Solar Finance Masters Series

Online

Length: 11 modules

Instructors: Chris Lord, Keith Cronin

Subjects: Solar: Marketing and Sales, Solar: Energy Finance

Description

This is a series of our top two solar finance courses taught by experts Chris Lord and Keith Cronin. When you enroll in this series you will receive access to two full online courses:

Certificates of completion are available for each individual course after all assignments are completed. Students who complete both courses earn a Solar Finance Masters Series certificate.

If you plan to take the series, we recommend starting with the Solar Executive MBA Training. Enroll in this series for additional savings. Each course has sessions starting 4 times per year and you can choose any session.

For more information about this course please review this guide: Compare: Solar Executive MBA Training VS Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects

If you are already a HeatSpring student and have completed one of these courses and would like to now take the other course, please contact us and we will make sure you get the bundled savings. You will also be eligible to earn a Solar Finance Masters Series certificate.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Solar Finance Masters Series Bundled Savings

Earn a certificate in our Solar Finance Masters Series by completing both courses in the series. Enroll in this series and save ~$400 off the individual course list prices. You can also apply the current discount.

Self Paced Online Course

This online course is self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information And Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate Of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

Instructors

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Chris Lord

Managing Director, CapIron, Inc.

Christopher J. Lord is the Managing Director of CapIron, Inc., a firm focused, among other things, on helping clients plan, structure and close financings involving renewable energy projects, including Distributed Generation and Utility-Scale Projects. Mr. Lord graduated from Cornell Law School, and practiced corporate law in firms, and in-house, for over 25 years. He...[more]

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Keith Cronin

SunHedge LLC

Keith Cronin is an in-demand business consultant. He has helped solar companies achieve their goals through his perspective, recruiting, coaching sessions and products. After his company was acquired by SunEdison, he decided to help people and serve others in Hawaii and across the globe. After his tenure with SunEdison, he founded SunHedge. SunHedge assists small...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
  • Complete Solar Executive MBA Training (Text)
  • Complete Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects Training (Text)
Module 1 - Development Plan

What are the six most critical factors to consider for your project? This week, we will go through the stages of a development plan and provide a scheduling tool you can use to quickly assess if a prospective project will provide you with the necessary returns and help you manage risk. The six critical items are: site control, permitting, power offtake, project financing, interconnection, and engineering. We've discovered that these critical items are often overlooked or not properly prioritized. By not combing through this process early, many solar integrators, developers, and finance partners end up chasing too many deals, draining resources that could be put to better use. The week's homework assignment is to create a project development plan for a sample scenario, including as many relevant details as possible.

Module 2 - Sizing a Distributed Generation System and Economic Modeling Basics

This week, with an overview of project planning and our development plan exercise behind us, we are now ready to size the PV system and tackle the economic modeling to determine if the project is financially viable. This week's curriculum is divided into two lessons: The first lesson covers distributed generation sizing. We've created a sample distributed generation project for you to evaluate and provide a proposal for. You'll look at the electric bill and determine the actual energy usage from the demand usage at the facility to come up with a true cost per kWh for electricity for your proposal. With the Excel tool that is provided, you'll figure out how much solar you can put on the roof of the building and how much energy the system will create. The second lesson covers economic modeling. We cover some basic commands, formulas and functions within Excel that will enable us to build a successful financial model of our proposed PV system. Once we are comfortable with these basic commands, formulas, and functions, we will graduate to our demo solar PV project model. Using this fully functional model as our guide, we will take a close look at planning and structuring a solar PV model, including some basic good housekeeping practices and organization. We will then take an in-depth tour to see how the individual modules and worksheets come together to create a look at the unstructured economics of a project and how a partnership flip works for such a project. We will focus for a close up look at the debt module, depreciation module and calculation of internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV). The week's homework assignment is to build your own model. We will provide you with a template that shows all or most of your inputs and the necessary steps to create the unstructured view and the partnership flip view. Your task will be to build the formulas within the model the arrive at useful outputs.

