North American Clean Energy
September/October 2022 Issue
Why a Solar Project
Risk Mitigation Framework is Critical for Investors and Financial Institutions
Author: Kimberlee Centera, CEO, President, of TerraPro Solutions
Why a Solar Project Risk Mitigation Framework is Critical for Investors and Financial Institutions
The recent passing of H.R.5376, the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”), has extended the Investment Tax Credit (“ITC”) for solar and reinstated the Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) for solar through at least the early 2030s. While this legislation is designed to offer tax credit monetization incentives that encourage investment in new utility scale solar projects, basic challenges that face developers remain.
A June 2022 Science Direct study examined 53 utility-scale wind, solar, and geothermal energy projects that were delayed or terminated between 2008 and 2021 in 28 U.S. states. Researchers found that 34% faced significant delays and difficulties securing permits, 49% were cancelled permanently, and 26% resumed after being stopped for several months or years.
utility-scale wind, solar, and geothermal energy projects
that were delayed or terminated between 2008 and 2021 in 28 U.S. states.
A major challenge in project financing is the perception that renewable energy projects are high-risk. The statistics presented in the Science Direct study certainly justify this assumption. That is why due diligence and fatal flaw analysis are critical at the outset. A comprehensive risk analysis framework provides a decision-making matrix defining the critical factors that must be considered, in order to reach a sound decision. It addresses the goals of the investors to ensure that the financial realities of the project are clearly delineated at the outset, and transaction milestones are met. It instills stakeholder confidence, because vital data is easily accessible throughout the development and financing continuum.
Key factors in the
decision-making matrix should include:
A meticulous business case assessment recognizes the goals of the investors to ensure that the financial realities of the project are clearly addressed. This considers both technical viability and environmental impact, as well as long-term financial soundness. A detailed decision-making matrix diminishes the potential that risk factors will be overlooked. Vigilant due diligence is a critical investment in the success and resilience of every renewable energy project.
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