Venture Investment: dt. Solar-Farm in Kalifornien

Marcus Fabian

New member
27. Dez. 2011
Ein deutsches Start-Up Unternehmen im Gebiet Solarenergie hat Land in California gekauft und benötigt Kapital, um eine Solarfarm zu erstellen.

Die Abnahme des Solarstroms durch den kalifornischen Staat ist auf 20 Jahre per Gesetz garantiert.

Das deutsche Start-Up benötigt Venture Kapital.

So wurde es mir von einem Arbeitskollegen (der um zwei Ecken Kontakt zu besagtem Start-Up hat) zugetragen.

Ich stelle hier die Frage in den Raum, ob jemand Interesse hat, sich an so einem Projekt mit Geld zu beteiligen.

Ich will so ein Investment nicht empfehlen aber auch nicht davon abraten. Ich weiss schlicht zu wenig darüber. Einen business-plan habe ich nicht gesehen.

Mir wurde ein pdf zugesandt, das ich kommentarlos unten zitiere.

Falls jemand Interesse hat, kann er mir ein PN schicken und ich stelle dann den Kontakt her. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger.

Für weitergehende Fragen stehe ich explizit nicht zur Verfügung! Wer dieses Posting gelesen hat, weiss so viel wie ich.

We, ………………. are a utility-scale, solar photovoltaic (PV) developer. Our goal is to deploy and own utility-scale, solar PV power plants in the State of California. Our immediate-term focus is on small deployments, in multiples of 1.5 megawatts (MW). A single 1.5 MW system occupies 10 acres and costs roughly $5 million to deploy, inclusive of all costs. By focusing on small deployments, we are eligible to obtain "must take" power purchase agreements (PPAs) under the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC's) feed-in tariff for small generators. Our plan is to deploy a portfolio of such systems. We currently have eighteen (18) of these systems, spread across seven sites, in our development pipeline.

In respect of the eighteen systems, we are pursuing PPAs under the feed-in tariff with Southern California Edison (SCE), the leading utility in California. The feed-in tariff presents a simple mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to the utilities, such as SCE, at predefined terms and conditions, without contract negotiations. The California Energy Commission (CEC) determines the tariff rate, and under the tariff, utilities are obligated to buy the power. The term of the PPAs is 20 years. Currently, the program is restricted to facilities of rated generating capacity of 1.5 MW in size or less.

In respect of the eighteen systems, we just obtained our first PPA (in relation to one system), and we anticipate obtaining two additional PPAs (in relation to two different systems) within 30 days. In addition to these three systems, we have a further seven systems under interconnection system impact study with SCE, and we expect receipt of these studies, once completed, on or before July 15, 2012. A completed study is the prerequisite to obtain a PPA.

Germany-based Belectric, the industry pioneer of utility-scale, solar PV systems integration and optimization, is our EPC contractor. With subsidiaries in 15 countries, Belectric designs, manufactures and constructs utility-scale, solar PV systems worldwide. According to PV Magazine, Belectric was the global leader in 2011, developing 400 MW of solar PV systems. Belectric's installation experience includes over 150 utility-scale, solar PV power plants, as well as numerous industry firsts, including first ever thin film solar power plants in Europe, Spain and France, as well as first ever solar power plant in India and the UAE. Belectric will build, and operate and maintain our power plants over the course of the their PPA lives.

The Belectric design is comprised of fixed-tilt, ground mount, solar arrays. There are no moving parts. But for inverters, Belectric's German-engineered balance of system has a useful life of over 40 years. Integrated into the grid, our long-term strategy is to continue to generate power at the end of our systems' initial 20-year PPAs. Our strategy is to pursue new contracts, with or without repowering (i.e., replacing this generation's solar modules with next generation's). California's intense solar irradiance, coupled with peak electricity demand and prices matching the solar power output cycle, optimizes the efficiency of a solar deployment. The same system deployed elsewhere generates significantly less energy and in markets where peak electricity demand and prices only partially match the solar power output cycle.

We have just been approached by an investment syndicate to purchase the project which has the PPA. There are two systems on this parcel, one with the PPA, and one which is presently under study. The

purchase price for the project rights (i.e., outright ownership), which includes both systems, is $1.75 million. We are reluctant to sell the project. Our model is one of ownership. These systems pay for themselves. Integrated into the grid, with a useful life of over 40 years, the systems' residual value is immense. With an ideal climate for solar, where peak electricity demand and prices, due to heavy air conditioning power loads in the hot summer months, perfectly match the solar power output cycle, California offers us, as a solar PV developer, an energy market unlike any other in the world. Unlike markets elsewhere, such as Germany, New Jersey, and Toronto, in California, we do not rely on a subsidized feed-in tariff to compete with conventional energy producers. In California, the feed-in tariff differs from the similarly named "feed-in tariffs" in Germany, etc., which include a subsidy in the feed-in tariff price. In California, there is no subsidy. Our PPAs are priced at grid parity.

Another opportunity that just surfaced, that coincided with us obtaining the PPA, is sponsor equity financing through a Chinese immigrant investor program (the "EB-5" Program). There is a California-based solar focused investment fund with Chinese backing, which has offered us 15% of the capital we require for our projects (see attached brochure). Only those projects with PPAs are eligible (as I mentioned, in addition to the PPA we just obtained, we anticipate two more within thirty days, and there's a reasonable chance we will obtain a further two within 60 days). The systems underlying these PPAs represent the vanguard of our development pipeline, and in terms of project finance (depending on the number of PPAs), we estimate our total Q4-2012/ Q1-2013 deployment financing needs may range from $15-$25 million. Accordingly, the opportunity to secure from $2-$4 million in EB-5 financing is very real. We qualify because all of our developments are sited in the County of San Bernardino (again, see attached brochure). The EB-5 funds can be used for development capital and are junior. A five year term at 4% is our target. The only challenge for us is the timeline. It takes the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service six months to process the immigration applications. Nonetheless, we are proceeding with this option.

We are in need of development capital. We need ~$2 million to bring all of the projects in our existing development pipeline to shovel-ready, plus cultivate one or two additional projects. This capital can be mezzanine to the EB-5 capital, or long-term (equity and/or debt).

To assist with your review, attached is our "2012 Deployments" proforma. It accounts for a 1.2 MW system on our "Hesperia West" parcel, two 1.5 MW systems on our "29-Palms North" parcel, and one 1.5 MW system on our "29-Palms West" parcel. The "2012 Deployments" proforma does not reflect the second 1.5 MW systems on the "Hesperia West" and "29-Palms West" parcels, or the third 1.5 MW system on "29-Palms North" parcel. Generally speaking, it's the second and third systems that benefit from the interconnection/ land cost/ land use permit cost redundancies (which is a reflection of our system clustering strategy - multiple systems on the same parcel). Accordingly, the "2012 Deployments" proforma is moderately front-end heavy.