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AES Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript


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Participants

Corporate Executives

  • Susan Harcourt
    Vice President of Investor Relations
  • Andres Gluski
    President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Steve Coughlin
    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the AES Corporation's Second Quarter 2022 Financial Review Call. My name is Irene and I will be coordinating this event. [Operator Instructions].

I would like to turn the conference over to our host, Susan Harcourt, Vice President of Investor Relations. Susan, please go ahead.

Susan Harcourt
Vice President of Investor Relations at AES

Thank you, operator. Good morning, and welcome to our second quarter 2022 financial review call. Our press release, presentation and related financial information are available on our website at aes.com.

Today, we will be making forward-looking statements. There are many factors that may cause future results to differ materially from these statements, which are discussed in our most recent 10-K and 10-Q filed with the SEC. Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures can be found on our website along with the presentation.

Joining me this morning are Andres Gluski, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Steve Coughlin, our Chief Financial Officer; and other senior members of our management team.

With that, I will turn the call over to Andres.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Good morning, everyone. And thank you for joining our second quarter 2022 financial review call. As you have seen from our earnings release, we reported second quarter adjusted EPS of $0.34, which was in line with our expectations and consistent with our historical quarterly earnings profile. Our CFO, Steve Coughlin will discuss our financial results in more detail.

Based on our year-to-date results and outlook for the second half of the year, we are reaffirming our 2022 guidance and our expectation for annualized growth in adjusted EPS and parent free cash flow up 7% to 9% through 2025.

I would also note that our guidance and expectations do not include any benefit for proposed US climate legislation which we see as a meaningful source of potential upside. As it would drive additional demand for renewables and energy storage and accelerate the development of green hydrogen projects in the US.

This morning I will discuss our strategy in the context of two broad themes. First, our resilience to macro-economic volatility, including high inflation high commodity prices, fluctuations in foreign currency and ongoing supply chain constraints. And second, continued strong demand for renewables, particularly from corporate and industrial customers. With this backdrop in mind, I will discuss the robustness of our business. And also review our disciplined approach to growth, both of which provide us with full confidence in our ability to hit our financial and strategic goals this year and beyond.

Beginning with our resilience, on Slide 4. As a result of the transformation of our portfolio over the last 10 years, our financial results this quarter were insulated from the impacts of rising inflation, depreciating US dollar and volatile commodity prices. We do not expect any of these factors to have any impact on our full year results.

As I have discussed on previous calls 85% of our adjusted pre-tax contribution is derived from long-term contracts for generation at our regulated utilities. For the 15% of our earnings, that is not derived from long-term contracts or Utilities, such as our legacy Southland business in California, or the 10% that is not denominated in US dollars, we have largely hedged both exposures.

In some cases, our strong contractual arrangements have allowed for additional upside. Throughout 2022 we have signed agreements to redirect excess LNG from Panama to international customers. The benefits of these agreements will accrue through the remainder of the year. And we have the potential to sign similar agreements next year, depending on market conditions.

Turning to construction and supply chain, on Slide 5. Our strategic sourcing and ability to execute on our commitments, our key competitive advantages and we expect to complete all of the projects in our 10.5 gigawatt backlog with no cancellations or significant changes. We take a proactive approach to working with our suppliers and as a result we had all of the solar panels required for our 2022 projects in country earlier this year.

More recently we work to quickly resume imports following the Biden Administration's June Executive Board and none of our suppliers panels have been stopped by customers this year. We also took decisive steps to further decrease solar panel suppliers by creating a more robust US supply chain.

In June, we launched the US Solar Buyer Consortium along with 3 other solar developers, to significantly drive the expansion of domestic solar manufacturing. Collectively, we committed to purchasing more than $6 billion of solar panels for manufacturers that can supply up to 7 gigawatt of solar modules per year made in the USA, starting from 2024.

Therefore, despite industry wide supply chain challenges, we do not anticipate any major delays to our US renewables backlog of 5.9 gigawatts. I would note that only 2 projects have been shifted from 2022 to 2023 and these were move, as a result of changes requested by customers. With no impact on our guidance and expectations for this year or next.

In addition, we recently broke ground on the largest utility-scale solar plus storage projects in the State of Hawaii. Across the state, we have more renewable projects under development and or under construction than anyone else.

