As of November 2014, for the third month in a row, renewable energy sources including solar and wind accounted for the majority of new U.S. electrical generation brought into service, according to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects. Renewable Energy World magazine also reported that natural gas took the lead in the other two months (April and August).

Wind energy and solar power projects combined provided about 72 percent of the 873 megawatts (MW) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service in November. NECA has long understood the value and need for safe and reliable standards of practice in green electrical construction making NECA contractors the #1 choice for this type of work.

Since as early as 1960, NECA has provided resources on energy efficiency and energy maintenance for our members and promoted the safe installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic panels and other alternative power sources.

Aspects to consider in green Energy Project Finance for alternative power like wind, solar and biodiesel / ethanol plants and MSW is dependent on many factors. The closer to “shovel ready” the better as far as the lender / investor sources are concerned.

Land secured with permits is optimal. Power purchase agreements or Off Take Agreements should be at least in the formulation stage if not already negotiated. Long term agreements will be required with language that provides assurance for adequate debt service coverage ratios. Minimum capacity assurances are commonly required to assure the debt lenders of ongoing ability to meet the monthly or annual debt payments. Off Takers and Power Purchasers are usually required to have a credit rating of BBB (triple b) or better by Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s. With many lenders, these contracts are the main underwriting criteria. Some lenders don’t even lien the assets of the company while others do. The lender must be assured that the development will be delivered on time and on budget.

The Engineering, Procurement and Construction Company should be investment grade also. That means a credit rating of BBB or better as rated by Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s. Some other rating options are possible. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction Company (EPC) must guarantee or bond against failure to deliver on time or budget. Time is money and a non producing investment cost lots of it. The Operations and Management (O&M) is critical because the lender / investor must be assured that the investment will produce the fuels or power necessary to meet the financial projections and obligations on an ongoing day to day basis for the life of the debt. Again, the Operations and Management must be investment grade with the ability to guarantee against production shortfalls. If you don’t have investment grade Operations and Management or Operations and Management, we have access to them for you. Insurance such as Business Interruption Protection can also play an important role in this.

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