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Solar Finance Professional Masters Series


Instructors: Chris Lord, Keith Cronin

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

Length: 2 courses

Student Rating

8.6 out of 10 (view ratings)
Courses with student ratings: 2


This a bundle of 2 courses taught by Chris Lord and Keith Cronin:

After enrolling, we recommend starting with the Solar Executive MBA Training. Each course has sessions starting 4 times per year and you can choose any session.

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

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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 ~$300 off the individual course list prices. You can also apply the current discount.

Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

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. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. 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 LinkedIn integration.


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]

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]

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Course Outline #1 - Solar Executive MBA Training

Week 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.

  • Video Lesson 1: Introduction to the Development Plan (Video - 02:33 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 2: Site Control (Video - 06:46 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 3: Permitting (Video - 06:48 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4: Offtake (Video - 04:52 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 5: Finance (Video - 09:32 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 6: Interconnection (Video - 03:20 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 7: Engineering (Video - 04:18 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 8: Construction (Video - 05:25 minutes)
  • Homework Assignment (Video - 04:29 minutes)
  • Take the quiz for this week and earn a passing score (Quiz)
  • Audio Recording of Class Call, 10/25/19 (Audio .mp3)
  • Download: Sample Development Plan - Excel File (Download .xlsx)
  • Bibliography: Additional books and online resources (Download .pdf)
  • Upload Your Week 1 Development Plan Homework (Submit File)
  • Part 1, Tour of the Solar MBA Model: Overview and Dashboard (Video - 31:00 minutes)
  • Part 2, Tour of the Solar MBA Model: Unstructured (Video - 40:46 minutes)
  • Video Model Tour Part 3: Partnership Flip and Customer Analysis (Video - 51:37 minutes)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 05/21/21 (Video - 59:08 minutes)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 09/24/21 (Video - 57:04 minutes)
Week 2 - Sizing a Distributed Generation System and Economic Modeling Basics

This module, 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 module'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).

  • Video Lesson 1: Introduction to Sizing Distribution System (Video - 03:54 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 2: The electric bill (Video - 05:11 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 3: Excel Modeling your Distributed Generation System (Video - 06:36 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4: Examining Costs for a Distributed Generation System (Video - 05:30 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 5: Labor Tracking (Video - 06:09 minutes)
  • Week 2- Homework Assignment- Cost Modeling - Distributed Generation System (Download .pdf)
  • Week 2- Excel File Download- Cost Modeling - Distributed Generation System (Download .xlsx)
  • Homework - Week - 2 - Distributed Generation PDF (Download .pdf)
  • Week 2- Electric Bill - Download (Download .pdf)
  • Submit Your Homework (Submit File)
  • Support Material: Modeling Basics Overview (PDF) (Download .pdf)
  • Video Lesson 4 - Modeling Basics Overview Video (Video - 09:36 minutes) Preview
  • Video Lesson 5 - Modeling Basics Part 2 Video (Video - 15:12 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 6 - Modeling Basics Part 3 Video (Video - 22:37 minutes) Preview
  • Video Lesson 7 - Demo PV Model Overview Video (Video - 17:40 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 8 - Demo PV Model Part 2 Video (Video - 17:49 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 9 - Demo PV Model Part 3 Video (Video - 14:05 minutes)
  • Support Material - Commands and Formulas for Solar Modeling Accompanies Video Modeling Basics (Download .xlsx)
  • Support Material - Demo PV Project Model Accompanies Video Demo PV Model (Download .xlsx)
  • Homework - Week - 2 PV Project Modeling Assignment PDF (Download .pdf)
  • Homework - Week - 2 PV Project Modeling Template Excel Model Template Homework (Download .xlsb)
  • Homework: Upload your PV Project Model Here (Submit File)
  • Take the quiz for this week and earn a passing score (Quiz)
  • Audio Call Recording Class 02/28/20 (Video)
  • Modeling More Advanced Material - Shortcuts, 4 Functions and 1 Tool (Video - 41:53 minutes)
  • Modeling Basic Support - 11 Functions (Video - 52:27 minutes)
  • Excel Support Material: Basic Modeling (Download .xlsx)
  • Excel Support Material: More Advanced Shortcuts, Function & Tool (Download .xlsx)
  • SolarMBA v2.1 Demo Solar PV Project Model (Download .xlsb)
  • Homework Template for Demo Solar PV Project Model (Download .xlsb)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 05/28/21 (Video - 51:59 minutes)
Week 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.

