By - Danielle Duignan

Underwriting Community Solar Projects
August 23-24, 2016 | Chicago, IL

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Shared (community) solar has seen accelerating adoption rates by project developers and utilities alike.  As with the other classes of solar – residential and utility-scale — the big drivers have been financing mechanisms and regulatory policies.

But the multiple layers and complexities associated with underwriting community solar can seem overwhelming. This development type shares most of the requirements that all solar projects must fulfill. But additional hurdles, such as the front-end research and analysis of customers, are especially challenging. This symposium will feature the participation of project developers, utilities, financial advisors, lenders and investors who’ve “been there, done that” with regard to community solar projects. They will provide their insights, lessons learned and best practices recommendations for further expansion of community solar development around North America.

Learning Outcomes

Through presentations and panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity at this conference to:

  • Review the regulatory and market drivers that influence the underwriting requirements of shared/community solar gardens
  • Identify the critical knowledge elements that developers must possess of their (consumer) subscribers
  • Appraise the impact of renewable energy credits (RECs), power purchase agreements (PPAs) and utility metering/process on the overall project value proposition
  • Discuss who should be on the development team
  • Examine the project and site variables, and how they influence the overall development of shared/community solar gardens
  • Describe the transaction structures, securitization issues and tax preference opportunities related to shared/community solar gardens
  • Assess the financing elements and metrics of shared/community solar gardens



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 1.0 CEUs for this event.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Registration

1:00 – 1:15 p.m. :: Introduction and Overview

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.

I. Types of Development Entity

  • Utility
    • Public owned (POUs)
    • Investor owned (IOUs)
  • Third-party owner (TPO)
  • Customer owner

II. Regulation and Market Drivers

  • Importance of rate structure and consumer net energy transfer
  • NEM and its variations

III. Subscriber (Consumer) Profile

  • Identification
  • Procurement
  • Credit scores
  • Retention and turnover

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:15 – 5:00 p.m.

IV. Value Proposition

  • RECs
  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Utility grid support and embedded process
    • Metering
    • Billing
    • Collection
    • Carrying costs

V. Forming the Team

  • Application/processing coordination
  • Development
    • Site identification
    • Permitting
    • Community interface
    • Engineering
  • Sales and subscriptions
  • Legal
  • Subscription agreement (uniform or individual)
  • Finance structuring
  • Tax counsel


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

VI. Project and Site Variables

  • Permitting
  • Interconnection process
  • Environmental
  • Lease vs own underlying real estate
  • Title

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

VII. Tax Dimensions

  • ITC
  • Depreciation
  • Specialized applications and effects
  • Owner-centric considerations and benefits
    • Utility owner
    • TPO owner
    • Customer owner

12:00 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

VIII. Transaction Structures and Securitization Issues

  • Sale leaseback
  • REIT
  • Utility-owned
  • TPO-owned
  • Customer-owned
  • Tax equity
  • Build transfer

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. 

IX. Financing Elements and Metrics

  • Standard solar due diligence underwriting review
  • Customer payments
  • Customer defaults
  • Utility processes
  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

4:30 p.m. :: Symposium Adjourns


Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher – Energy and Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)

Tom Stanton is Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment, at NRRI. He joined NRRI in fall 2010 after a 32-year career in Michigan state government. Mr. Stanton specializes in policy research for renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, and global climate change. Mr. Stanton has worked in Michigan state government — in the fields of public utility regulation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy — including 10 years at the State Energy Office and over 22 years at the Michigan Public Service Commission. For several of those years, he worked on administration of Michigan’s solar and renewable energy tax credits program and later served as manager of the renewable energy section at the Michigan PSC. Mr. Stanton earned a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Journalism, both from Michigan State University, as well as an M.S. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.

Carl Linvill, Principal, Regulatory Assistance Project

Carl Linvill is a Principal with the Regulatory Assistance Project and is based in Davis, California.  He served as Economic and Energy Advisor to Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn during the western electricity crisis, as a Nevada Public Utilities Commissioner, and as an academic and consulting economist before and after living in Nevada.  Dr. Linvill is active with the RAP U.S. Program working on regional transmission planning in the Western Interconnection, utility integrated resource planning, renewable energy, distributed generation and energy efficiency valuation and planning, and decision making under conditions of high impact uncertainties.  Dr. Linvill received his BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of California at Davis, and his PhD in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

James 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, as well as Treasury cash grants in lieu of Energy Investment Tax Credits.  His practice also covers New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.  Mr. Duffy has represented numerous developers, investors, syndicators and lenders in structuring and closing renewable energy and other transactions. 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).

