Energy Project Finance



We identify and anticipate transactional risk and craft creative, practical solutions and mitigation strategies to ensure our client’s energy project financings achieve closure and success.

Our approach

Successful financing of large-scale energy infrastructure projects requires careful coordination of resources, talent,and access to information and capital resources.

Our internationally recognized project finance attorneys have closed finance transactions for projects small and large, many exceeding $15 billion. Aggressive and efficient as needed, we use strategic planning, creative thinking and practical advice to fulfill project finance requirements effectively and spot future capital opportunities.

We don’t get tripped up by shifting business or regulatory landscapes, resolving issues creatively to propel projects forward. We address the risks and ensure our client’s projects are ultimately financeable.

As the nation’s preeminent firm in structuring and closing investments in tax credit transactions, we help developers, national syndicators, lenders and investors to structure renewable energy tax credits into project financing—ranging from solar to wind and biomass.

We advise a variety of clients in connection with energy tax credits, grants and loan guarantees from the Department of Energy and the USDA. Adept in capital market transactions, lease transactions, sale-lease back structures and equity fund formation, we also handle transactions involving debt from more traditional project finance lenders.

We work with

  • Project developers and participants
  • Sponsors and equity and tax equity investors
  • Large financial institutions
  • Lenders and borrowers
  • Buyers and sellers
  • Debt issuers
  • Independent power producers
  • Municipalities
  • Large corporations
  • Energy marketers and other energy enterprises
  • Private equity funds

Recent experience

  • Constellation Wines in connection with lease financing and construction arrangements with respect to approximately 2.83 MW of solar PV panels that will be installed at three of Constellation’s California wineries.
  • Google in connection with its $75M investment in a residential solar fund involving Clean Power Finance.
  • Citibank, the lead tax credit investor, negotiating and structuring an equity investment in a 14 MW project located at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada—at the time the largest solar PV facility in North America.
  • Morgan Stanley in connection with the acquisition of tax credit interest in 12 wind projects totaling 11,000 MW in eight states.
  • Tioga Energy, the developer of 19 solar energy sites in New Jersey totaling 3.2 MW, in connection with the financing and tax structuring for the Section 1603 ARRA federal solar Treasury grants and admission of the tax equity investor. The deal was awarded the “2010 Innovation Award for Clean Energy Finance” by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
  • Invenergy in connection with development, bridge, construction and term financing of the St. Clair gas-fired power project located in Canada, awarded the Project Finance Magazine “2007 North American Public Power Deal of the Year.”
  • Calpine Corporation in connection with project development and the $503 million joint construction and term financing of the 375 MW gas-fired facility in Mankato, Minnesota, and 250 MW combined cycle facility in Freeport, Texas. The combined projects were awarded the “2005 Power Project Finance Best Americas Deal of the Year” by Power Finance and Risk Magazine.
  • Crockett Cogeneration in connection with the 144A and Reg S offering of $295 million 20-year senior notes, the proceeds of which were used to refinance existing debt. The documentation included intercreditor arrangements in connection with a related letter of credit facility to secure certain project contract credit support requirements. Transaction was named “North American Refinancing of the Year” for 2005 by Project Finance Magazine.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy in connection with the $400 million loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing, LLC to manufacture state-of-the-art thin-film solar panels.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy in connection with the $245 loan guarantee to Red River Environmental Products, LLC to build an activated carbon manufacturing facility near Coushatta, Red River Parish, Louisiana.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy in connection with the $17.1 million loan guarantee to AES Energy Storage, LLC to support the construction of a 20 MW energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries. The project is located in Johnson City, New York.
  • PG&E National Energy Group in connection with the $1.46 billion portfolio construction and term financing of four merchant gas-fired power projects in New York, Arizona, Michigan and Massachusetts (MachGen).
  • The European Investment Bank, Agence Francaise de Developpement and Development Bank of Southern Africa Limited, in relation to the financing of an upstream gas processing facility.
  • The Inter-American Development Bank in connection with the $515 million construction financing and term-loan conversion for a 700 MW power plant in Mexico.
  • TD Banknorth in the tax credit financing of a commercial scale solar energy project.
  • Citigroup with the largest solar photovoltaic facility in North America located at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
  • SkyGen Energy Corporation as the developer and the owner of a gas-fired cogeneration facility with responsibility for all legal aspects of development and debt financing, including various equity bridge and working capital credit facilities.

How a DC law firm installed solar panels to help low-income people save on utilities

Washington Post | May 11, 2018

Nixon Peabody’s pro bono solar panel project is featured in this article.  Washington DC tax credit finance and syndication partner Jeff Lesk and senior counsel Herb Stevens are quoted throughout this feature which highlights how this first-of-its-kind project benefits low-income residents in the DC community.

Engie sparks off-grid light-bulb

Project Finance International | November 01, 2017

In an article on the expansion of off-grid solar power companies in Africa, Nixon Peabody is mentioned for advising PEG Africa in its $13.5M multi-currency syndicated loan.

Solar company PEG Africa secures $13.5m funding

Disrupt Africa | October 27, 2017

This article mentions Nixon Peabody for advising West African solar company PEG Africa on a multi-currency syndicated loan to develop solar energy and reliable electricity in the region.

SEIA releases new model PPA for C&I sector

Solar Industry Mag | August 31, 2017

Nixon Peabody is mentioned as one of the firms that contributed to the creation of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) newly released model contract to encourage solar power development in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Nixon Peabody brings back the sun in DC

The National Law Journal | August 27, 2017

This article features the Washington, DC office’s solar program and mentions partners Jeff Lesk and Herb Stevens, who manage grants for the firm’s nonprofit New Partners Community Solar Corp.

What do I need to know about repowering a facility?

Novogradac & Company | August 04, 2017

Boston Tax Credit Finance & Syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about what to consider when using renewable energy tax credits when renovating a facility.

The current: What is ‘back leverage’ and what do I need to know about it?

Novogradac & Company | May 09, 2017

Boston tax credit finance and syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about the increasing use of back leverage in renewable energy tax credit projects and its implications.

Up on Nixon Peabodys roof

Tax Credit Advisor | March 01, 2017

Washington, DC office managing partner Jeff Lesk and chief innovation officer Herb Stevens are featured in this article about the Washington, DC office’s Community Solar project.

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