Bloom Energy Corporation (BE) CEO K.R. Sridhar on Q2 2022 Results – Earnings Call Transcript
Bloom Energy Corporation (NYSE:BE) Q2 2022 Earnings Conference Call August 9, 2022 5:00 PM ET
Ed Vallejo – Vice President, Investor Relations
K.R. Sridhar – Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Greg Cameron – Chief Financial Officer
Conference Call Participants
Michael Blum – Wells Fargo
Julien Dumoulin-Smith – Bank of America
Alex Kania – Wolfe Research
Kristen Owen – Oppenheimer
Ben Kallo – Baird
Graham Price – Raymond James
Noel Parks – Tuohy Brothers
Biju Perincheril – Susquehanna
Good afternoon. And thank you for attending today’s Bloom Energy Q2 2022 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Austin, and I’ll be your moderator for today. All lines will be muted during the presentation portion of the call with an opportunity for question-and-answer at the end. [Operator Instructions]
I would now like to pass the conference over to our host, Ed Vallejo, VP, Investor Relations. Ed, you may proceed.
Thank you, and good afternoon everybody. Thank you for joining us for Bloom Energy’s second quarter 2022 earnings call. To supplement this conference call, we furnished our second quarter 2022 earnings press release with the SEC on Form 8-K and have posted it along with supplemental financial information that we will reference throughout this call to our Investor Relations website. Our second quarter 2020 10-Q is also in the process of being submitted today as we speak.
During this conference call, both in our prepared remarks and in answers to your questions, we may make forward-looking statements that represent our expectations regarding future events and our future financial performance. These include statements about the company’s business results, products, new markets, strategy, financial position, liquidity and full-year outlook for 2022.
These statements are predictions based upon our expectations, estimates and assumptions. However, as these statements deal with future events, they are subject to numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties as discussed in detail in our documents filed with the SEC, including our most recently filed Forms 10-Q and 10-K. We assume no obligation to revise any forward-looking statements made on today’s call.
During this call and in our second quarter 2022 earnings press release, we refer to GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measures are not prepared in accordance with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and are in addition to and not a substitute for or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation between the GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures is included in our second quarter 2022 earnings press release available on our Investor Relations website.
Joining me on the call today are K.R. Sridhar, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Greg Cameron, our Chief Financial Officer. K.R. will begin with an overview of our business, then Greg will review the operating and financial highlights of the quarter. And after our prepared remarks, we will have time to take your questions.
I will now turn the call over to K.R.
Hello, everyone. Good day to you. We were delighted to have so many of you join us in-person and through streaming on our Investor Day in May. We were thrilled when we heard back from you on how much you appreciated seeing our innovative technology development, manufacturing excellence, and most importantly, interacting with and experiencing the caliber of our team. We know you left with a better understanding of the power of our platform, its flexibility to rapidly adapt, elect and deploy so many different energy solutions.
In this ever-changing energy marketplace and policy environment, the flexibility of our platform is a unique advantage that sets Bloom Energy apart in the energy industry. This diversity and flexibility of our platform is exactly why we are so excited about the Inflation Reduction Act. This act will enable us to play a pivotal role in accelerating the mission to decarbonize the world.
Unlike many other energy companies, there are many facets of the acts provisions, where we will be able to participate in a material manner.
Let me highlight nine key provisions. One, the hydrogen production credit and a direct pay option for it will greatly accelerate our domestic electrolyzer business. Two, the greater availability of clean hydrogen will create greater demand for Bloom’s, always on high-efficiency hydrogen-powered energy servers. Three, our growing waste to energy segment will get a big lift from the expanded ITC for biogas equipment. Four, the incentive for electric vehicles and their growth will drive demand for our efficient on-site power charging solution. Five, the tax credits for controllers, switchgear and batteries will drive microgrid adoption. Six, the lowering of capture thresholds and the increased credit makes carbon capture with our energy servers very attractive. Seven, the capital equipment in our expanding American factories are eligible for the manufacturing Tax credit. Eight, the increase and the extension of the ITC for our energy servers will strengthen our domestic power business. Nine, the direct pay and transferability features will create greater supply of affordable financing for our US projects.
