Solar trends panel coverage at Solar Connect

Written By: Katherine Demetre
October 3, 2017

Solar Connect Norton-Rose-Solar-Connect solar trends

Keith Martin, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, provided an update on solar trends and issues at stake for utility scale and other industry sectors at Infocast’s Solar Connect conference in San Diego, CA.

Martin discussed front and back leverage in the tax equity market. Martin commented, “Most debt remains back levered at 25 bps above senior debt yields. Back leverage creates tension with tax equity investors over cash sweeps. The tax equity market is becoming more accommodating. Increasing DROS in tax equity deals may bring back front leverage, but that would require a market consensus on forbearance terms.”

In addition, Martin elaborated on the growth of tax equity investors in solar. “At least 10 new tax equity investors have shown interest in investing alongside larger players. There was increasing interest last year among wealthy individuals to invest,” said Martin.

He also discussed another big trend, diversification of the customer base.

Solar developers have been using PURPA to secure power contracts with utilities with mixed success. A BOT model is gaining popularity with utilities. Corporate PPAs are on track to exceed 2,500 MWs this year, but SNL reported last week that some corporates are having second thoughts. Solar proxy revenue swaps are likely to be the next big thing in ERCOT.

Martin’s key trends were well-received by the audience. He spoke intently about all sectors and highlighted many issues within the industry.

Stratton Report had the privilege of covering Infocast’s Solar Connect Day 1 in San Diego, CA. Solar Connect provides coverage of the ongoing developments in utility scale solar, as well as networking opportunities for solar professionals.