As you can see on Slide 6, we anticipate completing 1.8 gigawatts of new renewable globally this year. 4.6 gigawatts next year, for a total of 6.4 gigawatts by the end of 2023.

Turning to Slide 7, looking to our future growth. We continue to see strong demand for renewables from our key customer groups. Despite increases in the cost of renewables resulting from inflation and supply chain constraints. The far greater increase in the cost of fossil fuels has made renewable energy even more price-competitive, as a result demand from corporate customers has never been higher.

So far this year we have signed have been awarded 1.6 gigawatt of long-term renewable PPAs. The majority of which have been negotiated on a bilateral basis. For full-year 2022 we continue to expect to reach a total of 4.5 to 5.5 gigawatt. As shown on slide 8, we now have a backlog of 10.5 gigawatt all of which is expected to come online through 2025.

Turning to Slide 9. I'd like to note that we currently have 13.7 gigawatts of renewables in operation. So this backlog of projects in construction or with signed PPAs represent more than 75% growth in our installed renewable capacity over the next four years. Including additional PPAs, we expect to sign by 2025 our portfolio will grow to almost 50 gigawatt of which 77% will be renewable. We also expect to have completely exited coal at that time. As we scale up in renewables, we continue to complement our portfolio with innovative businesses and solution, which require the best talent in order to deliver on our commitments.

Earlier this week, Fast Company recognized AES in their top 10 ranking of best workplaces for innovators and as the winner in the category of Best Workplaces for early career innovator. We are very proud of receiving this recognition and our innovative team and their many accomplishments.

Additionally, although we don't have any specific announcements to make today, we continue to make good progress on our two large green hydrogen projects in the US and Chile. These projects include the integration of electrolyzers and renewable and has the potential to provide significant new sources of growth. I will provide additional updates in the coming months.

In the meantime, we launched a 2.5 megawatt pilot project in Chile. This project will be a hydrogen fueling station and will produce up to one metric ton of green hydrogen per day.

Finally, turning to Slide 10. Growth opportunities at our US utilities represent one of the key drivers of our overall 7% to 9% annual growth in earnings and cash flow. This growth also advances our objective of increasing the proportion of our earnings from the US to 50%. As a reminder, in both Indiana and Ohio, we have the lowest residential rates in each state, providing a great runway for growth and investment while keeping rates affordable for our customers.

Through 2025, we expect to invest a total of $4 billion in new renewables generation, transmission, modernization and smart grid at our U.S. utilities. These investments will improve our customers' experience and translate to average annual rate base growth of 9%, which is at the high end of growth projection for U.S. utility. We expect the earnings from these core businesses to grow in line with the rate base.

At AES Ohio, we are currently awaiting the commission's decision on our distribution rate case. As a reminder, we see significant opportunity to invest to improve reliability and strengthen AES Ohio's balance sheet while remaining cost competitive.

With that, I will now turn the call over to our CFO, Steve Coughlin.

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Thank you, Andres, and good morning, everyone. Today, I will discuss our second quarter results, 2022 parent capital allocation and 2022 guidance.

Turning to our financial results for the quarter, beginning on Slide 12. I'm pleased to share that we had a good second quarter in line with our expectations, which keeps us well on track for our full year guidance. Adjusted EPS was $0.34 versus $0.31 last year, driven by growth in our core business segments, higher margins, primarily at AES Andes and a lower adjusted tax rate. These positive contributions were partially offset by the higher share count as a result of the accounting adjustment we made for our equity units, higher parent interest expense related to growth funding and one-time outages at select thermal businesses. These outages were primarily driven by turbine manufacturer component defects and the plants impacted are now all back online.

There are two additional points I would like to highlight from the second quarter. First, we successfully closed several non-recourse subsidiary financing, extending tenures at very attractive rates and expanding facilities that support our renewables growth. And second, our collections and days sales outstanding in all of our businesses remain strong, reflecting our predominantly investment-grade rated customer base.

Turning to Slide 13. Adjusted pretax contribution, or PTC, was $304 million for the quarter, which was relatively flat year-over-year, consistent with the drivers I just discussed. I'll cover the performance of our strategic business units, or SBUs, in more detail over the next 4 slides, beginning on Slide 14.

