The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) established the Solar Access of Public Capital (SAPC) working group for this task. It comprises over 60 members from some of the leading organizations in the areas of solar deployment, finance, counsel, and analysis.
SAPC will be focusing on the following tasks: standardization of power purchase agreements, leases, and other documents relevant to residential and commercial deployment; and the development of robust datasets to assess performance and credit-default risk.
This design then allows projects to be categorized into tradable securities. With this, the SAPC hopes that the industry will be able to tap a larger and more liquid pool of capital than what is currently available.
"Its exciting to see the industry come together to build the foundation to a securitized market," commented NREL Senior Financial Analyst Michael Mendelsohn. "Access to low-cost public capital offers the potential to significantly lower the cost of solar energy."
SAPC will also be holding a forum to discuss the range of barriers, risks, opportunities and best practices in the development of a solar securities market. Public capital avenues can be asset-backed securities, master-limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, or various debt products.
Additionally, SolarTech and NREL are co-sponsoring a webinar on March 22. The "Can Finance Be Easier" webinar will commence with an SAPC Project overview by Mendelsohn followed by a round-table discussion of solar financing that includes moderator, David McFeely, SolarTech; Paul Detering, Tioga Energy; Tim Keating, SCS Renewables; Dirk Michels, K&L Gates.