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Ep84: 2019 Review of Renewables
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Sue Wang, senior counsel in our Washington office, joins us to discuss the banner year that renewables had in 2019. We get into the different changes in step-down dates for tax credits, what types of projects..

Soundbites from Infocast's Wind Power & Finance Summit
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David Burton shares soundbites from Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit held in San Diego.

Cost of capital: 2020 Outlook
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A group of industry veterans talked in late January about what to expect in the year ahead for tax equity, bank and term loan B debt and project bonds in a widely heard conference call.

Lending to hedged wind and solar projects
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Quasi-merchant projects that sell into the spot electricity market and use hedges to put a floor under the electricity price are becoming more common, particularly in ERCOT where power purchase agreements...

Reading the market
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A group of investors and the CEO of one of the most successful independent power companies had a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the market and where they see opportunities.

Renewables and PJM capacity auctions
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is likely to hold a rehearing of its controversial decision in late December to require renewable energy and nuclear generators bidding into PJM capacity auctions...

DFC replaces OPIC
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation changed in January into the United States Development Finance Corporation.

Power contracts and utility bankruptcies
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A US appeals court made it easier in December for long-term power purchase agreements that independent generators sign with utilities to be set aside in utility bankruptcies.

Environmental update
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BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6.8 trillion in assets under management, declared in January that “climate risk is investment risk” and announced that sustainability...

Coronavirus: Effect on US wind and solar projects
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Coronavirus has led some equipment suppliers who rely on Chinese factories to send force majeure notices that deliveries will be delayed.

Unpredictable tariffs
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Unpredictable tariffs remain a threat to project economics.

Tax extenders and renewables
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The US reversed course and increased tax credits for new wind projects that start construction in 2020 compared to 2019.

Tax equity lawsuits: DC Solar
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Eight tax equity investors in the DC Solar deals filed suit in December against the law firms that wrote opinions as well as the accounting firms, appraisers and brokers involved in them.

H-S-R thresholds
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H-S-R thresholds for notifying the US government of planned acquisitions have been updated.

Offshore vessels and US taxes
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Offshore vessels generate income that will be taxed in the United States if the vessels help with oil and gas or recovery of other natural resources on the US outer continental shelf.

FCPA prosecutions of foreign agents
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The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can be used to prosecute a foreigner who pays a bribe to win a contract outside the United States if the US government can show he is acting as an agent for a US company.

REITs and tax credits
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Income from selling tax credits counted as good income for real estate investment trusts.

Complicated foreign tax credits
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The United States allows US companies that pay income taxes to other countries on foreign earnings to credit the taxes paid against any US taxes that must be paid on the same income.

Colombia: Opportunities and challenges
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Colombia is expected launch a third renewable energy auction in 2020.

Renewable project sales: Established tactics and emerging trends
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Negotiations around sales of renewable energy projects follow predictable patterns.

Expanded reviews of US in-bound investments
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The US government will vet more foreign investments in US companies and assets starting February 13.

Trump budget and renewable energy
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The Trump budget delivered to Congress on February 10 would scale back tax incentives for renewable energy.

Tax contest rights
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Tax contest rights could be eviscerated if the US government wins a motion it filed in late January in the Alta Wind case.

Distributed Generation Solar 101
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This presentation was given on January 29 at Northeastern University and was intended to provide the students with an overview of the distributed generation solar market in the United States.

Ep83: Cost of Capital: 2020 Outlook
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It is the start of a new year. Many forecasters expect modest global growth this year, helped by favorable monetary policies by central banks, but with risk on the downside due to trade and geopolitical...

Ep82: PPAs, Bankruptcy and Utilities, Oh My!
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Howard Seife, global head of financial restructuring and insolvency at Norton Rose Fulbright, joins us to discuss how power purchase agreements are affected by utility bankruptcies in the wake of the latest...

Ep81: Distributed Solar Market Update
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Woody Rubin, president at AES Distributed Energy, joins us to discuss the distributed solar market. We talk about the market in general, the current abundance of capital, the balance between community...

Ep80: kWh Analytics' Solar Lendscape: 2020 Update
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Richard Matsui, co-founder and CEO of kWh Analytics, is back to give us an update on their popular resource, the Solar Lendscape. We discuss how many banks are currently active in solar, what that means...

Utility tax equity structures
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A tax equity partnership between a regulated utility and a tax equity investor received a partial blessing from the IRS.

Solar and wind tariffs
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The uncertainty around tariffs makes trying to do business like negotiating deals on a trampoline with an overweight 73-year old bouncing up and down.

CFIUS data
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The latest CFIUS report to Congress in November shows a dramatic increase in the number of inbound US acquisitions that are being reported to the US government since Trump took office.

Deficit restoration obligations
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Deficit restoration obligations and negative “tax basis capital accounts” are getting more attention from the IRS.

LIBOR transition
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The LIBOR transition became a little easier in October.

