Project Finance NewsWire

August 2020

IN THIS ISSUE

Disappearing tax equity

Tax equity investors from five banks talked during a conference call in late July about the condition of the US tax equity market.

PURPA overhauled

Independent cogeneration and small renewable energy projects have lost key protections from merchant risks that they have relied on to help secure financing for the past 40 years.

Lessons learned from the PG&E bankruptcy

Two senior bankers and the general counsel of a prominent renewable energy developer talk about what effect the PG&E bankruptcy has had on the ability to finance renewable energy projects in California.

Pension plans pressured over ESG investments

A US Department of Labor proposal to bar retirement plan administrators from considering ESG factors when choosing investments could have a significant effect on the renewable energy sector.

DFC window opens for domestic loans

The US government is making available new loans to fund domestic private-sector projects that support the domestic industrial-base capabilities necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

California update

A California Public Utilities Commission decision in late June should lead to wider adoption of micro-grids in the state, at least in the service territories of the three large investor-owned utilities.

Surety bonds compared to LCs

Parties to project finance transactions are sometimes asked to accept surety bonds as security in place of letters of credit. There are key differences between the two instruments.

Floating solar

Floating solar — also known as floatovoltaics — is a small but growing segment in the solar energy industry.

Environmental update

The Trump administration weakened a major climate-change regulation in August by eliminating the obligation that oil and gas companies detect and repair methane leaks.


IN OTHER NEWS

Slowdown in corporate PPAs

New corporate PPAs have become scarce. Brokers and lawyers report less interest among US companies in signing long-term corporate power purchase agreements due to uncertainty about the economy.

SOFR too volatile?

Some analysts are questioning whether SOFR — the new base interest rate that will replace LIBOR in US contracts — is too volatile to serve as a good replacement.

Banks and partnership flips

National banks have been given clearer guidelines by the US Comptroller of the Currency about when they can participate as tax equity investors in partnership-flip transactions.

Utility tax equity deal

A utility tax equity filing with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin reveals interesting data points about the current tax equity market.

Powerex saga with Oregon

Oregon lost another round in a long-running battle with the BC Hydro trading arm, Powerex, over whether electricity and gas that the company sells to customers in California, but that pass through Oregon ...

Virginia and retail choice

Virginia told Walmart that it could not enter into one or more corporate power purchase agreements to buy electricity for its 188 stores in the state.

Taxes on Native Americans

American Indians are subject to US income taxes on gravel mined on the reservation, a US appeals court said in August.