As a company, whose technology was invented in America, whose products are manufactured in America, by American workers, we are thrilled that the Act acknowledges the importance of domestic content through additional bonus features. So you can see I’m sure glad that we designed a flexible platform that has so many ways to help the world decarbonize. And now we have a national policy that will support us.
Speaking of the flexible platform, I’m excited to share news on our hydrogen electrolyzer. It is not only great news on its own, but also an illustration of the platform flexibility point I just made. Our pilot demonstration at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory is performing at a greater electrical efficiency than any other commercial product or technology demonstration in the world that we know of, operating at 37.7 kilowatt hours of direct electricity to produce 1 kilogram of hydrogen. It is setting a world record. Yes, a world record. The performance of the Bloom electrolyzer is over 30% better than most commercial low-temperature electrolyzers in operation today. And we are just getting started.
It is evident to me that the early markets for hydrogen are going to be one, hard to decarbonize industries like steel, chemicals, cement, et cetera that produce waste heat and use on-site hydrogen. And two, nuclear power plants that have curtailed electricity conditions during portions of the day and excess heat available.
Our product performance that is verified by the DOE FIDO National Laboratory, clearly demonstrates the competitive advantage we have over low-temperature electrolyzers in both these market segments. This competitive advantage is why LSB Industries, the leading North American producer of industrial and agricultural chemicals, announced plans to install a 10-megawatt solid oxide electrolyzer from Bloom Energy at their prior Oklahoma facility.
When integrated with high temperature processes like ammonia synthesis, which produces extra heat energy, Bloom’s electrolyzers will be more efficient in competing electrolyzer technologies, resulting in lower cost hydrogen for LSB.
The clear competitive advantage attainable when combined with nuclear power plants is why Westinghouse Electric Company and Bloom Energy announced signing a Letter of Intent to pursue clean hydrogen production in commercial nuclear power market, the IML demonstration and announcement today should provide greater market momentum going forward.
Let me now switch to our waste to power segment. In July, we were recognized by the American Biogas Council for our dairy biogas to electricity project, conducted in collaboration with CalBio. The Biogas Council cited the project for breaking new ground in the US biogas industry and across the global energy landscape, the first to use renewable biogas to make electricity from fuel cells, to power an on-site microgrid and a fleet of electric vehicles. The project also received the 2022 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.
Our waste-to-energy segment is witnessing solid growth. We are currently developing multiple landfill biogas opportunities, both for the RNG market as well as for electricity generation and the renewable fuels business continues to gain traction with several key development projects utilizing food and agricultural ways.
Let me take a moment to touch on the international opportunity. During our last earnings call in May, we spoke about our interest in entering the European market. In June, we announced the installation of 1 megawatt of Bloom servers at the Ferrari headquarters and manufacturing plant in Maranello, Italy. Ferrari, like Bloom Energy has a commitment to uniqueness, innovation, technology leadership and continuous learning that makes them the ideal partner for our entry into the European manufacturing landscape.
Bloom Energy’s fuel cell platform is a best-in-class solution for a best-in-class luxury automaker. The Bloom Energy servers are expected to cut gas requirements by around 20% from the combined heat and power system now in use at Ferrari, while also reducing emissions. We are showcasing this as a model for other energy-intensive industries in Europe to emulate, a way for them to achieve greater energy security, lower costs and lower carbon footprint, all at the same time and at a time when energy availability, prices and security in Europe are increasingly of great concern.
I’d like to close with the market at home. Digitization, electrification of transportation and onshoring of manufacturing are all adding significantly to increased electricity demand at unprecedented rates. So demand for new power is at an all-time high. On the supply side, the decades-long underinvestment in both power capacity expansion and T&D, the age and disrepair of the existing infrastructure, drought-related reduction in hydroelectric output, the loss of capacity from shutting down coal and nuclear power plants are all creating a shortage of supply. This shortage is significantly greater than the pace at which renewables are being added. In this scenario, utilities are not able to provide additional power to large commercial and industrial customers that are demanding more and demanding them more quickly.
