In May, we convened one of the hottest events exploring the intersection of U.S. finance and advanced energy with both national and state impacts — AEE’s Clean Street Meets Wall Street CEO Forum. Coming from a range of perspectives, participants delved into cutting-edge topics, including current risks and opportunities in today’s electricity markets, and trends in the advanced energy investment pipeline. The New York City event was also a Who’s Who for networking and side conversations with executives from the advanced energy industry, financial institutions, electric utilities, and technology companies.
In the daylong session, industry and finance executives talked about the scale needed to provide investors with compelling equity returns, looking at near, medium, and long-term scenarios. They covered the risks of climate change to renewable energy projects. And they explored opportunities and challenges associated with corporate demand for renewables and stranded costs from legacy power plants.
Among the trends discussed were the regional dynamics driving solar PPA trends; dramatic price drops in energy storage; the first wave of solar-plus-storage PPAs; new utility-scale storage markets in states with and without mandates; real-time arbitrage opportunities; new hybrid systems (e.g. pairing wind and solar); and expected capacity additions for wind and solar.
Other risks and opportunities in electricity markets that were addressed include:
- Pros and cons of contracted vs. merchant pricing for renewable energy deals;
- Securing tax equity for sub-utility scale transactions;
- Options for community solar investments, such as back-end subscription platforms;
- Investor expectations for asset-level returns;
- Opportunities for energy efficiency in the built environment;
- Prospects for EV charging to drive load growth;
- Current state of the market and growth prospects for residential solar; and
- Prospects for the corporate PPA market.
Participants included top executives from Ameresco, Marathon Capital, Clearway, Southern Current, Pattern Energy, ENGIE, Apex Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Bank, New Energy Equity, Arcadia Power, XL, Jenner and Block, National Grid, Modern Energy, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, CPS Energy, Hannon Armstrong, KeyBanc Capital Markets, AES Distributed Energy, Ducera Partners LLC, Morgan Stanley, Enel X North America, Tritium, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, BloombergNEF, and D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. Observers joined from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Edison Energy, Eversource, Dynamic Energy Networks, Navigant, and Pinnacle West Capital Corp. and Arizona Public Service. The forum was co-hosted by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Rubicon Capital Advisors, and sponsored by KeyBank Capital Markets.
Said one participant: “There are tremendous macro tailwinds behind what everyone is doing — technology change, growing public interest, tides of history — but it’s incredibly complicated and we’ll all probably feel like we’re running in front of a steamroller.”
AEE CEO Forums are invitation-only events where top executives from AEE member companies meet with their counterparts in related industries to explore shared challenges and opportunities. These exclusive gatherings complement AEE’s public events, including the recent Advanced Energy Now | East regional policy conference and upcoming Advanced Energy Now | West, Oct. 16-17, to be held at the J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. Register now by clicking below, and book your hotel room at discounted rate through Sept. 27.