Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Solar Project Development
Financial, Legal & Technical Best Practices
May 12-13, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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Overview

This is an Online Course. For the health and safety of our speakers and attendees, we have decided to move many of our events to Online Courses.

Solar PV utility-scale project development now proliferates in the power industry landscape, in both development and acquisition contexts.  The need for quality, systematic project development planning due diligence is essential. Such thorough due diligence is complex. Without it, even the slightest unexamined issue can trip up new players and industry veterans alike. While all phases of the project require this scrutiny, a full-scope awareness across the multiple project disciplines is especially critical for those entities determined to lessen their complications when developing or partnering on solar projects.

This course will focus on the core areas of due diligence for utility-scale PV projects and provide a “punch list” for their execution. It covers aspects of solar project development not tackled by instructional programs that focus strictly on financing and tax issues.  Subject matter experts (SMEs) with specific financial, legal and technical in utility-scale PV projects will deliver the content in combination with experienced project development staff.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify key due diligence issues, questions, and features
  • Define the dominant elements to pre-qualify a candidate project development site for its solar potential
  • Evaluate the title and insurance requirements specific to solar installations
  • Judge construction/contractor project compatibility
  • Assess legal requirements and disclosures
  • Analyze solar assessment and energy production reports
  • Define the role and value of third-party independent engineering (IE) project review
  • Identify interconnection and other transmission considerations and constraints
  • Apply the proper risk assessment, risk allocation, and performance guarantees

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.1 CEUs for this event.

 

Instructional Methods 

Case studies, and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this course. 

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

You must be logged in for the entire presentation and send in the evaluation after the online course is completed.

Agenda

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 – Central Time

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Login

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Welcome and Overview


9:15 – 10:00 a.m. :: How Project Development and Due Diligence Have Been Affected by/Responded to CV-19 Conditions

  • Project negotiations
  • Project processing
  • Impact on supply chain
  • Impact on internal operations
  • Working w/permitting authorities
  • Meeting ITC requirements
  • Overall changes in “business-as-usual”
  • Identifying off-take subscribers

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. :: Project Determination: Setting the Compass Heading

  • Classifications
    • Utility-scale
    • Commercial/Industrial
    • Residential portfolios
  • Characteristics of financeable (vs non-financeable) projects
  • Intent
    • Serve own load?
    • Generate primary revenue?
    • Generate supplemental revenue?
  • Ownership
    • Wholly-owned and operated?
    • Wholly owned and leased?
    • Jointly owned and operated?
    • Jointly owned and leased?
    • “Package arrangement” with developer?
  • Asset attributes
    • Standalone asset
    • Position in a larger portfolio
  • CapEx

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. :: Morning Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. :: Project Determination: Pulling the Team and Information Together

  • Assigning roles
  • Developing and disseminating timely information
  • Interrelation of issues and impact of early-stage questions and answers on later stages of project
  • Impacts upon RFP responses
  • Issues that impact sale
  • Issues that impact financing

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. :: Lunch Break


1:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. :: Project Contractual Relationships

  • General structure
  • PPA terms of contract
  • EPC
  • Financing
  • Transmission access and studies
  • Interconnection agreement(s)
  • Site and easements
  • Permitting

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:30 – 5:15 p.m. :: Site Assessment and Independent/Owner’s Engineer Review

  • Reasonable design
  • Industry standards
  • Equipment and manufacturers track record and history
  • O&M plan and procedures
  • Equipment supplier review
  • Guaranties/warranties and contract review to avoid confliction
  • Acceptance test
  • Review of EPC performance guarantee
  • Environmental and Permitting
  • Certificate(s) for the lender

Solar Assessment and Energy Production Report

  • Solar resource
  • Global horizontal irradiance and direct irradiance
  • Data collection for one year
  • Meteorological data collection and review
  • Estimation of energy production lifespan
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • P90 energy estimate

Considerations for Interconnection, Transmission and Utility Engagement

  • How much charged for interconnection
  • Interconnection studies
  • Interconnection queue
  • Working w/utility or off-taker
  • Interconnection agreement

Incorporating Storage

  • How does adding storage to solar change the project’s complexion and economics?
  • What additional scoping and due diligence requirements are required?