Guidance v. tweets
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Two new Trump executive orders may make it harder to get guidance from federal agencies in the future about what US law requires.

Investment tax credits
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An investment tax credit can be claimed on an increase in tax basis in an existing project, the IRS said.

Carbon allowances, state tax credits and REITs
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REITs can treat income related to some state tax credits and carbon allowances as good income, the IRS said.

Cryptocurrency tax treatment
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Cryptocurrencies continue to receive high-level attention from the IRS.

M&A finder’s fees
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A finder’s fee is not deductible if paid by a target company on behalf of the company that acquired it, the US Tax Court said.

Useful data points
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US installed wind capacity stood at 100,125 megawatts at the end of the third quarter 2019, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Mexican CEL ruling roils market
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More than 20 requests for injunctions have been filed by generators, industry associations and other interested parties in Mexico to challenge a government ruling...

Financing EV charging infrastructure
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Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 57% of passenger vehicle sales, and more than 30% of the global passenger vehicle fleet, will be electric by 2040.

US offshore wind: Current financing conditions
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A panel talked about the current market for financing offshore wind projects in the United States.

Emerging themes in build-own-transfer agreements
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Build-own-transfer agreements are playing a bigger role in the renewable energy sector as utilities decide they would rather own projects than enter into long-term contracts to buy the electricity.

Solar finance outlook
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A panel of two sponsors, two lenders and one tax equity investor rolled quickly through a wide range of topics of current interest at the Solar Power International 2019 convention this fall in Salt Lake City.

Joint arrangements to develop renewable energy projects
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There is no cookie-cutter joint venture or joint development arrangement.

Tracking accounts in hedges
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Tracking accounts are used in many fixed-volume hedges to mitigate electricity basis risk.

Revised Equator Principles may make projects more costly to finance
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The Equator Principles are perhaps the most widely used private international financing standards seeking to influence environmental and social “sustainability” in big project development.

Environmental update
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The United Nations said in a report in late November that there is a significant gap between the world’s current combined pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions...

Capital gains on contract sale
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Sale of a service contract produced capital gain rather than ordinary income ...

Ep79: PTC Extension Legislation Update
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Keith Martin, with Norton Rose Fulbright, joins us from Washington to discuss the likelihood that Congress will pass a tax extenders bill at year end and what tax changes of interest to the renewable energy ind

Ep78: Financing Renewable Energy: Present & Future
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Live from the Wharton Energy Conference, Manish Kumar, managing director at The AES Corporation, Jackson Lehr, operating partner, infrastructure at Energy Impact Partners, Martin Torres, managing director at Bl

Ep77: Solar + Storage: A Look at the Market
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Fleming Ray, senior project manager, due diligence at DNV GL, joins us to discuss all things solar plus storage. We get into the federal and state policies surrounding the market, the outlook for the next five

Ep76: FERC's Proposed Changes to PURPA
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Bob Shapiro, partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Washington office, discusses FERC’s proposed changes to PURPA. We go over what PURPA is and why it was created, its relevance today, the most significant chang

Ep75: The Business of Hydro with Hydro-Québec
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Serge Abergel, director of media relations at Hydro-Québec, joins us to discuss how being state-owned affects the company's business decisions...

Prepaid power contracts
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Prepaid power contracts may have gotten a new lease on life in proposed regulations the IRS issued in September.

Other data points
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A study in September said that 90% of the 68,000 megawatts of new gas-fired power plants currently proposed in the US will be uneconomic compared to new solar and wind projects equipped with storage by 2035.

Wind data
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The national average price of wind power purchase agreements has dropped below 2¢ a kilowatt hour.

Related-party loans
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Prepayment options in loans from affiliates could cause tax problems if not exercised once it becomes economically beneficial to do so.

Texas franchise taxes
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Texas does not let companies providing services — as opposed to selling goods — deduct costs when calculating income subject to state franchise taxes.

Refined coal
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A refined coal transaction landed in court. The taxpayers won.

Production tax credits and "sales"
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No sale occurs if the seller must pay the buyer to take a product, a US appeals court said.

Inherited sales tax liability
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Unpaid sales taxes that should have been paid in the past on equipment sales follow the equipment and can become an obligation of a later owner.

Timing of income from purchase money note
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A solar equipment manufacturer lost an attempt in court to spread its taxable income from equipment sales over time.

PURPA projects become more difficult to finance
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Independent cogeneration and small renewable energy projects known as “qualifying facilities” may lose key protections from merchant risks that they have relied on...

California moves forward
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The amended plan of reorganization that PG&E Corporation and its subsidiary utility, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, filed with the bankruptcy court in late September...

Scrutiny for inbound US investments
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Acquisitions of non-controlling interests in certain power projects by foreign investors are now subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or CFIUS.

Bankability of Colombian projects
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Colombia is in the process of awarding 1,500 megawatts of new power purchase agreements to buy renewable power.

Community solar: Current issues
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A panel of community solar developers talked about new trends in community solar projects.

