNG gathering system. Revenue is recognized over time using the output method which is based on quantity of natural gas transported.
We generate RECs, RINs, and LCFS credits. These Environmental Attributes are sold to third parties that utilize these credits in order to comply with federal and state requirements. Revenue is recognized at the point in time when the credits are transferred to and accepted by the third party buyer.
Operation and Maintenance
We have operating and maintenance agreements in which we are contracted to operate, maintain, and repair landfill site gas collection systems. Revenue is based on the volume of per million British thermal units (“MMBtu”) of landfill gas collected and the MWhs produced at that site. This revenue is recognized as Renewable Power revenue when landfill gas is collected and Renewable Power is delivered. In addition, we have O&M agreements in which we are contracted to maintain and repair Fueling Stations. Revenue is based on the volumes of GGEs of gas dispensed at the site. This revenue is recognized as Fuel Station Services revenue when the site dispenses volumes.
Construction Type Contracts — Third Party
We have various fixed price contracts for the construction of fueling stations for customers. Revenue from these contracts, including change orders, are recognized over time, with progress measured by the percentage of cost incurred to date to estimated total cost for each contract.
Impairment of Goodwill and Long-Lived Assets
Impairment of Goodwill
When a business is acquired, goodwill is recognized to reflect any future economic benefits that are not separately recognized, such as synergies. For purposes of impairment testing, GAAP requires goodwill to be allocated to reporting unit(s) at the acquisition date and to be tested for impairment at least annually, and in between annual tests whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the respective reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying value. Significant judgment is required when identifying the reporting units for goodwill allocation, during our assessment of relevant events and circumstances for qualitative impairment indicators, and when estimating the undiscounted cash flows of reporting unit(s) for quantitative impairment assessments.
Our goodwill impairment assessment is performed during the fourth quarter of each year or at the time facts or circumstances indicate that a reporting unit’s goodwill may be impaired. In conformity with GAAP, we generally first perform a qualitative assessment over whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying value to determine if a quantitative assessment is required. If, after performing the qualitative assessment, we conclude it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, then a quantitative test is required. Our qualitative assessment includes evaluation of relevant events and circumstances, such as, macroeconomic conditions, industry and market considerations, cost factors, overall performance, and other relevant events.
As part of our quantitative assessment, we estimate a reporting unit’s fair value based on the income approach. With this approach, the fair value measurement is based on significant inputs that are not observable in the market and thus the fair value measurement is categorized within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy. Our assumptions include future cash flow projections, a discount rate range based on the weighted average cost of capital, and a terminal value based on a range of terminal earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
Our long-lived assets held and used with finite useful lives including plant equipment, buildings, patents, and PPAs are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset group may not be recoverable. In determining the asset group, we assess the interdependency of revenues between assets, shared cost structures, the interchangeability of assets used in operations, and how assets are managed and utilized by the business. Events that may trigger a recoverability assessment include a significant adverse change in the extent or manner in which the long-lived asset group is being used or in its physical condition, and the expectation that, more likely than not, the long-lived asset or asset group will be sold or otherwise disposed of significantly before the end of its previously estimated useful life. Recoverability of long-lived assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset group to future net undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset group. Our cash flow estimates reflect conditions and assumptions that existed as of the measurement date which is the same as the triggering event date. The assets are considered recoverable and an impairment loss is not recognized when the undiscounted net cash flows exceed the net carrying value of the asset group. If the assets are not recoverable, then an impairment loss is recognized to the extent that the carrying value of the asset group exceeds its fair value. We base the fair value of our assets or asset groups off of the estimated discounted future cash flows using market participant assumptions. Assets disposed of are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less selling costs. Significant judgment is required when determining asset group composition, during our assessment of relevant events and circumstances, when determining an appropriate discount rate, and when estimating the undiscounted and discounted future cash flows of the asset group.
Based on our assessment for the year ended December 31, 2022, there is no impairment recorded on our Plant, Property and Equipment.