If you are a company committing millions of dollars to build a new facility, you can’t wait for months and even years for the power company to run power lines and connect you to the grid. Only then to see extreme weather effect, your supply of power, shutting down your facility for hours, days, and even weeks. This is an imaginary. It’s the reality company is safe in many parts of the US and in Europe, I might add, whether it’s a Bloom Energy server, delivered on a SCIT and installed within date or it’s a Bloom Energy server power tower in urban settings with very low land needs, our solutions enable customers to solve energy reliability, security, and decarbonization in the manner that best suits their needs with a very quick to power option.
Before I turn it over to Greg, let me just say that we are very pleased with our financial results this quarter. We are maintaining financial and operating discipline as we invest in the business while focusing on cost margins and driving towards improved profitability and positive cash flow.
With that, let me turn this over to Greg for him to elaborate.
Thanks, K.R. I agree with your comments. We had a strong operating quarter. Let me point to a few key highlights that we found in our supplemental financial deck posted to our website. We had record second quarter revenue of $243 million. We improved our non-GAAP gross margins from prior quarter and last year. We are on track for adding an additional 1 gigawatt of manufacturing capacity. We continue to navigate a challenging global supply chain, and we’re reaffirming our 2022 guidance.
With those highlights, let me provide some additional context on our 2Q performance. Our value proposition for our 24/7 always on energy server of resilient, sustainable, and predictable power remains strong. Specifically, our ability to quickly bring additional power to a client site and provide a pathway to decarbonize continues to resonate with our customers.
As K.R. discussed, the time to power value proposition is especially meaningful for manufacturers and data centers when a local utility is unable to provide additional power to support their growth. These tend to be larger sites that require firm and resilient power.
On the path to decarbonization, we’re hearing from our customers that they need real and resilient solution — net zero solutions like hydrogen in the future. We expect these trends to continue to grow, especially with the resurgence of US manufacturing, increasing electrification, the acceleration of the digital economy and the benefits of the inflation Reduction Act.
We continue to navigate a challenging supply chain environment, affecting both price and availability. While much uncertainty remains, our team is doing an amazing job of ensuring that our factories can produce the servers to meet our customers’ needs. We continue to work with our suppliers to ensure that they are making the investments to meet our expected growth, while returning to our historical cost down achievement of 10% to 15% annually, once the environment stabilizes.
Our second quarter non-GAAP gross margins of about 20% improved almost 4 points versus the first quarter and 1.6 points versus prior year. While our unit costs remain temporarily elevated by the commissioning of our new Fremont manufacturing facility, we benefited from an improved pricing mix on the second quarter acceptances.
As we look towards the second half of the year, we expect unit product costs to decrease as capacity increases, enabling us to achieve our targeted margins. As I mentioned during our recent investor conference, to further simplify our business, we executed the sale of a previously consolidated PPA entity this quarter.
By doing so, we eliminated $30.6 million of non-recourse debt, enhanced 2022 margins and simplified our financial reporting. As part of the transaction, we recorded a $45 million non-cash asset impairment charge through our electricity segment that we removed as a pro forma adjustment from our non-GAAP reporting.
We continue to invest in our manufacturing capacity, research and development and our commercial resources. During the first half of the year, we invested working capital to meet second half demand and the capital equipment to build capacity. We maintain sufficient levels of liquidity to fund these investments.
In the second quarter, we commenced operations in our new Fremont facility, and are on track to increase our fuel stack manufacturing capacity from 280 megawatts to 50 megawatts by the end of this year, and over 1 gigawatt by the end of 2023. We are reaffirming our 2022 guidance for revenue, margins and cash flows.