Betsy Engelking, Vice President, Geronimo Energy

Betsy Engelking is Vice President of Geronimo Energy.  She joined the company in January 2012 and currently leads the Company’s policy efforts. She developed the regulatory strategy for the Aurora Project and provided expert testimony in the PUC process. She also collaborated with a number of legislators and advocates to achieve passage of the 2013 Minnesota Solar Energy legislation. Previously, Ms. Engelking was Director of Resource Planning for Xcel Energy, where she developed and implemented long-range power supply plans, including compliance with Xcel’s wide-ranging renewable energy requirements. She has also held positions with Great River Energy and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  With more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, her expertise in energy policy, renewable energy, resource planning, utility rates and regulation, and energy markets are invaluable to Geronimo. Since the beginning of her career, Ms. Engelking has worked both regionally and nationally to promote the advancement of wind energy and other renewables through participation with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC), the Great Plains Institute’s Power the Plains collaborative, and through an active role in state and national policy development. She holds a MBA in Finance and Economics from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Tony Grappone, Partner, Novogradac & Company LLC

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. Mr. Grappone is a frequent speaker at various renewable energy and other tax credit industry events and 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 Novogradac & Company LLP, 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. and is licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as a certified public accountant.

Danielle Murray, Solar Manager, Austin Energy

Danielle Murray recently joined Austin Energy as the Manager of Solar Energy Services.  Most recently, she has been the Renewable Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco, where she led efforts to develop streamlined permitting and innovative financing mechanisms, served as chair of the Mayor’s renewable energy task force, managed Solar America Cities and SunShot grant awards from the US DOE to reduce solar soft costs, coordinated district energy research and development, and engaged in extensive public and industry outreach.  Prior to that, she worked for the City of Toronto’s Energy Office, where she designed and implemented the Toronto Neighborhoods Initiative which provided grants and low-interest loans to homeowners to install solar water heating systems and other energy efficiency improvements. Ms. Murray has also worked for the Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC, researching and writing on the intersection of food, energy, and climate change, as well as serving in various volunteer and fellowship assignments in east and west Africa.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and Master’s degrees in Planning and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto.

Tom Hunt, Vice President, Clean Energy Collective

Tom Hunt brings a broad background in energy markets, policy, and technology to the Corporate Development department at CEC.  In his role, he lead’s CEC’s involvement in policy and regulatory matters, expansion of community solar markets, and development of new products.  Previously he was the Senior Policy Advisor for the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office under Governor John Hickenlooper. Before working on energy policy he worked on energy production as a chemist researching biofuels synthesis methods. He has graduate degrees in energy economics from Colorado School of Mines and the Institut Francais du Petrole and a B.S. in biochemistry from Washington and Lee University.

Ed Bossange, Vice President, Morgan Stanley

Edward Bossange is Vice President at Morgan Stanley.  He joined Morgan Stanley in 2010.  He is a member of the solar origination and structuring team at MSSS.  His responsibilities include deal structuring, origination, project development, equipment, technology, and turnover of projects for execution. Mr. Bossange started his career as a solar design engineer at a venture backed startup in New York. He has a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University with a focus in Energy Systems, and was a member of a research group focused on solar energy product design.

Marty Mobley, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Solar (invited)

Marty is CEO of US Solar.  He founded the company after forming and leading the Solar Desk at Morgan Stanley Commodities, where he led the group into the US commercial market (~100 rooftop, ground mount and parking canopy projects), the US residential market (three separate US residential financing programs) and the Ontario market (75+ rooftop projects).  Prior to his role at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Mobley was an attorney at McDermott, Will & Emery in Washington, DC.



Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago
163 E. Walton Pl
Chicago, IL 60611

To reserve your room, please call 1-312-751-8100
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $179.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.


A room block has been reserved for the nights of August 21 – 23, 2016.



Make your reservations prior to August 1, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


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