5:15 p.m. :: Program Adjourns for Day


Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – Central Time

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Login


9:00 – 10:45 a.m. :: Financial Metrics

  • Fundamental bases and drivers
  • Appraisal / valuation
  • Tax equity considerations
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) incentives and penalties
  • PPA negotiation and modeling elements
  • CapEx
  • Hurdle rates
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • P90 scenarios
  • Curtailment exposure and impact on financial performance
  • Debt service coverage ratio (DSCR)
  • Other considerations

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. :: Morning Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. :: Financial Metrics (continued)

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. :: Lunch Break


1:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Teaming with EPCs and Equipment Suppliers

  • Experience
  • Financial stability gauges
    • EPC contractor
    • Equipment provider
  • Subcontractors
  • How does EPC view and determine milestones?
  • Four risk areas
  • Warranties/guaranties
  • Technical approach
  • Cost projections
  • Equipment supply
  • Construction
  • Environmental and permitting

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. :: The Role of Land Rights and Title Insurance in Project Development

  • Title insurance basics
  • Energy project elements
  • Invalid contracts and property interests
  • Search complications, including unique landlords
  • Encroachment issues
  • Mineral rights
  • State-specific considerations
  • Mechanics’ liens

3:45 – 4:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


4:00 – 5:00 p.m. :: Risk Assessment, Risk Allocation, and Performance Guarantees

  • Natural hazards
    • Location in a high-hazard zone (earthquake, flood, or windstorm)
    • Availability of insurance
    • Cost of insurance
    • Impact on lenders interest
  • Contingent exposures
    • Lenders
    • Delays in delivery of key components
    • Potential loss of tax credits
    • Project
    • Inability to sell power if off-taker interconnection is damaged
  • Lender expectations
    • Full limits
    • Low deductibles
    • Cost-effective program
    • Claims paid on replacement-cost basis (declining costs for solar)
    • Stipulated loss insurance if loan exceeds replacement costs
  • Insurance market – availability of bond and insurance coverage

5:00 p.m. :: Symposium Adjourns

Instructors

John Agle, Counsel – Energy Specialist, Stewart Title Guaranty Company

John Agle is an Energy Specialist Counsel at Stewart Title Guaranty. He is a well-recognized expert on land rights and title insurance in the complex energy sector operating on a continental platform, having insured projects in nearly every U.S. State, plus Mexico and Canada. Mr. Agle has enjoyed a 40-year career in the title insurance industry, and has been insuring energy developments since 1995. His experience extends to solar, wind, storage, geothermal, hydro, natural gas, and biomass/biofuel projects.


Matthew Brinkman, Solar Business Unit and Regional Practice Manager, Burns & McDonnell

Matthew Brinkman is the Solar Business Unit and Regional Practice Manager at Burns & McDonnell.  In that capacity, he is responsible for business development, resource allocation, and business planning related to utility-scale solar projects.  He manages a multi-disciplinary group of 70-plus engineers and directs a $20 million annual budget for utility capital projects.  His team specializes in capital and operations & maintenance projects at existing power plants, and utility-scale solar plants.  Mr. Brinkman’s team has worked on some of the largest and most lauded solar projects in the nation, including serving as the Owner’s Engineer on the largest solar thermal plant in the world (392 MW Ivanpah) and the largest solar PV project in the United States (580 MW Solar Star).  Mr. Brinkman was appointed by Governor Janet Brewer to serve on the Arizona governor’s Solar Advisory Task Force.


Josiah Daniel, Vice President, Insurance Risk Partners

Josiah Daniel is vice president of Insurance Risk Partners, based in Oklahoma City.  The firm provides risk consulting and insurance brokerage services to utilities, IPPs, developers, OEMs, contractors, lenders, and tax equity investors around the world.  Mr. Daniel has extensive experience supporting clients and their counsel in drafting and negotiating risk-related provisions in EPC, BOP, power purchase, interconnection, O&M, MSA, and finance agreements.  Prior to entering the insurance business a decade ago, he was an attorney with Chesapeake Energy Corporation focusing on regulatory risks impacting aspects of the company’s operations.  Mr. Daniel has been published in The Oil & Gas Financial Journal and The RMA Journal on timely insurance and financing issues facing the energy industry. 