With our strong backlog and pipeline, we remain confident that we will deliver at least 240 megawatts of acceptances this year. Based upon these acceptances, we plan to achieve at least $1.1 billion of revenue, and with roughly 24% non-GAAP gross margin, we expect to deliver positive non-GAAP operating margin and positive cash flow from operations. These will be strong results that when coupled with the manufacturing capacity expansion, should put us on a firm trajectory to grow our revenues and margins in 2023 and beyond.
As we look toward the second half, for the third quarter, I’d expect our acceptances and revenues to increase at our expected annual growth rate. Our cadence for the second half acceptances will be like last year, with our largest acceptances happening in the fourth quarter. As unit costs improved with additional builds, I would expect our third quarter margins to continue to expand slightly from our first half 2022 levels.
In summary, we had a strong operational quarter and are building momentum into the second half of the year. Like other global industrial companies, we are navigating challenges in our supply chain, but we have significant tailwinds with the push for abundant, clean and resilient energy. We have a strong backlog to deliver on our 2022 targets, we believe the company is at an inflection point to build upon our mature technology platform, solid record of accomplishment and robust growth road map. We are extremely excited about our future.
With that, operator, let’s open up the line for questions.
Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is with Michael Blum from Wells Fargo. Michael, your line is open.
Thanks. Good afternoon everybody. So quite a change from last quarter. You’ve got the IRA set to pass here, hopefully soon. But natural gas prices are still pretty stubbornly high. So I’m just wondering if you could talk about — has that changed any of your thoughts in terms of commercialization strategy in the US given that it seems like with all the things that you cited, the hydrogen economy in the US probably is going to expand more rapidly with this new bill?
Michael, this is K.R. Hi, how are you? So that’s a very good question. Look, here is what we are seeing in the marketplace today. The supply/demand mismatch in terms of what large commercial industrial needs for the next three to four to four years, and the difficulty utilities are having in providing that expansion capacity for the next three to five years. That time to power is a really big issue for the companies.
And there, it is not the cost of electricity. It is the opportunity cost for a company to not be able to do business if they don’t have power, not be able to expand. We think, we have a unique microgrid solution offering for people like that. That is a game changer. And in the scheme of things of a company looking at that kind of a scenario, the cost of natural gas should be de minimis to them, the variation in natural gas. So we see that as a huge great business growth opportunity for us.
Equally, the $3 PTC, the availability of ITC that can go up to 50% for companies like ours that manufacture in America and do what we do. All that put together, we see that as a huge impetus for hydrogen and look at the results we just put out with INL. This is a game changer in terms of almost 30% better than in electrical efficiency than anybody else can do. You put all that together, we are excited about hydrogen. So for us, it is a genius of act. We will do both.
Great. Thanks for that. I appreciate it. Second question I wanted to ask was just about the revenue breakdown. So clearly, this year, it’s been weighted much more towards international versus domestic. So, I wanted to just get your view of how that should trend for the rest of the year, and just more on a long-term basis? And then is there a way we can think about gross margins on US versus international? Are there any really difference there? Thanks.
Yes. So hey, Michael, it’s Greg. So on the results for this quarter, very similar to last quarter about 60% plus an international 30%, 40% US-based. The reason that is not at its historical levels, it’s been more around — as you know, we’ve got the large order from SK ecoplant this year, and we’ve prioritized making sure that they get their units for the year as part of their take-or-pay contracts, given our capacity constraints.
As we get into the second half of the year, really as we get into the back half of the second half of the year, our expectation is those – those breakdowns will go back to more of their historical levels, including both what we do in the US and what we do in Korea. I think going forward, though, what you’re going to see is we’re going to continue to grow on our international line. And you’re going to see a lot more diversity in that international line with the addition of Europe with teams over there making traction. So on a go-forward basis, you’re going to see a much larger percentage of our revenues coming out of the international segment, but from multiple continents.
And then on the gross margin question, I would tell you, yes, there’s not a material difference on where it is. We price to…
Okay. Perfect. Thank you.