In the U.S. in Utilities SBU, lower PTC was driven primarily by outages at Southland and AES Indiana, as well as lower contributions from AES Clean Energy due to increased investment in renewables development. Contributions from new clean energy project commissioning's will be more skewed through the second half of the year. Higher PTC at our South America SBU was mostly driven by higher contributions from AES Andes resulting from our increased ownership as well as higher margins, but partially offset by the outages I previously mentioned.

Higher PTC at our Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, or MCAC SBU, primarily reflects favorable market conditions caused by better hydrology in Panama. As Andres discussed, the reduced need for thermal generation in Panama has allowed us to sell our excess LNG on the international market at higher prices, which will serve as a positive driver in the remainder of the year.

Finally, in Eurasia, while our business performance has been very strong, the lower PTC reflects higher interest expense coming from additional non-recourse debt at one of our Eurasia holdco.

Now to Slide 18. We are on track to achieve our full year 2022 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1. 55 to $1.65. Our typical quarterly earnings profile is more heavily weighted toward Q3 and Q4 with about two-thirds of our earnings occurring in the second half of the year. We continue to expect a similar profile this year as we grow more in the U. S. where earnings are higher in the second half based on solar generation profiles, utility demand seasonality, the commissioning of more new projects in the third and fourth quarters and higher demand at Southland and the peak cooling months in Southern California.

Growth in the year to go will be primarily driven by contributions from new businesses, including 1.4 gigawatts of projects in our backlog coming online over the next 6 months, as well as further accretion from our increased ownership of AES Andes, higher LNG revenues and growth at our US utilities.

We are also reaffirming our expected 7% to 9% average annual growth target through 2025 based on our expected growth in renewables, energy storage and U.S. utilities. Our guidance also assumes the recycling of capital from many of our thermal businesses into those 3 growth areas across our portfolio.

Now to our 2022 parent capital allocation plan on Slide 19. Sources reflect approximately $1.6 billion of total discretionary cash, including $900 million of parent free cash flow. Due to timing uncertainty around our planned asset sales, we are now expecting to achieve the lower end of our $500 million to $700 million asset sales target within the year, with the remaining sales expected to close in 2023. To fund our strong growth expectations until the asset sales are completed, we plan to issue approximately $200 million of new parent debt, which was already included in the long-term capital allocation plan we laid out earlier this year.

On the right-hand side, you can see our planned use of capital. We will return nearly $500 million to shareholders this year. This consists of our common share dividend, including the 5% increase we announced last December and a coupon on the equity units. We plan to invest approximately $1.1 billion in our subsidiaries as we capitalize on attractive opportunities for growth. About half of these investments are in renewables, reflecting our success in securing new long-term contracts during 2021 and our expectations for 2022. Nearly 1/4 of these investments are in our US utilities to fund rate base growth with a continued focus on grid and fleet modernization.

In summary, nearly 3/4 of our investments this year are going to grow AES' renewables businesses in our U.S. utilities, reflecting our commitment to continue executing on AES' portfolio transformation. We have made great progress on our growth investments so far this year and remain on track with our annual investment targets. We will continue to allocate our capital in line with our strategy to lead in renewables, grow our utilities by 9% annually and to recycle capital out of thermal assets to decarbonize our portfolio.

With that, I'll turn the call back over to Andres.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Thank you, Steve. In summary, our actions and strategy have put us in a strong position to achieve this year's guidance and a 7% to 9% annualized growth through 2025. Once again, our portfolio of businesses is proving its resilience to any macro-economic volatility in the US or internationally. We have signed or been awarded 1.6 gigawatts of new renewable PPAs year-to-date, and we're targeting 4.5 gigawatts to 5.5 gigawatts this year. Our backlog has reached 10.5 gigawatts, and our construction schedule has not been affected by supply chain issues.

To further derisk our supply chain, we have led a consortium to buy up to 7 gigawatts of US made solar panels annually starting in 2024. Finally, we see significant upside to our growth, including green hydrogen in the US should the proposed Inflation Reduction Act be approved.

With that, I would like to open up the call for questions.

Questions and Answers

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question comes from Insoo Kim from Goldman Sachs. Insoo, your line is open.

