Renewable Energy Project Finance in the U.S.: 2010-2013 Overview and Future Outlook



The Mintz Levin law firm and GTM Research are pleased to provide an analysis of project financing trends for utility-scale renewable power projects and advanced project financing biofuel refineries constructed in the United States, as well as forecasting the anticipated supply and demand levels sought through 2013.

1.1 Hindsight: 2010 & 2011

Since the fourth quarter of 2008, U.S. renewable power project’s ability to secure both equity and debt project financing dropped precipitously due to the systemic turmoil experienced in the global financial markets. As we approach the third anniversary of that economic crisis, the prospects for project financing have improved considerably due to several market trends and significant legislative policy support mechanisms:

• Increased liquidity in the debt markets,

• Lower costs of capital attributable to reduced debt spreads,

• The availability of longer tenors for term-debt,

• The Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits (2009 Recovery Act, Section 1603 Cash Grant Program “1603 Cash Grants”) originally authorized the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act,

• The U.S. Departments of Energy & Agriculture’s Loan Guarantee Programs, and

• Emergence of Strategic Equity to Supplement Venture Capital and Private Equity Investments.

1.2 Foresight: 2012-2013

In forecasting capital markets and availability for renewable project developers seeking to secure non-recourse project financing, the three (3) most dispositive factors impacting future capital formation trends will be:

• The December 2011 expiration of the 1603 Cash Grants,

• The December 2012 expiration of the Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) for wind, and

• Macro-trends in tax equity financing, which are highly correlated to the financial health of a limited number of large financial institutions.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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