Fair Value Measurements
The objective of a fair value measurement is to estimate the exit price, which is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability that the Company holds, in an orderly market transaction at the measurement date. We follow GAAP guidance which establishes a three-tier hierarchy for inputs used in fair value measurements, as well as prioritizes valuation techniques that maximize the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs. In summary, level 1 inputs are considered the most observable inputs and are more specifically the unadjusted quoted price for identical assets or liabilities in an active market the Company has access to. Level 2 inputs are considered less observable inputs such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in an active market the Company has access to. Lastly, level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs in which little to no market activity exists for the asset or liability at the
measurement date. As such, level 3 estimates are subject to a more significant level of estimation uncertainty. Furthermore, when multiple inputs are used and are categorized in different levels of the input hierarchy, then the fair value measurement in its entirety is categorized in the same level as its lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement. Our assessment of the significance of an input to a fair value measurement requires judgment and may affect the fair value measurement’s placement in the fair value hierarchy.
Refer to Note 10. Derivative Financial Instruments and Fair Value Measurements, to our consolidated financial statements, for details on our assets and liabilities regularly recorded at fair value and the respective placements in the fair value hierarchy.
The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with ASC Topic 740, Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASC Topic 740”), which requires the recognition of tax benefits or expenses on temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of its assets and liabilities by applying the enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. Such net tax effects on temporary differences are reflected on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets as deferred tax assets and liabilities. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when the Company believes that it is more-likely-than-not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The Company calculates the interim tax provision in accordance with the provisions of ASC Subtopic 740-270, Income Taxes; Interim Reporting. For interim periods, the Company estimates the annual effective income tax rate and applies the estimated rate to the year-to-date income or loss before income taxes.
Refer to Note 16. Income taxes, to our consolidated financial statements, for additional information.
Emerging Growth Company Status
We are an emerging growth company as defined in the JOBS Act. The JOBS Act provides emerging growth companies with certain exemptions from public company reporting requirements for up to five fiscal years while a company remains an emerging growth company. As part of these exemptions, we need only provide two fiscal years of audited financial statements instead of three, we have reduced disclosure obligations such as for executive compensation, and we are not required to comply with auditor attestation requirements from Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding our internal control over financial reporting. Additionally, the JOBS Act has allowed us the option to delay adoption of new or revised financial accounting standards until private companies are required to comply with new or revised financial accounting standards.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The significant estimates and assumptions of the Company relate to the useful lives of property, plant and equipment, the value of stock-based compensation and the fair value of derivatives including warrant liabilities, earnout liabilities, put option on a forward purchase agreement, interest rate swaps and commodity swap contracts. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Key Factors and Trends Influencing our Results of Operations
The principal factors affecting our results of operations and financial condition are the markets for RNG, Renewable Power, and associated Environmental Attributes, and access to suitable biogas production resources. Additional factors and trends affecting our business are discussed in "Risk Factors" elsewhere in this report.
Market Demand for RNG
Demand for our converted biogas and associated Environmental Attributes, including RINs and LCFS credits, is heavily influenced by United States federal and state energy regulations together with commercial interest in renewable energy products. Markets for RINs and LCFS credits arise from regulatory mandates that require refiners and blenders to incorporate renewable content into transportation fuels. The EPA annually sets proposed renewable volume obligations
("RVOs") for D3 (cellulosic biofuel with a 60% greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reduction requirement) RINs in accordance with the mandates established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The Environmental Protection Agency's issuance of timely and sufficient annual RVOs to accommodate the RNG industry's growing production levels is necessary to stabilize the RIN market.The EPA is required to set RVOs for 2023 and beyond and the EPA introduced proposed Set rule in December 2022 with rule finalization expected in June 2023. Until the rules and RVOs are finalized, this may create additional uncertainty as to RIN pricing. On the state level, the economics of RNG are enhanced by low-carbon fuel initiatives, particularly well-established programs in California and Oregon (with several other states also actively considering LCFS initiatives similar to those in California and Oregon). Federal and state regulatory developments could result in significant future changes to market demand for the RINs and LCFS credits we produce. This would have a corresponding impact to our revenue, net income, and cash flow.
