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Financing Solar and Wind Projects

Speaker(s): Alexandra Mertens, Britta Von Oesen, Michael D. Klaus
Recorded on: Dec. 16, 2019
PLI Program #: 290851

Alexandra Mertens is a partner in the Corporate practice group and co-chair of the Energy & Natural Resources Industry Group. Alex is experienced in energy finance matters and advises project sponsors, financial institutions and investors on issues concerning the acquisition, development, financing and sale of energy projects. Alex regularly advises clients on structuring and negotiating tax equity partnerships, cash equity investments, construction and term loan financings, note purchase agreements, development loan facilities, joint ventures and M&A transactions.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Alex was a senior associate at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. in Minneapolis (2006-2011), where she represented emerging and established clients on a variety of business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, governance, and commercial contract negotiation.

Britta Von Oesen is a Managing Director with CohnReznick Capital and leads the San Francisco Office.  She has 10+ years of experience in investment banking, tax equity, corporate strategy, and development in the wind, solar, and broader environmental sector.

Britta primarily focuses on transaction management, including M&A, structuring, and negotiation of tax equity with over $1B in project financing and $1.5B in corporate financing raised to date. She has previously been involved in numerous renewable energy transactions including utility-scale and distributed generation solar transactions in the US market and utility scale wind and solar transactions internationally.

Before joining CohnReznick Capital, Britta was Head of Corporate Strategy and Development for Gestamp Solar, focusing primarily on M&A transactions and project financing for US solar projects, both DG and utility-scale. Prior to Gestamp Solar, Britta was a Group Manager for Windkraft Nord AG, a German wind and solar developer, managing the Italian operations for development of a portfolio of over 1GW of wind and solar assets throughout mainland Italy and Sicily. Before moving to Italy, Britta worked in Lehman Brothers’ investment banking team within the Global Power Group.

Britta received an MBA with honors in Finance from Cornell University’s Johnson Business School in 2009 and a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Colgate University in 2003.

Britta also serves as Co-Chair of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Women’s Empowerment Sub-Committee.

Mike’s practice focuses on project finance, project development, and mergers and acquisitions involving energy and infrastructure projects.

Mike has experience representing financial institutions and sponsors in all aspects of the acquisition, development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects. He has represented clients in the financing or sale of projects across a range of technologies, including solar, wind, battery storage, fuel cell, biomass, landfill gas, and advanced biofuels technologies.

Relevant Experience

Solar Projects

  • Represented equity investors in the financing of utility scale, distributed generation and residential projects, including a 156 MW project in Colorado (the largest solar project East of the Rockies when constructed ), a 49 MW project in Hawaii (the largest solar project in Hawaii when constructed), a 182 MW project in Texas (the largest solar project in Texas when constructed), a 178 MW solar project in Nevada, and several projects in California (including the first utility scale solar project in Santa Barbara County).
  • Represented sponsors in the term financing of utility scale and distributed generation projects in New York, Vermont and the Caribbean.
  • Represented sponsors in the acquisition and sale of solar projects in California, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon.

Wind Projects

  • Represented equity investors in the financing of utility scale wind projects in California, Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Represented lender in a $100 million senior secured bridge loan to finance a 249-MW wind project in Texas.

Other Power Generation and Biofuels Projects

  • Represented syndicate of lenders in an approximately $125 million senior secured nonrecourse credit facility to provide financing for a portfolio of landfill gas to energy projects.
  • Represented developer of fuel cell energy projects in a partnership with a utility company to develop a 14.9 MW fuel cell power plant in Connecticut (the largest fuel cell project in North America when completed).
  • Represented a US biofuels company in connection with obtaining a Department of Energy loan guarantee for a cellulosic ethanol facility.

Battery Storage Projects

  • Represented equity investor in its acquisition of an indirect interest in a 2 MW solar PV generating facility and a related 10 MW battery energy storage system in Arizona.
  • Represented technology and financial services company in its acquisition of an interest in a joint venture formed to own, develop, construct and operate a 20 MW battery energy storage project in California.
  • Represented developer of energy storage systems in a proposed loan from the Department of Energy for a manufacturing facility for production of lithium-ion vehicle battery systems.

Public Private Partnership (P3) and Infrastructure Projects

  • Represented the equity investors in a public-private partnership (PPP) project to design, build, finance, operate and maintain toll lanes on SH-288 in Houston, Texas.
  • Represented the lenders to the preferred bidder in connection with the proposed privatization of Midway Airport in Chicago.