Solar Power International & Energy Storage International

Making Community Solar Projects Financeable

Tuesday, September 25
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: 207CD

This session will feature businesses and financiers that will describe their successes in financing community solar projects and address hot topics in this business model. This discussion will include third party vs. in-house subscription management, overcoming barriers to short-term subscriptions, and community solar on C&I rooftops.

Dana Allen Sands

Energy & Infastructure Partners

Dana Allen Sands
Ms. Sands is a partner at Energy Infrastructure Partners (EIP). EIP, a women and minority owned firm, was formed in 2011 to bring solar projects to HBCU’s - historically black colleges and universities. In addition to EIP’s HBCU’s projects, Ms. Sands led the EIP team which formed a joint venture with Sundurance Solar’s parent company. Sundurance is a New Jersey based solar developer that developed and built more than 70 MW of solar projects in seven states. Ms. Sands, a specialist in securitizations, has also structured PACE financings and wind securitizations. In addition, she is responsibility for setting up a solar “program” for several developers, whereby a single investor agrees to buy all of a developer’s projects at a pre-negotiated rate. Investors who negotiated to be the sole backers include Duke Renewable Energy, Con Edison Solar, Sun Edison, NRG, NextEra and Starwood. Before joining EIP, for five years Ms. Sands was a Senior Director of Renewable Energy Acquistions for Alinda Capital, a $7 billion infrastructure and energy fund based in Connecticut. While there, she led the fund’s investment priority in solar energy, working on utility scale solar projects across the country, including such high profile projects as Solar Reserve and Bright Source (Ivanpah). Prior to Alinda, Ms. Sands led the private placement group in California for Salomon Smith Barney/ City, where she specialized in clean tech investments. Ms. Sands began her investment banking career with ten years’ electric utility experience at Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. Ms. Sands, a CPA, has a Masters of Science and an a Master’s in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Yale University.


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Adam Altenhofen

Vice President
U.S. Bank

Adam Altenhofen originates renewable energy investment opportunities across the country. While at U.S. Bank, Mr. Altenhofen has been responsible for either originating or closing investments that have financed nearly 4 GW of solar and wind capacity. Prior to his current role, Adam was a senior project manager for U.S. Bank’s renewable energy investments group. Mr. Altenhofen previously held positions in power and energy lending at U.S. Bank and his background includes more than 12 years of experience in structured and corporate finance for power projects, electric and water utilities, and independent power producers. Adam received a B.S. in Business Administration from Colorado State University.


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Zaid Ashai

Chief Executive Officer

Zaid Ashai serves as Nexamp’s Chairman and CEO where he provides the vision and leadership to drive the Company’s continued growth and innovation. Before joining the management team, Zaid oversaw Nexamp as a General Partner at PJC.

Previously, Zaid worked at GoodEnergies, where he was elected a Kauffman Fellow and focused on investments in next-generation energy efficiency technologies—including Nexamp, 3TIER, Emergence Bioenergy, Everpower, and Kalpan in India. Zaid joined Good Energies from Harbourvest Partners and was previously an investment banking analyst in Credit Suisse’s Technology Group.

Zaid holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, Zaid was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has an AB in International Relations and Economics, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. Zaid has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.


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Joe Ritter

Senior Vice President, Business Development
Seminole Financial Services

Joe Ritter is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Seminole Financial Services, LLC - a full-service national investment management and financial services organization. Since 2009, Seminole has directly funded construction and permanent financing for over 585 MW worth of solar and wind projects, totaling over $1 billion of its own managed capital. In addition to the debt capital deployed, Seminole has also closed over $250 million worth of investment tax credit equity for solar projects. Joe has been with Seminole since the company’s formation and has personally originated, underwritten and managed over $500 million in construction and permanent financing for renewable energy projects (plus an additional $275 million in commercial real estate debt and equity financing). Joe holds a degree in Finance from the University of Central Florida.


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Jennifer S. Szaro, MBA

Senior Director, Content
Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Jennifer Szaro joined SEPA in 2015 and serves as Senior Director over Research and Education. Her role includes guiding content development and providing oversight for SEPA’s extensive portfolio of educational offerings, including jointly owned events such as North America Smart Energy Week (NASEW) as well as monthly webinars, Fact Finding Missions, the Utility Solar Conference and the Grid Evolution Summit. As a member of SEPA’s Leadership Team, she also guides research and provides strategic direction for SEPA’s newly expanded scope, which heavily focuses on the integration of DER technologies such as storage, demand response and electric vehicles.

Prior to her current role, Jennifer spent nine years as Renewable Energy Manager for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) leading their renewable energy, corporate sustainability and electric vehicle programs and conducted applied photovoltaic systems research for eight years as Senior Energy Analyst for the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

Jennifer holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Florida International University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Central Florida. She has served on the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations, including: SEPA, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the Florida Renewable Energy Association (FREA), Project Get Ready Central Florida and Drive Electric Florida. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.


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Making Community Solar Projects Financeable

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