Commercial transportation, including heavy-duty trucking, generates approximately 30% emissions of overall CO₂ and other climate-harming GHGs in the United States, and transitioning this sector to low and negative carbon fuels is a critical step towards reducing overall global GHG emissions. The adoption rate of RNG-powered vehicles by commercial transportation fleets will significantly impact demand for our products.
We are also exposed to the commodity prices of natural gas and diesel, which serve as alternative fuel for RNG and therefore impact the demand for RNG.
Renewable Power Markets
We also generate revenues from sales of RECs and Renewable Power generated by our biogas-to-Renewable Power projects. RECs exist because of legal and governmental regulatory requirements, and a change in law or in governmental policies concerning Renewable Power, landfill gas ("LFG"), or the sale of RECs could affect the market for, and the pricing of, the RECs that we generate through production at our Biogas Conversion Projects. We periodically evaluate opportunities to convert existing biogas-to-Renewable Power projects to RNG production. This strategy has been an increasingly attractive avenue for growth when RNG from landfills become eligible for D3 RINs. We have been negotiating with several of our Renewable Power off-takers to enter arrangements that would free up the LFG resource to produce RNG. Changes in the price we receive for RECs and Renewable Power, together with the revenue opportunities and conversion costs associated with converting our LFG sites to RNG production, could have a significant impact on our future profitability.
We operate in an industry that is subject to and currently benefits from environmental regulations. Government policies can increase demand for our products by providing incentives to purchase RNG and Environmental Attributes. These government policies are modified and in flux constantly and any adverse changes to these policies could have a material effect the demand for our products. For more information, see our risk factor titled "The financial performance of our business depends upon tax and other government incentives for the generation of RNG and Renewable Power, any of which could change at any time and such changes may negatively impact our growth strategy." Government regulations have become increasingly stringent and complying with changes in regulations may result in significant additional operating expenses.
We experience seasonality in our results of operations. Sale of RNG may be impacted by higher consumption by some of our customers during summer months. Additionally, the price of RNG is higher during the fall and winter months due to increase in overall demand for natural gas during the winter months. Revenues generated from our renewable electricity projects in the northeast U.S., all of which sell electricity at market prices, are affected by warmer and colder weather, and therefore a portion of our quarterly operating results and cash flows are affected by pricing changes due to regional temperatures. These seasonal variances are managed in part by certain off-take agreements at fixed prices.
Impact of COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we instituted a safety committee that oversees our compliance with federal, state, and local government mandates, and ensures that the Company adheres to Centers for Disease Control guidelines to maintain safe working conditions for our employees. Some of the protocols we implemented include limiting in-person work to essential personnel and performing temperature checks. Since March 2020, where practicable, our employees have worked remotely and minimized travel and other non-essential contact. Additionally, we are providing our employees with COVID-19 testing at no cost and personal protective equipment for their safety and well-being.
As of the date of this report, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a relatively minimal economic impact on our results of operations.
The duration and future economic severity of the COVID-19 remains uncertain, and our results of operations and financial condition could potentially face material adverse effect(s) in the future due to COVID-19.
Key Components of Our Results of Operations
We generate revenues from the sale of RNG fuel, Renewable Power, and associated Environmental Attributes, as well as from the construction, fuel supply, and servicing of Fueling Stations for commercial transportation vehicles using natural gas to power their fleets. These revenue sources are presented in our statement of operations under the following captions:
•RNG Fuel. The RNG Fuel segment includes RNG supply and dispensing activities as well as the associated generation and sale of commodity natural gas and environmental credits, and consists of:
◦RNG Production Facilities – the design, development, construction, maintenance and operation of facilities that convert raw biogas into pipeline quality natural gas
◦Included here are the Company's interests in both operating and construction projects.
