Members of Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team attended the 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit in Carlsbad, CA, February 5-7. Here are some of the themes from the conference:

  • While there is a push to complete many projects in 2020, there was a lot of discussion about how the industry and project financing will evolve in coming years as the Production Tax Credit steps down and after it sunsets. The industry is becoming increasingly complex with ever-changing state and federal policies, an increase in C&I offtakers, increasingly complex non-traditional offtake arrangements, and new financing parties waiting in the wings. It is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that these changes create. Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team can help you navigate these ever changing challenges and opportunities and ensure that your project is completed on time and in compliance with all state and federal policies.

  • The importance and strain of managing project timelines for 2020 COD projects were at the forefront of participants’ minds at the conference.
    • Consultants, contractors, and service professionals are feeling the pressure with the 2020 development push underway.
    • There was considerable discussion about resource constraints, especially for EPC contractors and turbine manufacturers. Resources normally taken for granted, such as the availability of cranes and trucks for turbine deliveries are causing scheduling issues and creating uncertainty for investors.
    • Delays with ISOs and RTOs are causing concern among developers and financing parties, as studies are significantly delayed and interconnection queues become increasingly clogged.
    • Developers are getting increasingly creative in managing current projects to ensure the projects stay on time, and some are discussing new strategies to safeguard the 100% Production Tax Credit qualification.
  • On the other side of the new project boom, many companies are looking at options for aging wind assets. Discussions about repowering, renegotiating and extending contracts, and financing after the tax equity flip were prominent in the agenda and networking sessions.
  • Interest in wind and storage is growing. While it has been employed in a handful of projects in North America to date, the industry appears to be taking a stronger interest in deploying storage co-location in future wind projects.
  • Utility PPAs, renewable portfolio standards, green tariffs, and federal climate policy were all on the agenda at Infocast Wind as the industry poises to meet upcoming demand and plan for the future.