Case Studies

Corporate Solar Procurement

A global audio electronics retailer wanted to add solar power to its iconic headquarters campus in Massachusetts. The company solicited quotations in a competitive procurement.  Selecting a winning bid proved difficult, however, due to great variation in the bid responses in terms of location, type of installation, ownership, financing, and pricing.  The company lacked the internal staff expertise to review the bids, and asked Birch Tree Capital for help.  Birch Tree Capital joined another firm to review the bids, recommend a vendor and contract format, assess the financial terms, review the contract arrangements, and help the retailer navigate changes in state incentives.  The project will be one of the largest arrays serving a single commercial off-taker in the state.    Read more.

Solar for Non-Profit & Public Sector Entities

PowerOptions®  is a non-profit energy buying consortium in Massachusetts, enabling its nearly 500 member universities, towns, housing authorities, and other non-profit and public sector entities to achieve energy savings and stability.  PowerOptions asked Birch Tree Capital to help create an innovative program to develop and finance solar projects for its members.  Birch Tree Capital assisted PowerOptions in designing the process to select the solar vendors, interview candidates, qualify their financing strategies.  More than 70MW of solar projects have been contracted to date through PowerOptions’ solar program.  Read more.

Financing Distributed Commercial Solar Projects

Tioga Energy, an early leading developer of distributed commercial solar projects, engaged Birch Tree Capital to accelerate its financing activities.  Tioga owned and operated more than 100 solar projects across the United States, helping its customers to reduce energy costs and hedge against electricity rate volatility while lowering carbon emissions.  Birch Tree Capital led Tioga’s successful financing of several individual solar projects.   Tioga’s portfolio and operations were acquired by sPower.  Read more.

Creating a Renewable Power Project Equity Fund

A start-up investment firm, Global Energy Investors, wanted to mobilize institutional equity to finance clean power projects. GEI engaged Birch Tree Capital to help develop a project-oriented investment fund. Birch Tree Capital focused the fund on distributed commercial-scale solar and wind projects, identified prospective developer partners and project opportunities, wrote internal credit policies, and met with potential investors. Birch Tree Capital helped GEI build a platform for clean energy investor capital.  Read more.

Investing Institutional Tax-Equity

Birch Tree Capital was the subject matter expert to a subsidiary of AEGON, a leading global life insurance company, investing in wind and other renewable projects. Birch Tree Capital advised the AEGON unit in tax equity investments in almost 300MW across four wind projects.  Birch Tree Capital formed and led a team to help negotiate the investments, lead due diligence financial modeling and reviews, and provide ongoing asset management financial support, including financial and market analysis of subsequent sales of the investments. One deal was the largest syndicated non-recourse bank financing for a wind power project in North America in 2005 and received Project Finance International magazine’s North American Portfolio Finance Deal of the Year award.   Read more.

Financing Innovative Clean Power Technology

Ze-gen, a venture capital-backed clean power start-up with advanced energy technology to convert ordinary wood waste streams into synthetic natural gas for industrial use, needed help to finance its pilot and demonstration plants. Birch Tree Capital coordinated Ze-gen’s successful raising of over $20 million in venture debt and Series B equity, enabling the company to complete its pilot plant and speed development of its commercial demonstration facility. Read more.

Innovating Project Financing

EDF Renewable Energy is a leading global renewable power project developer.  The U.S. unit was known as enXco prior to its acquisition by Electricite de France.  Until the acquisition, enXco had focused on development and sales of small wind projects.  Birch Tree Capital’s John Harper was hired by enXco as their first Director of Finance to secure project financing for their projects.  Mr. Harper closed commercial debt financing for a portfolio of wind projects. The transaction was the first wind financing to include third party tax-equity,  syndicated long-term commercial debt, and developer equity at the project level.