Insoo Kim
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Thank you. First question starting off with the IRA Bill. Thank you for the comments on potential upside and all that stuff. I guess, are you inferring that if this bill does pass as proposed that you could potentially see upside to your 7% to 9% EPS growth over the next few years kind of on a CAGR basis?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. Good morning, Insoo. Look, what we're saying is that there is a number of very good opportunities, which would be certainly made more likely by the IRA bill. And one of them, for example, is green hydrogen in the US. We'd also expect greater demand of from utilities and corporate customers as well. So it's generally. So rather than say we're going to exceed that, it certainly would push us towards the higher end if these come true. So that's how I would think about it.

Insoo Kim
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Okay. And you think at that higher end, there's enough visibility of that if the components of the bill has passed?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. I mean, I think there will be discrete projects, potentially in green hydrogen. And also you would see it in the number of renewables that we signed in the US.

Insoo Kim
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Got it. My second question, on that consortium for domestic panel manufacturing on solar. How should we think about what that does for the projects that get those panels domestically from a cost perspective and just any changes to the return profile for those projects that we should be considering?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

This starts in 2024. I would say that the major component is the security of supply. As we've seen this just this week, having a domestic manufacturing is very beneficial. You'll also see that Fluence came out with an announcement that they're going to manufacture their modules in Utah here in the States. So I'd say, look, it's large enough that it should be cost competitive, and so this would be incorporated, and we have to see what is the market clearing prices here in the US for solar projects.

Now as we talked about in the past, most of our projects in the US are bilateral, negotiated with corporate clients. We're not just adding a generic clean kilowatt hours, we're also adding other features and more value for our customers. So I think this will help us be more cost competitive. I think that -- but the most important factor is that it will insulate us from any sort of trade restrictions in the future on the imports of solar panels from Asia. So that is the, I think, the main benefit.

Insoo Kim
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Understood. Thank you so much.

Operator

Our next question comes from David Arcaro from Morgan Stanley. David, you may ask your question.

David Arcaro
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Hi, good morning. Thanks so much for taking my question. I was wondering on the pace of PPA signings here. What's the pace we should expect through the rest of the year? We've seen a, I guess, a bit of a slowdown in the second quarter with the uncertainty around the tariff. But what's your confidence level right now in still achieving that 4.5 gigawatt to 5.5 gigawatt level by the end of the year?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. Good morning, David. As I had said on the prior call that we expected this to be more weighted towards the second half of the year because of uncertainties that we continue to negotiate it with key clients, but there was a certain amount of price uncertainty that we had to have cleared and that has occurred. So just as we speak right now, we expect to sign a another 500 megawatts roughly today, and that would bring us up to 2.1 gigawatts. So as of, again, we expect sort of breaking news, we expect them to be signing as we speak. And if that occurs, then we would be at 2.1 gigawatts, which is close to the half of the bottom range, but we do expect activity to pick up in the second half. So we feel confident that we'll be in the range of 4.5 gigawatts to 5.5 gigawatts. These are lumpy. So you noticed that this -- it's not like we're signing them in 50-megawatt increments. It had this occurred one day earlier, the information on the press release and our disclosure would have been different. So we expect to sign this morning. And with that, we'd be at 2.1 gigawatts.

David Arcaro
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Got it. Okay. No, that's great to hear. It sounds like active dialogue going on obviously. And then I just -- I wanted to touch on foreign exchange. We've seen some sizable moves in the foreign exchange rates. But are you seeing -- or any way you could quantify the potential kind of drag there is some impact on future years? And if efforts are kind of underway to look for offsets and to manage that, any downside exposure there?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes, this is Steve. So we are -- I think you're asking for the longer term, but we are very well hedged through 2023, even a little bit beyond. So actually, we actually see some net upside, frankly, this year based on our hedge positions. The other thing to keep in mind is that we're about 90% of our business is US dollar denominated. So where we're exposed is a limited set of businesses, it's Argentina, it's Brazil and Colombia. So it's basically a fairly small exposure. I think, in fact, in Brazil, we've seen the real appreciate this year, so we've had some favorability there. So I would say, really, it's just we have to keep our eye on Argentina. We have ways to mitigate that. We have expenses in the country of local debt in the country. So it's manageable within the guidance is how I would look at it.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. I would add also that part of that is Bulgaria, which is euros. So if you look at between dollars and euros, you're probably getting to about 95%. So we're very much in strong currency. This is, again, a decade of work and with the great job that the finance team has done in shaping our portfolio, but also making sure that the new contracts we sign are primarily in dollars.