Our next question is with Julien Dumoulin-Smith from Bank of America. Julien, your line is open.
Hey, good afternoon, team. Thank you for the time. Appreciate it. Congrats on the results. Maybe just kicking things off, obviously, you’re welcome. Just kicking this off on the IRA front, right? You all mentioned it in the remarks, et cetera. I would be curious what kind of additional traction could we see with respect to electrolyzer. Again, you all are very keen to commercialize this product rapidly. Obviously, we’re looking for more awards through the course of the year. How does this shift the pace of what you all had contemplated even back in May at this point as you look at this opportunity and perhaps the enhanced economics that may be involved?
Yes. Thanks, Julien. It’s Greg. When we — yes, we put together a forecast, not only for this year but for the 10-year forecast, build back better was in play at the time. And what we talked about was all of those items, whether it be the PTC for hydrogen or the 45Q for sequestration or ITC or any of those weren’t in our long-term projections based on what we had seen coming out of the build back better.
What’s getting — looks like it’s going to get passed here came out of the Senate as part of the Act on Sunday. Listen, the $3 PTC is very attractive for us. We think it would obviously provide more incentive as projects come online and come online sooner, and those would, I would say, not be factored yet into our forecast of around – around growth of our hydrogen business. We’ll go through the process here. And when it’s time, we’ll update our forecast based on those moving through. But I would say they’d be all things that would accelerate our view on how we grow our hydrogen revenues in the near-term.
Right. So still looking at like three this year or something like that?
We’re still very much focused this year on winning large-scale demonstration projects, where we can show like we did with INL, the technical advantages that we have with solid oxide electrolyzers.
And also Julien, understand our factory by the end of next year, we’ll have a capacity to do 2.5 gigawatts of electrolyzer. So we are building the capacity. We have the supply chain, we have everything. So for us to pivot very quickly to that would be great. How we pivot, how fast we pivot, will all be about maximizing margin.
Right, indeed. And in fact, just if you think about like a target by end of the year, can you talk about one gigawatt by end of 2023 or 2.5 by end of 2023, whichever you think about it. Is there a portion, a mix of that that we should be expecting today that you would be allocating to the electrolyzer side of the business, and/or how are you feeling about being able to fill up just the gigawatt overall in terms of orders into that production ramp?
Julien, what’s great about our technology as we build out the capacity, we’re indifferent and the capacity is indifference. So the supply chain, the manufacturing capacity, all that is can make natural gas, fuel cells, hydrogen fuel cells or electrolyzers and we all run down the same line. So we don’t really need to make those commitments to really the current quarter when we think about deliveries.
And also, Julien, one thing that you guys didn’t ask important to add is the amount of incentives in the bill when passed for waste to power creates an enormous opportunity in like that area. So for us, the factory is indifferent to what it has to build, and it’s all about mix and trying to figure out how to optimize and maximize margin.
Right. Yeah, waste to power indeed is a third angle. Excellent, guys. Well, best of luck, we’ll talk to you soon.
All right, Julien we’ll talk soon.
Our next question is with Alex Kania from Wolfe Research. Alex, your line is open.
Hi, thanks very much for taking my question. Maybe the first thing I’d ask is on the PTC, and changing really the economics of green hydrogen and compounding with your — where’s solid oxide electrolyzers, I mean, how do you think about the long duration end use storage type of solution here? Do you think it’s — how competitive do you think it ultimately could be as a way to oxide [ph] without renewables on the electric grid?
Alex, that’s a very good question. In the long-term, long duration storage will be very attractive. In the short-term, as I mentioned in my prepared remarks, the two markets that I truly believe are going to be the early adopters are hard to decarbonize industries that can use that hydrogen to decarbonize and have a source of heat and have renewable electricity coming to them where you don’t have the logistics, transportation, liquefaction, pressurization, all that involved is the obvious first place where it will play a big role, and it will have a huge impact on the carbon footprint.