James F. Duffy, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP

James F. Duffy is a partner in the Boston office of the national law firm, Nixon Peabody LLP.  He serves as the Chair of the firm’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit Team and concentrates his practice on structuring and closing transactions involving federal income tax credits and other significant federal and state income tax incentives, including Production Tax Credits for wind and other forms of renewable energy, Energy Investment Tax Credits for solar and certain other forms of renewable energy.  He has represented numerous developers, investors, syndicators and lenders in structuring and closing renewable energy and other transactions around the country.  He is a member of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations. He has served as the chair of the Equity Finance Committee of the Real Estate Section of the Boston Bar Association and as a member of the Real Estate Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, B.A., summa cum laude (1978), and The Harvard Law School, J.D. (1981). 


Tony Grappone, Partner, Novogradac & Company LLP

Tony Grappone is a partner in the Boston, Mass. office of Novogradac & Company LLP, where he specializes in providing accounting, tax and consulting services to developers, syndicators and investors of projects that qualify for federal and state tax credits such as the low-income housing tax credit, historic rehabilitation tax credit, new markets tax credit and renewable energy tax credits. He has contributed several articles on renewable energy to the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits and serves as a technical editor of the firm’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit Handbook. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Grappone worked at Ernst & Young LLP specializing in partnership taxation within the affordable housing industry and servicing many of the nation’s largest tax credit syndicators and investors. In addition, he served several leading venture capital firms as well as commercial real estate developers and investors. Mr. Grappone serves as a member on the Northeastern University Undergraduate Accounting Group Advisory Board and is on the board of directors of the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development. He received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.


Lan Adair Sasa, Vice President – Renewable Energy Investments, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp

Lan Adair Sasa leads a transaction underwriting and closing team at U.S. Bank that specializes in renewable energy tax equity investments. In her current role she has overseen the development of deployment of over $4.6B and 5.6GW of solar, wind and storage assets to date.  Lan is a graduate of the St. Louis University and Oberlin College.  


Ashley Wald, Partner, Holland & Hart LLP

Ashley Wald is a partner at the law firm Holland & Hart LLP.  She provides guidance to clients in the solar, wind, hydropower and natural gas industries as they develop energy projects and related infrastructure across the United States.  She negotiates power purchase agreements on behalf of clients seeking to buy renewable power, including municipal utilities and electric cooperatives, and she is uniquely positioned to provide insights and strategic solutions based on her experience sitting on both sides of the negotiating table.  In addition, Ms. Wald counsels clients in the purchase and sale of energy project assets and project companies.


Leslie Boyle, Partner, Holland and Hart LLP

Leslie Boyle is a Partner at Holland and Hart.  She advises clients in a wide range of industries in connection with their commercial transactions and the development, financing, and operation of large infrastructure projects.  Her clients range from national oil and gas companies, mining companies, and independent power producers to apparel retailers and equipment manufacturers.  Ms. Boyle negotiates the contracts required for every stage of a project’s life cycle, including engineering, procurement, and construction services agreements, major equipment supply agreements, operations and maintenance agreements, master services agreements, power purchase agreements, and energy exchange agreements, and she represents clients as they buy, sell, and finance projects.  She also advises clients in the structuring and negotiation of joint ventures for the development and operation of infrastructure projects.


Courtney Mooney, Associate, Nixon Peabody LLP

Courtney Mooney is an associate in the Boston office of Nixon Peabody LLP.  As a member of the Tax Credit Finance & Syndication Group, she handles transactions utilizing renewable energy tax credits. She assists developers and equity investors in financing the construction and development of solar and wind facilities across the country.  Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, Ms. Mooney worked at Ernst & Young LLP in its national tax practice. Her practice concentrated on advising tax equity investors and project developers on the business and tax implications arising from tax credit transactions. She also assisted clients in structuring renewable energy deals that involved the investment tax credit and production tax credit, reviewed and built financial models, provided tax advisory services, and performed financial and transactional due diligence.


Brett Pingree, Director – Development, Soltage

Brett Pingree is the Director of Development for Soltage, a PV developer, owner, and operator.  He is responsible for the New England PV market.  Mr. Pingree has 17 years of renewable energy market and project development, domestically and internationally.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time. 
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

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