Stratton Report One Minute Video Interviews at SPI2017

Edward Zaelke
Chair, Global Project Finance Practice
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

How do you expect the growth of the corporate market for solar to be in the next 3 years?

I think when we talk about the corporate market for Solar, we are generally talking about not necessarily projects that are built at corporate facilities, but rather projects that are built offsite and that sell their power to corporate off takers and that can be done one of a few ways. It can be done through community Solar program where you have sites that have developed their Solar that have many corporate off-takers, it can be through a direct sale, direct delivery of power if the corporations operations are in the same node as the power that is being produced or if you are in a state that allows community choice or you can have what they call a contract with differences or a virtual power purchase contract where the corporation in essence issues a hedge for power produced off site and will either pay or receive payments if the power price goes above or below a strike price. That’s generally been used more in wind recently because the market price for the power needs to be about par with the cost of production plus tax credits and Solar hasn’t quite gotten there yet, but as Solar becomes cheaper, we will see more corporate contracts with differences or virtual PPA’s in the Solar market, we would also hope to see some relaxation of the community choice rules so that in other states, in—right now, it’s just in a limited  number of states but we would like to see that expanded so that there can be more direct sales of power from Solar projects to corporate off-takers.