That and then the curtail nuclear power where you’re getting in a way, from a marginal cost basis, that electricity for that nuclear operator is free, right, because during the day, it’s being curtailed and to be able to use that in the heat and to produce the hydrogen. So, I truly believe those are the two big immediate opportunities that are going to gravitate to the market. And luckily for us, or by design, we play very well into those two spaces because we are a high temperature electrolyzers that can use that heat. Others that operate at low temperature cannot.
Great. Thanks. And maybe a question for Greg. So you, obviously, I’m sure been — have some many headaches with tax equity. And as mentioned up about the transferability, certainly changes things as well as direct pay. I’m just wondering – how you think about the transfer market, I guess, for PTCs evolving over time and what that meaning for cost of capital. Obviously, there’s driver for certain as well.
Yeah. Listen, I think it’s like any market, right? The more supply comes on it brings increased availability and ultimately brings in better terms and pricing. So having more players come into that space. And I think you’ll get it for two reasons, right? One is, you’ll have the transferability, but you’ll also have some tax levies within the bill that are going to create some additional tax capacity within the market. So I think a lot of these things will bring more players in the space, create more liquidity and hopefully continue to tighten on pricing, which we’ve seen here for a bit.
Great. Thank you very much.
Next question is with Colin Rusch from Oppenheimer. Colin, your line is open.
Great. Thank you so much. This is Kristen on for Colin. Wanted to ask about the opportunities for operating leverage maybe over the next 12 months or with what we’ve been discussing with the IRA, should we be expecting any growth in organizational capacity in anticipation of some of that revenue growth?
Hey, Kristen, it’s Greg. So I think what you’ve seen kind of this year versus last year, is our revenues have been growing nearly at double what our costs have been growing. We’ve got a target here over the long term that we should be about 15% of our revenue should be spent in operating costs. That includes everything from R&D to the G&A, to run the business.
I would expect as our revenues continue to grow at this 25%, 30% level that we’ve targeted and our costs grow less than that, that we’re going to continue to achieve operating leverage. That’s why it’s so important for us this year to get to that operating income positive point, because once we know we cross over that, all that leverage comes in and we continue to grow our operating income going forward.
Thank you for that. And then sort of a similar line of question, but with the initial ramp in the new facility, just any incremental opportunities you may be seeing for additional efficiencies or sort of returning to that cost down ramp that you outlined? Thank you.
Yes, Kristen. We are very focused on getting back to that ramp. Our cost being elevated, even just a couple of hundred dollars a kilowatt is not a position that we are used to being in. We like to focus on a 10% to 15% down. So here’s what we’re doing. Part of this, just gets better as volumes increase in the second half of the year is tooling comes on. We get the operating leverage through that process.
The other thing we’re doing is in for folks that were able to see the Fremont facility in May, we have a tremendous opportunity to look to increase the productivity of our process by how we – how we locate machines, how we use automation, how we get the most for our folks in order to deliver the products through those lines. So we think we’re going to continue to get true operating leverage.
Now, we’ll get the first line on this year. And obviously, you’re seeing it through our financials of going from 280 megawatts to 580 megawatts. Next year, we’re going to double that capacity again, but we’ll do that over the course of a few lines. So we’ll always probably be adding some level of capacity, but we won’t be in a process we’ll be doubling capacity in each year in perpetuity.
That’s super helpful. Thank you so much.
Next question is with Ben Kallo from Baird. Ben, your line is open.
Hey guys, I’m just wondering have you seen any shift in customer orders or anything like that, just because of the IRA and the customers are responding to that in any way? Thank you.
Yeah. Hey Ben, it’s Greg. It’s too soon. I think most customers are — and everyone is still digesting where it is. I think I would only emphasize what we had upfront is we are seeing a tremendous interest in the time to power as businesses are looking to grow. These investments should help alleviate that. But in the near-term, what customers are looking for over the next near-term mean three to five years. The ability to meet their growth targets through the time to power, and that’s where we’re seeing a tremendous amount of customer interest.
