Money is available for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects, bank officers from CITI and Deutsche Bank said, but it is vital to know how to leverage every kind and source of financing.
It’s called financial engineering and it is the only way to fund big solar projects, CITI Managing Director and Alternative Energy Finance Head Marshal Salant insisted at the Smithers APEX solar event in San Diego last week.
The key differences between PV and CSP, Salant said, is that “PV can be done on a much smaller scale and be economic, and a large project can be done in phases. It’s a lot easier to finance $250 million or $500 million than it is to get $3 billion all at once.” CSP requires vital economies of scale “so you’ve got to raise $2 billion all at once. That’s a lot harder to do than to raise $500 million four times.”