David Arcaro
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Got it. That's helpful. Thank you so much.

Operator

Our next question comes from Durgesh Chopra from Evercore. Durgesh, your line is open.

Durgesh Chopra
Analyst at Evercore ISI

Good morning, team Andres. Breaking news in the 500 megawatts. Can you -- is that what with 1 customer? Congrats by the way. Is that with 1 customer or is that multiple customers?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

That is 1 transaction. That is 1 transaction.

Durgesh Chopra
Analyst at Evercore ISI

Excellent. Congrats on that. Okay. So I wanted to kind of dig in a little bit on the alternative minimum tax and how do you think that impacts you and your business. I mean, I think the last time we talked about it, the headwind was offset by credits. Maybe just talk to that. And then, Andres, I'd love to get your views on this transferability concept that is introduced in the bill. How do you think that works?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Okay. So I'll take on the tax side, I guess. So, look, it is still somewhat early. The situation is still fluid and moving around. But based on what we know at this point, we don't see any material impact from the 15% global minimum tax in the near term. So we'll continue to look into the details and monitor it, and we'll make a final assessment once the bill is finalized. If anything, it would be several years into the future, and I would expect that we would have offsets and planning activities by that time.

So basically, this is like a -- it's a parallel methodology. We already are subject to the GILTI tax regime. This is just another way of calculating to ensure you reach a minimum. Again, I don't expect and our tax doesn't expect it to impact us over the next few years.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. Regarding your question on transferability, this is being able to sell tax credits to third parties. We don't see like a major impact, but we see it as an additional tool in our cash management practices. So that's favorable.

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. I mean it could impact the way tax equity partnerships are structured, could make it simpler perhaps. So we've got to see what all the rules are around the transferability first. But if anything, it looks that it may make the financing structure simpler to manage and account for.

Durgesh Chopra
Analyst at Evercore ISI

Got it. Okay, I appreciated its early. So, thank you for the discussion. Maybe just a really quick follow-up. Steve, when you say several years out on the alternative minimum tax, is that because of your US businesses are not of that $1 billion threshold. Is that why it is? Or when you say several years out, what does that mean?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. So there is a $1 billion test as you referred to. So I don't expect that we would meet that. And there's like a 3-year, I think, averaging of that. I don't expect we would meet that for several years to come.

Durgesh Chopra
Analyst at Evercore ISI

Got it. Thanks for the time guys.

Operator

Our next question comes from Richard Sunderland from JPMorgan. Richard, your line is open.

Richard Sunderland
Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Hi, good morning. Thanks for the time today. Starting with the 2H walk, I see $0.08 from new renewables. I'm curious is that pretty locked in given your commentary around only 2 projects shifting into 2023? I guess, similarly on that front, the $0.08 of LNG utilities and other, can you break that down to the component uses and relative line of sight to the U.S. utilities portion you've given Ohio remains outstanding?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. So the $0.08 of renewables, yes, I feel very good about both of these buckets, frankly. So the renewables is both the growth in new projects, as well as we do have some higher generation out of our hydro portfolio. As you recall, last year was a poor hydro year. So that's in that bucket as well. And then on the utilities and LNG side, as Andres mentioned, we've had -- we've been really on the right side of things with the commodities this year. So LNG international prices are quite high. We have LNG position, of course, in our MCAC unit, specifically in Panama, where we've had quite a wet year, we've been able to not use that gas in Panama and redirect those cargoes and sell them on the international market.

So there -- while that's not in the year-to-date, it is a year to go favorability. So that's a little over half, I would say, of that $0.08. We've got some additional utility growth baked in for the second half of the year. Those are the 2 primary components of that $0.08. And frankly, I see potential for even more upside.

So that's -- and then I think you asked about Ohio as well. So with Ohio, where -- as Andres said in his comments, we don't yet have a decision. It's not something that we had a material contribution assumed from the new rates this year. So certainly, we look forward to a decision, continue to expect a constructive outcome. But it's not going to be a driver one way or the other for this year.