Sorry, Ben, this is K.R. There are some adjacencies here that we clearly see as adding to this pressure. For example, the EV market and the incentives that are going to come in the IRA for the EV market is going to suddenly create tremendous demand in congested area’s already from an electricity perspective, for more electricity demand. And so solutions like ours that deferred T&D investment is going to be preferable to adding that distribution. So we can see from a directionality perspective, why all these provisions in the bill are going to help create greater demand for us. But as Greg said, it’s too early for us to see anything tangible come out while the bill is still not cleared at the house and gotten into a bill.
Thank you. And just — I know you guys talked about Europe early on in the year. Just, is that still a place that you can sell to with nat-gas where it is, or does it not matter because there’s certainly more opportunities?
Yes. No, Europe is very interesting to us. We are really excited about the Ferrari deal last quarter and having those units on the ground there for a megawatt to start, and there’s much more opportunity there. I’d say Europe is — remains a very interesting place. Italy, given that we have the units there is creating a lot of buzz and interest. Germany, especially around data centers, time to power is a very interesting market for us.
In the UK time to power as well as it’s got some of the kind of traditional aspects of a US C&I market as far as helping people with resiliency is important there. So we’re finding that our value proposition is gaining a lot of traction in Europe, and we’re really excited to see that grow.
Our next question is with Graham Price from Raymond James. Graham, your line is open.
Okay. Thanks for taking the question. I guess first one, a quick modeling question. I saw that R&D expense understandably bumped up with all the expansion activity. I was just wondering, how to think about the run rate for that going forward?
Hey Graham, it’s Greg. So if you’re looking at it on a — including stock-based compensation, there were some retirements that occurred early in the year that are elevating that a bit. If you look at it ex stock-based compensation, which is the way we look at it, it was up marginally over the quarter. We are definitely investing significantly in there. But from a modeling standpoint, there was a bit of an anomaly in the second quarter versus the first.
Okay. Got it. Thanks. That’s helpful. And then just one more on the IRA. I guess, in view of the new $3 PTC, I was just wondering if you would be interested in owning and operating hydrogen farms. I know that wasn’t a focus area to this point, but would that change at all with this new bill?
Look, we all have to believe that the PTC and everything that’s happened is going to make this market grow enormously into a very big size over time. This is such a huge market to vertically integrate and try to do things that people already know how to do on the front end and back end does not make any sense for us whatsoever, from a Bloom perspective.
We are going to be stay focused on giving people the shovels and the jeans during this $49 rush which they need. Different people may or may not find gold, but we will sell those jeans to everybody that’s going to try to find gold.
Got it. That’s very clear.
Our next question is with Josh Park [ph] from Tuohy Brothers. Josh, your line is open.
It’s Noel. Good afternoon.
Hi. Just had a couple of things. I was wondering, if — also about the IRA, I just wondered if at this point, again, it’s just passing now. Do you have any sense of what the sort of ripple effects — the positive ripple effects could be on your service business? I was also curious if you had any inkling of just what the act might do sort of for faster commercialization of biogas and how that, in turn, could be beneficial to people looking at a Bloom solution?
Yes. So, if you look at the biogas, right, let’s just take that. Just look at the number of incentives that are in place for starters. The biogas plant itself, the digester, the cleanup skid that comes with the biomethane, they are all now eligible for ITC.
If these waste-to-power projects are located in certain disadvantaged communities, there’s a 10% bonus in addition to that. There is about $10 billion allocated for rural electrification projects through the USDA, where the very end of transmission distribution, which does not have reliability, if you can put a micro grid, there is separate grants for that. On top of that, our equipment that goes in is going to get the ITC.
You put all this together; waste has become gold, okay? And so, this is going to be a huge area for us to tie into. We are super excited about that. And the one thing that maybe you’re thinking as a follow-up, and I may be taking the question away from you as carbon capture, right?
