The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently convened the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group with a mission to enable securitization of solar PV assets and associated cash flows in the marketplace.
SAPC's primary efforts center on the standardization of power purchase agreements, leases, and other documents relevant to residential and commercial deployment, and the development of robust datasets to assess performance and credit-default risk. These activities are designed to allow projects to be grouped into tradable securities. Securitization is expected to attract additional investors to the solar asset class, enabling the industry to tap a larger and more liquid pool of capital than currently available. The working group includes over 60 members representing some of the leading organizations in the fields of solar deployment, finance, counsel, and analysis.
"It's exciting to see the industry come together to build the foundation to a securitized market," says NREL Senior Financial Analyst Michael Mendelsohn. "Access to low-cost public capital offers the potential to significantly lower the cost of solar energy."
SAPC will also provide a forum for some of the leading voices in the industry to discuss the range of barriers, risks, opportunities, and best practices in the creation of a solar securities market. Public capital vehicles can take various forms including asset-backed securities, master-limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, or various debt products. The NREL-led effort is funded under the DOE's Sunshot Initiative.
On March 22, at 10 a.m. MT, SolarTech and NREL are cosponsoring a Webinar, "Can Finance Be Easier." The webinar will kick off with an SAPC Project overview by Mendelsohn. Then he will be joined by a panel of solar industry leaders in a round-table discussion of solar financing including: Moderator, David McFeely, SolarTech; Paul Detering, Tioga Energy; Tim Keating, SCS Renewables; Dirk Michels, K&L Gates. Anyone interested in viewing the Webinar can register online at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/241390118.