Noel Lafayette, the principle of SHR Energy Management, was one of two featured presenters on November 20, 2014 at an event for experienced solar professionals on financing commercial solar projects. The event, held at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in Boston, was entitled
“Going Beyond ‘It Depends’ – Trends in Financing Mid-Market Commercial Solar Projects.”
The event was structured for experienced solar professionals who want to get into more specifics about the issues they encounter in financing solar projects. The goal was to go deeper into the subject than is normally possible in the trade press or at large conferences where hundreds of people are searching for information. In these large events, when folks ask questions about financing projects, most often the answer is “It depends.” So this event was designed to be interactive and conversational for a smaller audience, giving them access to the experts that can talk through the variables that will impact the terms of a commercial solar deal.
Mr. Lafayette’s comments were from the project investor perspective. He discussed:
- Power-buyer Creditworthiness. As the solar industry continues to grow, it is moving toward commercial solar clients that are not investment-grade energy customers. His discussion focused on what developers need to know about analyzing the credit-worthiness of these customers in order to get a PPA signed.
- Wall Street Capital. More Wall Street capital is moving into solar, but they’re brand new to solar. Lafayette spoke about how this is impacting the due diligence process and what you need to understand if you’re going to work with a new fund.
- Due Diligence Process. Lafayette presented a “Due Diligence Checklist” and walked through the checklist for a project investor and inviting questions at all stages.