Module 3 - Risk Management and Budgeting

Solar developers often win jobs due to their allocations of labor, overhead, and profits. What if there was a way to identify, measure, track and know these key performance indicators and share them with your team? In the first part of this week's lesson, we go deep into your company's labor, overhead, and budgeting to give you a sense of what your costs are and how you can manage them and make adjustments. As you continue to develop your understanding of how to model the project economics using your completed (or in-process) demo model, you will look at the various project incentives and subsidies available to solar projects around the country. There are four main categories: federal tax, state tax, direct incentives, and solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). We will also familiarize ourselves with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) and touch upon feed-in tariffs. To conclude the week, we will consider how how prospective investors value a project and the implications of their methods.

Module 4 - Request for Proposal (RFP) and Financing Strategies

This week, you will learn about request for proposal (RFP) process and respond to a sample RFP. RFPs are put out for many projects and understanding the requirements of an RFP and if you can meet them is critical to your success. In addition, we will cover solar PV financial structures, specifically the partnership flip, sale-leaseback and pass-through lease (sometimes referred to as the inverted lease). We will also take a look at risk management in the context of project financing. Specific topics include insolation risk, leverage and credit risk. You will receive a sample RFP document and an Excel model for calculating leverage on a deal.

Module 5 - Contract Document Explanation - Video Lessons - Why, What, How and Who Explained

As you expand your solar business, legal and contractual documents will become vital to your risk management and general strategy. These may include: letter of intent (LOI), land lease, memorandum of understanding (MOU), power purchase agreement (PPA), site lease, special purpose entity (SPE), operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreement, etc. This week, we will provide sample documents for your reference, walk you through the essential elements of the documents, and share anecdotes and perspectives about what they are and how you will use them. An outgrowth of your development plan must be a resource management plan. An important part of a resource management plan is recognizing what work is best done internally versus externally. We'll spend some time discussing how to manage employees and contractors. This is a critical consideration because it's how you'll spend all of your time once you get a project approved.

Module 6 - Putting It All Together

This week, we will walk through our completed models, summarize where we got our data and how we used it, and assess the strength and financial value of our proposed project. We will also stitch together the economic model, cost modeling, and development plan to give you one place to determine system price to make it flow to the modeling. We will also answer any lingering questions from the the previous five weeks of the course.

Module 7 - Introduction to Modeling

TOPICS: General Principles, Good Practices, Important Functions, Formulas, Commands & Techniques. HOMEWORK: Create a Lease vs. Buy Calculator for Any Project Site

Module 8 - Understanding Key Concepts

TOPICS: Tax Benefits: ITC & Depreciation, Reflecting State Taxes & Incentives, Working with Leverage, Understanding P95 & Insolation. HOMEWORK: Create a Debt Module for Amortizing & Sculpted Loans using template.

Module 9 - Modeling and Analysis, Part 1

TOPICS: Basic Unstructured Project Model, Buyout Calculations, Mastering IRR and NPV, Using Goal Seek for PPA Pricing. HOMEWORK: Create an Unstructured Model of a Solar Project using the provided template

Module 10 - Modeling and Analysis, Part 2

TOPICS: Using Goal Seek for PPA Pricing, Modeling Partnership Flips for Year-End and Mid-Year Flips, Analysis and Risk Management, Integrating Your Model with your Business. HOMEWORK: Create a Partnership Flip with provided template; goal seek a PPA price.

Module 11 - Build and Submit Your Own Project Modeling Tool

This is your opportunity to customize the model template from class to be used most efficiently on the projects you're working on.

After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a Founding Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)

Students who took this course also took

Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects

This is a unique and intensive hands-on course on modeling distributed generation solar PV projects. The course includes sample models of an unstructured income statement, a partnership flip, and a sale-leaseback.

Solar Business Masterclass

It’s possible to add 30% more profit to your solar business. Get an extra 40 hours of free time back each month, and to do so without spending extra money on staff, software or advertising. Intrigued? I invite you to join the Solar Business Masterclass.