I’ve really enjoyed working on the project finance side of the solar and clean energy space to expand access and expand the attraction of capital to markets that haven’t traditionally been able to easily access – that couldn’t just pick up the phone and call a Wall Street institutional bank – and get a term sheet and rock and roll the very next day.
One of those examples is the Lake Street Solar Portfolio with a client who had a unique opportunity to shift from running a software service for global retail to wanting to have more impact counsel to starting solar informatics, to solve the back-end challenges for solar. Everything from billing, to project management, to production monitoring all in one elegant platform, which to him is really simple. That to me feels like Greek. Well, he had a tax liability from selling his portion of the business and was looking at the very unique opportunity to deploy that in solar and take advantage of some tax credits.
After going back and forth about the best fit, a different partnership that had been percolating emerged as the right opportunity for this client, who is an immigrant, as is his wife. They said, “we want to give back to the community”. The Lake Street Solar Portfolio of a little more than half a dozen, almost a dozen, rooftop solar installations along Lake Street and Franklin Avenue. In north Minneapolis, areas that have been harder to attract investment and eventually seen some of the challenges of the disruption and unrest in wake of George Floyd’s death. He is going to own and operate those systems. We have a black-owned contractor who’s doing the installations. We’re providing no money down and ongoing savings from the beginning to those nonprofits and small businesses, and making it so that we’re increasing opportunity all across the board. Of course, it does make economic sense for both the host and for my client. It’s been a really satisfying project to work on. This kind of brings together a lot of my skill sets and I’m excited to do more of these kinds of projects.