Richard Sunderland
Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Understood. I appreciate the color there. And they're thinking broadly about the US green hydrogen opportunity. How do you think this ties in with the existing renewables platform? How could it expand, I guess, both the demand for new renewables and timing with some of the more complex structured products opportunities you capitalized on in the past 2 years?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Well, as we said in the past, we are looking at partnerships with producers of hydrogen to actually get more integrated in the whole production chain. So what's very interesting is that the problem of producing cheap green hydrogen is very much like supplying 24/7, 100% green energy or carbon-free energy to data centers. So we think we have a leg up here.

So we're working on this. If the legislation passes, then it's very likely to move forward. So that's what we've been waiting for. In the meantime, in Chile, we have a different project, which obviously does not depend on this. And that would be much more to supply the local market. And we have done a very good job of decarbonizing the Chilean system and the mining sector in particular. So we feel good about both of these, and these would be significant projects. So they would accelerate the growth of renewables because of the additional demand.

Richard Sunderland
Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Understood. Very helpful. Just one final cleanup for me. The Southland outage, what led to that and any [Indecipherable] impact there?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. So it was actually Southland and also it was the same root cause at Indiana. So there are veins on the turbine compressor unit, I understand. So don't go to go into too much detail, but they -- there's a failure of component related to manufacturing defect. And so those units both have replacements in Eagle Valley in Indiana and our Southland, the New Southland combined cycles in the gas turbine. So those have been replaced. They are both back online at this point.

Richard Sunderland
Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Understood. Thank you for the time today.

Operator

Our next question comes from Angie Storozynski from Seaport. Angie, your line is open.

Angie Storozynski
Analyst at Seaport Global Securities

Thank you. So I wanted to go back to the Ohio rate case. I understand that it has no impact on the timing of the those decision on 2022, but it will have on '23. I mean, by all accounts, it sounds like you will have to file an ESP. So it might take time, right, to the final of the resolution? So there should be an impact in '23. And so in that context, I mean, can you -- I mean, you mentioned that there is additional optionality around the LNG cargoes that could impact '23. So is it fair to assume that any impact from that Ohio rate case delay could be mitigated by the shifting of the LNG cargoes also in '23?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

I mean, it certainly could be. We're not necessarily attributing 1 as an offset to the other, Angie. So the issue -- the staff had already come out and supported a rate increase. The issue at hand was whether because we've historically had this rate stability charge in place. It's been in place for about 20 years now, whether the rate -- any new rates could be implemented while that charge is still in place.

And so that's, I think, the fundamental issue on being evaluated by the commissioners. If, in fact, the rates are frozen, we'll move quickly to file a new ESP and that will have new riders associated with it. And so it would be more of a delay than anything. So at that point, the current rate stability charge would stay in place, we would file a new ESP and we would then -- and that the new rates would be implemented once that ESP has been approved. So that would take into the middle of next year to some delay.

We're still optimistic based on our belief of the -- our legal position here that the rate freeze is not necessary or not -- should not be required that the outcome will be in our favor on that. But regardless, we see a path to what we included in our guidance just could be a delay if we have to go down the path of the rate freeze, as I described to get that ESP filed.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

And Angie, maybe to describe a little bit the opportunity in Panama. We have hydro, but we also have the LNG regasification terminal being at Henry Hub prices. Of course, Henry Hub prices plus transportation, liquefaction, regasification. But nonetheless, it's kind of a one-sided bet because we have enough cash to fulfill our contracts, but we had the opportunity if there is a lot of water, a lot of water in the reservoirs, to not burn, and therefore, ship those cargoes to international customers at obviously the international rates. So there's a very interesting arbitrage opportunity there. So it's a one-sided bet. If it stops raining or if the reservoir levels fall, then we'll just consume the gas and fulfill our contracts.

Angie Storozynski
Analyst at Seaport Global Securities

And how sort of are you going to know that? So in a sense, I mean, it's hard to predict hydro conditions, but, I mean, is it a bit like a rainy season by some months?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. So look, it's been raining a lot. So the rainy season has started. The reservoirs are full, and that's why we're able to make these sell gas to international customers and get that arbitrage. What I'm referring to more really would be '23, do these conditions persist? Or does, say, '23 start off being a very dry year. So for '22, we're locked in. It's really a question of will this opportunity repeat in '23.