◦RNG and CNG Fuel Dispensing Stations - This includes both the dispensing (or sale) of RNG, commodity natural gas, and environmental credit generation and monetization. The Company operates Fueling Stations that dispense both CNG and RNG fuel for vehicles.
•Fuel Station Services. Through its Fuel Station Services segment, the Company provides construction and maintenance services to third-party owners of Fueling Stations. This segment includes:
◦Service and maintenance contracts for RNG/CNG Fueling Stations.
◦Manufacturing division that builds compact fueling systems and defueling systems.
◦Design/build contracts where the Company serves as general contractor for construction of Fueling Stations, typically structured as guarantee maximum price or fixed priced contracts for customers, generally lasting less than one year.
•Renewable Power Portfolio. The Renewable Power portfolio segment generates Renewable Power through combustion of biogas from landfills and digester gas collection systems which is then sold to public utilities throughout the United States. The Renewable Power portfolio operates primarily in Southern California.
Our costs of sales associated with each revenue category are as follows:
•RNG Fuel. Includes royalty payments to biogas site owners for the biogas we use; service provider costs; salaries and other indirect expenses related to the production process, utilities, transportation, storage, and insurance; and depreciation of production facilities.
•Fuel Station Services. Includes equipment supplier costs; service provider costs; and salaries and other indirect expenses.
•Renewable Power. Includes land usage costs; service provider costs; salaries and other indirect expenses related to the production process; utilities; and depreciation of production facilities.
Selling, general, and administrative expense consists of costs involving corporate overhead functions, including the cost of services provided to us by an affiliate, and marketing costs.
Depreciation and amortization primarily relate to depreciation associated with property, plant, and equipment and amortization of acquired intangibles arising from PPAs and interconnection contracts. We are in the process of expanding our RNG and Renewable Power production capacity and expect depreciation costs to increase as new projects are placed into service.
Concentration of customers and associated credit risk
The following table summarizes the percentage of consolidated accounts receivable, net by customers that equal or exceed 10% of the consolidated accounts receivable, net as of December 31, 2022 and 2021. No other single customer accounted for 10% or greater of our consolidated accounts receivable,net as of December 31, 2022 and 2021.
|December 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|16 ||%||11 ||%|
|29 ||%||— ||%|
|Customer D||— ||%||15 ||%|
The following table summarizes the percentage of consolidated revenues from customers that equal 10% or greater of the consolidated revenues in the period (no other single customer accounted for more than 10% of consolidated revenues in these periods):
|Twelve Months Ended December 31,|
|14 ||%||16 ||%|
|35 ||%||— ||%|
|Customer C||— ||%||11 ||%|
|Customer D||— ||%||18 ||%|
Results of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021:
The following table summarizes the operational data achieved for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021:
|Twelve Months Ended December 31,|
RNG Fuel volume produced (Million MMBtus)
|2.2 ||1.6 |
RNG Fuel volume sold (Million GGEs)
|29.4 ||20.8 |
Total volume delivered (Million GGEs)
|115.9 ||96.4 |
Below is a table setting forth the RNG projects in operation and construction in our portfolio:
OPAL's Share of Design capacity (MMbtus per year) (1)
|Source of bio gas|
|RNG projects in operation:|
|New River||663,570 ||LFG||100%|
Noble Road (3)
Pine Bend (3)
|Sub total||3,917,101 |
|RNG projects in construction:|
|Prince William ||1,725,282 ||LFG||100%|
|Vander Schaaf||255,500 ||Dairy||100%|
|New England||318,514 ||LFG||100%|
|Sub total||4,678,220 |
(1) The Design capacity represents the Company's proportional ownership in the project. Design capacity may not reflect actual production of RNG from the projects, which will depend on many variables including, but not limited to, quantity and quality of the biogas, operational up-time of the facility, and actual productivity of the facility.
