by Lynn Tabernacki, OPIC’s Managing Director for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development
This month, on April 24-25, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) will host one of its signature events for renewable energy investors interested in Latin America – the Renewable Energy Latin America and Caribbean Conference and Exhibition (RELACCX) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. OPIC is excited to lead a pre-event Investor Financing Workshop on April 23 called, “How to Cross the Finish Line: Building A Bankable Finance Package For Renewable Energy Deals.”
This one day workshop will provide investors with a rare opportunity to have an in-depth, project-specific discussion with debt and equity financiers on structuring renewable energy transactions and preparing a project proposal that will be attractive to lenders and equity investors. Attendees will also learn how to attract capital by mitigating project and political risk. In addition to OPIC representatives, attendees can meet expert consultants on arranging a project’s equity and debt from a range of public and private sources. The Investor Workshop is the only event that offers investors an individually tailored conversation about their projects with potential financiers and arrangers of capital.
The day will start with pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between investors and either OPIC or a financial advisor. Participants will have an opportunity to provide business plans and other project information beforehand, thereby maximizing the value of the feedback offered by the expert. These meetings provide developers with an opportunity to share their story, and get a sense of a bank’s requirements for serious consideration of a transaction. Later in the afternoon, there will be a series of panel discussions discussing which project attributes are attractive and contribute to its viability. The OPIC workshop gives developers a roadmap to the steps of the financing process.
The workshop also details OPIC’s risk mitigation tools available for increasing internal rates of return (IRRs) and attracting outside investor interest. For example, political risk insurance (PRI) can be an important addition to a renewable energy project. OPIC can protect investors and private sector lenders against the risks of political violence, government offtaker breach of contract, and changes in feed-in tariffs. PRI is a field OPIC helped to create, and our experience allows us to look at each risk situation creatively. We fill the market gaps and ensure that investors are wisely looking at commercial risks, while insuring against political risk that may undermine a project’s viability.
The event on April 23 is the second time that OPIC has partnered with ACORE to provide this Investor Financing Workshop. As a direct result of last year’s workshop, a number of sponsors we met last year are under consideration for financing this year. Building familiarity through the one day, outcome-focused sessions is meaningful for both sides and leads to stronger projects in the end.