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Clean Energy Project Finance and Industry Changes
APPROVED FOR 3.5 CPE CREDIT HOURS!!!!!
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Course Overview & Objectives: Approximately $6.3 billion has been invested in clean energy development in North Carolina since 2007, with an overall economic impact of $12 billion. Now policy changes, technical challenges and market trends point toward larger projects and industry consolidation. These trends have the potential to fundamentally change the energy landscape in 2017 and beyond.
By the end of the course, attendees will be able to (1) list impacts of clean energy industry consolidation; (2) compare the available financing methods for developing projects; and, (3) identify the future that these trends have on clean energy project development in North Carolina.
The course is designed for finance and business professionals as well as project developers. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to attendees. This course is approved for 3.5 hours of continuing education credits (CPE).
8:30 – 8:40 A.M.
Welcome & Overview of the Course
Diane Cherry, Strategic Director, NC Sustainable Energy Association
· Goals of the Course
· Agenda Overview
8:40 – 9:10 A.M.
Clean Energy Industry Changes: How Does it Mirror What Has Happened in Other Industries?
Shaun Klann, Vice President of business Development, Intelligent Buildings;
Lewis Reynolds, Managing Partner, Entropy Investment Management
New industries generally go through a relatively predictable cycle. A nascent industry is created by a large number of players with different advantages, competition increases as the industry grows, and companies jockey for position. In the end, firms consolidate to form a small number of big players. How are solar and other clean energy industry sectors mirroring what has happened with other industries such as computer technology, telecommunications, data analytics, and real estate? How will consolidation impact North Carolina’s clean energy sector?
9:10 – 9:50 A.M.
North Carolina Trends in Corporate Consolidation
Moderator: John Hackney, Director, Energy and Power Investment Banking, Wells Fargo Securities;
Ben Schneider, President, PowerSecure Solar;
Erik Lensch, Managing Director, Entropy Investments Management;
Zoe Gamble Hanes, President, Pine Gate Development
The end of the state renewable energy investment tax does not mean the end of clean energy construction in the state or the flight of large developers. However, it will change the market. Mergers and acquisitions could occur as smaller companies in the state look to become bigger players. This panel will consider the following questions as we look to industry restructuring:
· What are the impacts of technology and economic considerations that scale infrastructure cost and lead to consolidation of existing companies?
· How can smaller developers use a niche strategy to survive independently in this industry change?
· What are the implications of utility scale clean energy companies partnering with traditional energy suppliers?
9:50 – 10:00 A.M.
10:00 – 10:20 A.M.
The Market Outlook - Then, Now and the Future
Mark Vitner, Senior Economist, Wells Fargo
The Great Recession—which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009—began with the bursting of an $8 trillion housing bubble. The resulting loss of wealth led to sharp cutbacks in consumer spending. This loss of consumption, combined with the financial market chaos triggered by the bursting of the bubble, also led to a collapse in business investment. Economic recovery is underway, but will it last? And what are the future financial market issues for the energy industry, especially given the public trading that has been completely put on hold with the prior financial collapse?
10:20 – 11:10 A.M.
State and Federal Trends in Project Finance
Moderator: Chris Wedding, Founding and Managing Director, IronOak Innovations
Eric Cohen, Commercial Relationship Manager, Fifth Third Bank
Jonathan Gross, Director, Tax Credit Finance, State Tax Credit Exchange
Cameron Cotten, Vice-President, Wells Fargo Securities
Rory Huntly, Vice-President, Jacobs Capital
The North Carolina renewable energy investment tax credit expired in December 2015 but the federal government extended the federal investment tax credit/production tax credit for wind and solar projects. What do finance professionals see as potential trends in this policy environment to support industry investment? The panel will focus on the following questions:
· Who invests and why? What markets are most appealing and why?
· What other financing structures should be available to a greater degree in the future -- e.g., yieldcos, securitization, green bonds, PACE, etc.?
· Where are cost of capital for equity and debt in solar, storage, wind, etc.? Are they up or down? Why?
· What are the biggest project risks that influence the availability and cost of capital -- technology, policy,
misperceptions, etc.? How do you best mitigate these risk -- insurance, education, partnerships, etc.?
· Tax equity is clearly key to project finance: Where are we today with supply vs. demand in clean energy? How does it vary by sector?
· What other financing structures should be available in the future?
11:10 – 12:15 P.M.
Table Top Exercise over Lunch
Attendees will answer the following questions:
(1) What surprised you most about what you heard this morning?
(2) What questions did you have that were not answered from the speakers?
(3) What additional finance topics matter to you and your organization?
12:15 – 12:30 P.M.
Wrap Up and Next Steps
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