Angie Storozynski
Analyst at Seaport Global Securities

Okay. So moving on to the other inflation bill. So I understand the comments you made about green hydrogen and energy storage. But when you actually listen to smaller developers, they are also talking about maybe installing -- adding solar PV to existing sites of conventional power assets, retrofitting existing assets with storage facilities. I mean, some changes in repowering of wind farms. I mean, there are some, I would say, secondary benefits from that bill, which could also benefit your portfolio. I guess, it depends on the age of your contracts and how heavy they are in the money. But could you talk about, again, benefits or additional benefits that this bill could add to your existing portfolio?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. Well, of course, I think it helps repowering and add-ons. What we have to see is that we already have contracts in these places. And so the question is, do we negotiate an additional contract from that location based on -- we've done repowering already, we're starting to -- we've been repowering units in California at Mountain View and also we plan to do some in Maryland at Laurel Mountain.

So this helps those to happen. And you're right. It does -- one does have to look at what you have existing and what additional opportunities there. But since we are on the renewable side pretty much fully contracted, then the question would be that additional energy, do you -- is there an adder that you could add to the same client to keep it simple? Or what are the opportunities there? But you're right, this is an upside that's smaller, so we haven't talked that much about it.

Angie Storozynski
Analyst at Seaport Global Securities

Okay. And lastly, I mean, we saw these media reports about Vietnam and offshore wind. I mean, I don't think that I've ever imagined see AES and offshore winds in the same sentence. So could you talk about that opportunity?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Sure. You noticed it was in our press release. First, so I'd say, look, this is a -- we're in Vietnam. We're helping the Vietnamese come up with a plan to decarbonize their grid. So we do have the LNG terminal project there. And we are -- have been talking about bringing in energy storage and other renewables. So to eliminate the need for additional coal plants.

So at this point, I'd say this was more sort of an exploratory issue. We will be very disciplined and committed to all the goals that we've given, 50% U.S., 50% renewables. Now whenever we get into a new technology, we'd obviously have to partner with somebody. So we haven't done any offshore wind because it didn't make sense economically. The markets we're in, like the US, there's still plenty of land, and it just really wasn't cost competitive.

But we have nothing, let's say, against the technology itself. But of course, we would have to partner with somebody who has a long experience. And so we're not going to get into a new technology in a large scale on our own at this time. And so this was -- again, this is not an announcement from us, and what we guarantee is we're going to stick to the exact goals that we have given you.

Angie Storozynski
Analyst at Seaport Global Securities

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Julien Dumoulin Smith from Bank of America. Julien, your line is open.

Unidentified Participant
at AES

Hi, good morning. It's Paul Zimbardo siting in this busy morning. Thanks a lot. I wanted to check in. I believe the last long-term guidance you gave for AES Next was breakeven net income by the end of the plan in 2025. That's still a good assumption? And how could that evolve under the Inflation Reduction Act?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. Actually, it was 2024, Paul, that I said that. So look, Fluence is the largest component of Next. So I can't go into detail, they'll have their call soon, and we'll talk about their performance. But they've been executing on a number of things lately. As Andres talked about, they are launching their Utah manufacturing facility. They're diversifying their battery supply base. So we fully expect, based on what they've guided to, which is that they'll be bottom line neutral by 2024. That's very consistent with what we've included in our guidance as well. And so I would say they'll talk about their progress, but we feel good about both. But Fluence is doing as well as the levers that AES has regardless of what happens with Fluence that, that portfolio will be neutral and then growing from there.

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

And maybe speak a little bit about the other components like Uplight. As you know, they did the deal with Schneider Electric. So they now have a much, let's say, wider product offering and very strong strategic partner in Schneider. And then you have 5B, which is the producer of Maverick, the prefab solar. We're seeing a lot of interest in Maverick, where you have the first large-scale projects being completed in Chile. We have big projects in Puerto Rico. And we've already done a small project in Panama. So what's very important about this product is that it's hurricane wind resistant. So we're seeing a lot of interest in all sort of hurricane built of the Caribbean for this product.

And there's also been a change of government in Australia. This is an Australian company. So they have very large projects in Australia, which were looking very favorably and that's the sort of hometown [Indecipherable]. So we feel good about that as well. So overall, we feel that AES Next is fulfilling its mission of really giving us the leading-edge technologies and giving us the opportunity to be the first to roll them out.