Energy storage in ERCOT
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Who ought to own standalone energy storage in ERCOT? The implications for generators, transmission and distribution utilities, developers and ratepayers are big.

ERCOT price spikes
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The price to buy wholesale power in ERCOT — the grid that serves Texas — spiked to $9,000 a megawatt hour at certain intervals over the course of a few days in August 2019.

Depreciation bonus questions answered
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New depreciation bonus regulations that the IRS issued in September answer a number of questions that have been coming up in M&A and tax equity transactions.

Greening the fertilizer sector
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Fertilizer companies may become an important new market for renewable energy developers.

Environmental update
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As the November 2020 election nears the start of its one-year countdown, a number of significant environmental regulatory reversals being pushed by the Trump administration look likely to depend on the outcome.

Financing distributed batteries and electric vehicle charging stations
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A developer and two investors talked about opportunities and challenges with financing distributed batteries and electric vehicle charging stations at Infocast Storage Week Plus in San Francisco in late July.

Ep74: RadiantREIT: Solar Market Disruptor
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Jim Spano, co-founder of RadiantREIT, joins us to discuss the evolution of the solar market and the idea behind his new company. RadiantREIT has an interesting business model for providing long term...

Ep73: Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy
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Russell Gold, senior energy reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and Michael Skelly, a senior advisor at Lazard and founder of Clean Line Energy Partners, join us for a discussion about Gold’s new book on the

Are you using the right version of the IRS’s Solar Start of Construction Notice?
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IRS Notice 2018-59 was generally welcomed news to the solar industry as it provided the industry specific guidance as to how to start construction to ensure that a project would qualify for ...

Ep72: The ITC Extension Bill and What it Means for the Industry
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Jessie Robbins, senior director of structured finance at Sol Systems, joins us to talk about the ITC extension bill. We talk about whether developers still need to worry about safe harboring, how the ITC step

Ep71: BloombergNEF's New Energy Outlook
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Ethan Zindler, head of Americas at BloombergNEF, joins us to discuss their New Energy Outlook. We get into how the outlook differs from others in the market, some of the biggest and most surprising findings...

Ep70: Solar Refinancing and M&A
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Richard Matsui, founder and CEO of kWh Analytics, is back to give us an update on their Solar Lendscape from the asset owners’ perspective.

Investing in US Solar: US Tax Aspects for Japanese Investors
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David Burton gave a presentation at the Japan Institute for Overseas Investment on US tax fundamentals for Japanese investors investing in US solar projects.

ITC extension?
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An investment tax credit extension is back before Congress.

Extending the four-year window
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The four-year window to finish some renewable energy projects to qualify for federal tax credits will be extended in one situation, the IRS said.

Reportable transactions
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Some transactions must be reported to the IRS as potential corporate tax shelters.

Section 195 deductions
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Start-up companies can be actively engaged in business even though there are no sales.

Inverted leases
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Base case models in tax equity deals can take a person quickly into the weeds, but the details are important.

Data points
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Moody’s said in early July that it expects coal to account for as little as 11% of US power generation by 2030.

California on edge
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What does the PG&E bankruptcy suggest for the utility business model? Some banks have stepped back from financing new projects in California for fear that future wildfires may threaten other utilities.

Raising capital in a market in transition
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Capital is usually harder to raise during periods of uncertainty about government policy. Lenders and investors adjust to changes in the market itself.

Storage versus gas
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Developers are pushing ahead with more gas-fired power projects, and lenders stand ready to finance them, but equity may be in short supply.

Developers on financing issues
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A group of top finance officers at wind and solar developers talked about current issues crossing their desks at the 30th annual global energy and finance conference in California in June.

C-PACE poised to grow in New York
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Commercial PACE lending to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems in office buildings and other commercial properties is expected to increase in New York...

Environmental update
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The US Department of Agriculture has taken a significant step toward finalizing its revisions to Obama-era policies for conserving the greater sage grouse and its habitat in five Western states.

Buying a wind farm
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Anyone buying a wind farm should be aware of a number of issues that can affect the value or even viability of the project.

“Protected” versus “registered” series LLCs
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Under the Delaware limited liability company statute, an LLC can create different combinations or series of members, managers, interests or assets by p...

Unpredictable tariffs
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Tariffs remain a significant hazard for developers who must commit to supply electricity at fixed prices only to have the US slap an import tariff on key equipment before the project can be built.

FOIA: Keeping information confidential
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A US Supreme Court decision in late June will make it easier for federal agencies to withhold confidential information received from private companies from public disclosure when responding to Freedom of Inf...

Cryptocurrency crackdown
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Cryptocurrencies are in the IRS crosshairs.

Developer fees
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Developer fees are in less favor after a decision by the US claims court in June to bar a wind developer from adding developer fees to the tax basis it used to calculate Treasury cash grants on two wind farms.

PJM capacity, grid reliability and PURPA
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Several major issues that affect large segments of the power industry remain on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agenda as it heads into the fall.