A large number of key players in the renewable energy industry, including investors, developers and banks converged in Scottsdale Arizona on March 7-March 9 for the Annual Infocast Solar + Wind Finance & Investment Summit. This was the first annual in person Finance & Investment summit since the beginning of the pandemic and, as was extremely well attended. A large team of Foley attorneys were there from offices across the US and Mexico City. Foley's event on March 7 was attended by over 290 clients, friends and attendees.
Foley partner David Markey moderated a panel on the topic of "Opportunities & Value Drivers in a Dynamic M&A Market”. The panel focused on topics such as what is driving investment strategies in the renewable energy sector, which sector might be more favorable, whether the booming year of 2021 would be followed by a similar 2022 and other key trends in the M&A market.
The panel, with representatives from Southern Power, Nautilus Solar, Boralex and Scale Microgrid Solutions had a very insightful conversation. Some key takeaways were that money continues to flow both domestically and internationally into the US renewable energy market and that as of the beginning of March 2022, sellers were well placed to take advantage of that dynamic. The consensus was that this trend may continue throughout 2022. IPP investors and buyers would need to be creative in finding value in specific projects given the amount of institutional dollars that were available in the market. For some, those investment strategies may center around specific projects where value could be optimized such as state and local incentives, rather than the traditional ITC drivers. Strong projects with clear supply chain would continue to be sought after.
For others, it may be that if they do not have an urgency to deploy capital because of investment criteria it may be a game of patience and waiting for the right project or some other shift in the market (whether it be a larger geopolitical shift or otherwise). It should be noted that the panel had this discussion prior to the announcement by the US Department of Commerce to take up an investigation into anti-circumvention claims with respect to solar equipment. The conversation may have been different had it occurred after that announcement.
For more information on the Department of Commerce anti-circumvention investigation, please see Foley’s blog post here.