Unidentified Participant
at AES

Okay. Great. Thank you. And then just separately, could you please elaborate a little bit on the recent California legislation and how that would impact either extending, increasing or both the cash flows from the gas assets you have there?

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. No, we feel very optimistic. So we have, as I talked about previously, we've only included Southland legacy businesses, you've got Alamitos, Huntington Beach and Redondo through 2023. So it may not be all 3 plants, but I would say probably at least 2 that we would expect to be extended possibly for several years. So the formal process, I would expect in terms of permitting, the ones through cooling permits that are needed, et cetera, will likely kick off here in the next 1 to 2 months. And then that will run into the first, say, half of next year, through the first half of next year.

As we've done in the past, when we've been facing a potential extension, we've looked to do where we've executed contingent capacity contracts, continued upon the permitting and all that going forward. So we'll start looking at commercial opportunities for the extensions once the formal process gets underway in the state. And so we'll have more certainty next year, but I would say we're all very optimistic here that given the fundamentals of the California system and the droughts in the Southwest of the US, but that additional peak capacity is going to be needed for several years to come. And so we feel we're in a good position to provide that and that will provide some upside to our plan.

Unidentified Participant
at AES

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from David Peters from Wolfe Research. David, your line is open.

David Peters
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Good morning, everyone. Andres, I was just wondering if you could comment specifically with respect to the US LPA. We've heard from some companies here recently that they're seeing issues with panels being stopped recently at the border. Just wondering if you all are seeing this at all, and if not, kind of what you're doing differently, I guess?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. The weaker Forced Labor Prevention Act, we have not seen any of our panel imports stopped by [Indecipherable]. As you know, we've been on top of this matter for a long time, the polysilicon -- first, the panels that we import to the US come from Southeast Asia, ASEAN countries. And we have asked the manufacturers to make sure that there's nothing that comes from Western China that could be allegedly using forced labor. Polysilicon, the plan is that we're starting to use polysilicon coming from Korea. And that China would be the more likely place where you -- there could be allegations of forced labor.

But as you know, the making of the wafers themselves, 95% of that today is still occurring in China. So we have to move that supply chain out of China, but it's going to take some time. But the short answer is no, we haven't seen anything, and we believe our suppliers are the best place not to have any issues and documentations, and we've been working with them for a long time now. So this is nothing new, but we have to just see how this develops. So we don't expect any major issues.

David Peters
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Great. And then just one other one on the asset sale target being at the low end, and I guess you're expecting a little less dilution this year as a result, too. Can you just give a little bit more of an update on the processes in Vietnam and Jordan? And just when are those expected to close, I guess?

Andres Gluski
President and Chief Executive Officer at AES

Yes. Look, what's basically have at least have to do with government approval. So we've agreed with our counterpart. It's not a question of price. It's just a question that the government -- well, in the case of Vietnam, it's been the government's approval of the new operator of the plant. And so that's taken some time for them to get comfortable with it. That's why it's dragged on. But we do expect resolution by the end of this year.

And the other case, I think you mentioned is Jordan, and that really has to do with some of the lenders, including the US government signing off on the loans to the new buyers. So these have been really just bureaucratic issues, but the sale price, the buyer, the conditions have all been agreed to, and it has taken longer than we expected.

Steve Coughlin
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AES

Yes. And that's the majority of the $500 million. So we feel good, as Andres said, we'll get there on those by the end of this year. And then we have been working on additional sales and sell-downs of primarily thermal businesses. So as we work towards those and the timing around those, some variability, it looks like some of that may happen in, say, the first half of 2023, which is why we said let's focus on $500 million this year, the remaining of the $500 million to $700 million will come in through next year. And then we have the full $1 billion target we feel well on track for. So it's just a matter of some timing expectations around what we're doing in the next, say, 12 months or so.

David Peters
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Okay. Thank you, guys.

Operator

Thank you. We have no further questions. Therefore, I would like to hand back to Susan Harcourt for any closing remarks. Susan, please go ahead.

Susan Harcourt
Vice President of Investor Relations at AES

We thank everybody for joining us on today's call. As always, the IR team will be available to answer any follow-up questions you may have. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference call. Thank you for being with us today. Have a lovely day ahead. You may disconnect your lines.

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