(2) Certain projects have provisions that will adjust, or “flip,” the percentage of distributions to be made to us over time, typically triggered by achievement of hurdle rates that are calculated as internal rates of return on capital invested in the project.
(3) We record our ownership interests in these projects as equity method investments in our consolidated financial statements.
Renewable Power Projects
Below is a table setting forth the Renewable Power projects in operation in our portfolio:
Nameplate capacity (MW per hour) (1)
|RNG conversion candidate||Stage of RNG conversion|
|California 1 ||5.2 ||Yes||In Advanced Development Pipeline|
|California 2 ||6.1 ||No||N/A|
|California 3 ||3.0 ||No||N/A|
|California 4 ||3.2 ||No||N/A|
|California 5 ||1.8 ||No||N/A|
|California 6 ||1.6 ||No||N/A|
|California 7 ||6.5 ||No||N/A|
|Massachusetts 2 ||3.6 ||No||N/A|
|28.9 ||Yes||In Construction|
|Michigan 3||6.3 ||Yes||In Advanced Development Pipeline|
|New York||5.9 ||No||N/A|
|North Carolina 1 ||14.4 ||Yes||In Advanced Development Pipeline|
|Pennsylvania ||8.0 ||No||N/A|
Prince William 1E (3)
|1.9 ||Yes||In Construction|
Prince William 2E (4)
|Virginia - Richmond||8.0 ||Yes||In Advanced Development Pipeline|
(1) Nameplate capacity is the maximum permitted output for each facility and may not reflect actual MW production from the projects, which depends on many variables including, but not limited to, quantity and quality of the biogas, operational up-time of the facility, and actual productivity of the facility.
(2) See RNG Projects Table above, reference “Michigan 1” under “RNG Projects In Construction.” It is currently contemplated that the Michigan 1E renewable power plant will continue limited operations on a stand-by, emergency basis through March of 2031.
(3) See RNG Projects Table above, reference “Prince William” under “RNG Projects In Construction.”
(4) See RNG Projects Table above, reference “Prince William” under “RNG Projects In Construction.”
Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2022, and 2021
The following table presents the period-over-period change for each line item in the Company's consolidated statements of operations for the twelve months ended months ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 .
| ||Twelve Months Ended December 31,||$|
|RNG fuel||$||126,830 ||$||70,360 ||$||56,470 ||80 ||%|
|Fuel station services||69,240 ||50,440 ||18,800 ||37 ||%|
|Renewable Power||39,461 ||45,324 ||(5,863)||(13)||%|
|Total revenues||235,531 ||166,124 ||69,407 ||42 ||%|
|Cost of sales - RNG fuel||78,953 ||41,075 ||37,878 ||92 ||%|
|Cost of sales - Fuel station services||61,514 ||42,838 ||18,676 ||44 ||%|
|Cost of sales - Renewable power||31,580 ||31,152 ||428 ||1 ||%|
|Selling, general, and administrative||48,569 ||29,380 ||19,189 ||65 ||%|
|Depreciation, amortization, and accretion||13,136 ||10,653 ||2,483 ||23 ||%|
|Total expenses||233,752 ||155,098 ||78,654 ||51 ||%|
|Operating income ||1,779 ||11,026 ||(9,247)||(84)||%|
|Other income (expense)|
|Interest and financing expense, net||(6,640)||(7,467)||827 ||11 ||%|
|Change in fair value of derivative instruments, net||33,081 ||99 ||32,982 ||333 ||%|
|Other income||1,943 ||— ||1,943 ||100 ||%|
|Loss on warrant exchange||(3,368)||— ||(3,368)||100 ||%|
|Income from equity method investments||5,784 ||2,268 ||3,516 ||155 ||%|
|Gain on acquisition of equity method investment||— ||19,818 ||(19,818)||100 ||%|
|Gain on deconsolidation of VIEs||— ||15,025 |