Q – Noel Parks
That $85 — with that $85 carbon credit, that’s coming for a ton. And a very important piece of the legislation says even at 5 megawatts. It used to be only at 200 megawatts, you can avail of those subsidies. Now you can avail of those subsidies at 5 megawatts at our emissions kind of rate. So to be able to go from abundant natural gas to 0 carbon electricity, at a price point that is below the grid price is what the 45Q is going to enable, as soon as people figure out how to see Quest to CO2 which is possible in so many different geographies. So, expect in the next few years for this to take off in a big way because we have the technology ready to go right now. All that we need, our people who know how to take that CO2 and pump it into the ground. And that shouldn’t be that hard.
Q – Noel Parks
Right. Absolutely, absolutely. And I guess, sort of a similar line. Just curious, can you talk about on the RSG front, whether your transaction was, EQT has brought any similarly interested parties to the table or if you’re just seeing more going on with initially similar deals?
I can tell you for our customers — C&I customers in the US, when we talk to them about us future proofing them and stepping them in a very thoughtful way without any bumps to their decarbonization goals, the RSG becomes a very important starting step, it’s the immediate first thing with which they can do something good for themselves and for the planet and for their ESG requirements. So, we are seeing that to be very, very attractive to our C&I customers when we are talking to them.
Q – Noel Parks
Great. Thanks a lot.
Our final question will be with Biju Perincheril with Susquehanna. Biju, your line is open.
Hi, thanks. Good afternoon. I think, K.R., you touched on my question that was sort of taken the ways to gas opportunities and the carbon capture technology and sort of combine the two to produce negative carbon electricity. So, I guess for that to work, how much the way the gas projects have to scale up? And how do you – what are the ways to scale that up? I mean is there an opportunity to use something on than just the natural waste another words? Some articles on grass to gas type of projects. So just wondering about that?
So that’s a great question, Biju. So, here’s what I would say, right? If we just start with wastewater treatment, if we deal with animal waste and if we deal with biowaste, that alone is several gigawatts worth of opportunity to start with, their waste is already being created. But I think the question that you’re bringing up is having, producing crops and using that biomass to be able to do this as a way of further benefiting the climate and the planet as well as creating a market for us
There is a way that we are already engaged in that’s helping that, in that there are several companies focused on producing biofuels today. And they actually take a crop and make biofuels with that. And their carbon intensity score depends on the intensity of the electricity that they use. And we are able to offer them a phenomenal option with our electric power because of which their CI scores go down and the monetization they get on the other end on the LCFS is extremely high. This is a very, very attractive segment for that. That’s the next step, okay? Between these two, there are gigawatts worth of opportunities.
Got it. So there is an opportunity here to sort of access the carbon credits market down the road. What – these technologies?
Yes, for our customers.
Yes, for our customers to monetize and therefore, for them to appropriately pay us for the equipment that we provide to them.
Correct. Thank you. That’s very helpful.
Well, thank you all for attending the call here. So let me summarize. First and foremost, what you heard from us today is we are performing in a very difficult market, in a very difficult macro condition in terms of supply chain, labor, everything that everybody faces, but you can see from the results we are executing, we’re doing well. And I’m very proud of the Bloom team that is dedicated, passionate and delivering great results for us. That’s the first thing.
The IRA is truly wind on our backs. It’s unlike most energy companies, it’s going to help us in so many different ways that we talk to even through the Q&A. And — the good news for us is our platform technology allows us to just pivot to whatever markets at whatever point in time that will provide us the best optionality in terms of growth and margin. So we will not only look for margin, but we will look for margin in places that have tremendous growth opportunity. This is how we’re going to make the decisions, and we have built a company and a leadership team that can be nimble, that is savvy and can execute to that — to the level of flexibility that our platform actually offers. So I’m super excited about what the future holds for us. And I think we are off to a different chapter when it comes to decarbonizing the planet post the IRA here in the US. And I don’t want to not mention similar dynamics are happening in Europe. In Asia, we’re already growing. You put all that together, we are building a global company, whose mission is to decarbonize the planet. Thank you for joining us.
That concludes today’s call. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect your lines.