  • Video Lesson 1: Introduction to Budgeting Your Business (Video - 03:30 minutes)
  • Download: Budgeting Excel File Template- Uses Macros (Download .xlsm)
  • Video Lesson 2: Budgeting Labor (Video - 04:55 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 3: Labor Productivity (Video - 05:25 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4: Overhead- Introduction (Video - 05:19 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 5: Overhead- Advertising (Video - 02:32 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 6: Overhead- Professional Services (Video - 02:28 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 7: Overhead- Training (Video - 02:43 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 8: Overhead- Summary- Allocation (Video - 02:26 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 9: Overhead- Cost Summary (Video - 04:30 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 10: Overhead- Minimum Labor Goals (Video - 05:23 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 11: Company Breakeven (Video - 05:14 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 12: Gross Margin - Company Annual Budget (Video - 08:18 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 13: Consulting-Commisions-Sales-Tool (Video - 03:14 minutes)
  • Download: Consulting-Commission-Excel File Template (Download .xlsx)
  • Homework - Budgeting PDF (Download .pdf)
  • Video Tutorial: File Uploads (Video - 03:17 minutes)
  • Submit your Week 3 homework: Click here to upload your file (Submit File)
  • Video Lesson 9 - Incentives Part 1 Video (Video - 30:27 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 10 - Incentives Part 2 Video (Video - 22:28 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 11 - Valuation Video (Video - 18:12 minutes)
  • Video Lessons 9 & 10 - Outline PDF for Incentives (Download .pdf)
  • Video Lesson 11 - Outline PDF for Valuation (Download .pdf)
  • Support Material: Excel Model Depreciation Example (Download .xlsx)
  • Take the quiz for this week and earn a passing score (Quiz)
  • Audio Recording of Class Call, 11/08/19 (Audio .mp3)
  • Solar Federal Tax Incentives - Tax Credit (Video - 22:07 minutes)
  • Solar Federal Tax Incentives - Depreciation (Video - 23:36 minutes)
  • Solar Federal Program - PURPA (Video - 27:05 minutes)
  • Incentives State Incentives Part 1 - State Tax Incentives (Video - 23:53 minutes)
  • Incentives State Incentives Part 2, Cash Grants, PBI & FIT (Video - 20:07 minutes)
  • Incentives State Incentives Part 3 - RPS/REC Prog. & Net Metering (Video - 36:30 minutes)
  • Incentives State Incentives Part 4 - RPS Programs, Community Solar (Video - 29:33 minutes)
  • Full working Solar and Load Analysis Model (Download .xlsx)
  • Class Call Recording - 10/01/21 (Video - 59:55 minutes)
Week 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.

  • Video Lesson 1: RFP- Intro (Video - 04:24 minutes)
  • RFP- Solicitation Document- Download (Download .pdf)
  • Video Lesson 2: RFP- Overview (Video - 06:27 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 3: RFP- Requirements (Video - 06:55 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4: RFP- Project Team - Qualifications (Video - 07:22 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 5: RFP- System Design (Video - 06:34 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 6: RFP- Minimum Requirements (Video - 05:50 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 7: RFP- Award (Video - 11:47 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 8: RFP- Insurance (Video - 06:02 minutes)
  • RFP-Guidelines- Homework PDF File (Download .pdf)
  • Upload RFP Response (Submit File)
  • Video Lesson 3 - Structures: Partnership Flip Video (Video - 34:34 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4 - Structures: Sale Leaseback Video (Video - 16:32 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 5 - Structures: Lease Pass-Through Video (Video - 20:23 minutes)
  • Support Material Lesson 3-5 Lecture Notes PDF for Solar PV Structures (Download .pdf)
  • Video Lesson 6 - Risk Management: Insolation Video (Video - 25:11 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 7 - Risk Management: Leverage Video (Video - 32:22 minutes)
  • Support Material Lesson 7 - Leverage Example Excel Spreadsheet - Leverage Example (Download .xlsx)
  • Video Lesson 8 - Risk Management: Credit Risk Video (Video - 10:34 minutes)
  • Support Material Lessons 6-8 Lecture Notes - Risk Management (Download .pdf)
  • Homework Class 4 - Modeling: PDF with Modeling Assignment (Download .pdf)
  • Upload Your Solar PV Model Homework Assignment (Submit File)
  • Audio Recording of Class Call, 11/15/19 (Audio .mp3)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 02/19/21 (Video - 01:02:51 hours)
Week 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.

  • Video Lesson 1: Introduction to a LOI (Video - 05:17 minutes)
  • LOI- Sample- Download (Download .docx)
  • Video Lesson 2: Introduction to a MOU - Part 1 (Video - 07:28 minutes)
  • MOU- Land Lease- Sample- Download (Download .docx)
  • Video Lesson 3: Introduction to a MOU - Part 2 (Video - 06:43 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 4: Introduction to the SEIA PPA- C&I - Part 1 (Video - 05:18 minutes)
  • SEIA- PPA- C&I - Download (Download .pdf)
  • Video Lesson 5: Introduction to the SEIA PPA- C&I - Part 2 (Video - 09:38 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 6: Introduction to the SEIA PPA- C&I - Part 3 (Video - 07:17 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 7: Introduction to the SEIA PPA- C&I - Part 4 (Video - 08:02 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 8: Introduction to an Operations & Maintenance Agreement (Video - 09:05 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 14 - Overview & SPE Video (Video - 24:28 minutes)
  • Video Lesson 15 - PPA Video (Video - 44:42 minutes)
  • Document - Lesson 15 - Form of PPA (Download .doc)
  • Document - Lesson 16 - O&M Form of O&M (Download .doc)
  • Video Lesson 17 - EPC Video (Video - 30:40 minutes)
  • Document - Lesson 17 - EPC Form of EPC (Download .doc)
  • Lecture Notes - Lessons 14-17 Lecture Notes (Download .pdf)
  • Take the quiz for this week and earn a passing score (Quiz)
  • Class Call 5 Recording (Audio .mp3)
  • NREL- Commercial- PPA- Download (Download .docx)
  • Zoom Call Recording - 13NOV20 (Video - 55:09 minutes)
  • Zoom Call Recording - 20NOV20 (Video - 57:45 minutes)
Week 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.

  • Video Lesson 1: Putting It All Together (Video - 05:33 minutes)
  • Excel File - Download- Financial Model (Download .xlsb)
  • Lesson - 2 - Summary Model Review (Video - 42:41 minutes)
  • Video Lesson - 3 - Partnership Flip: Supplemental Material on Fine Tuning the Flip Video (Video - 17:15 minutes)
  • Role of Appraisal and Cost Segregation Analysis in a Renewable Energy Project (21 minutes) (Audio .mp3)
  • Take the quiz for this week and earn a passing score (Quiz)

Course Outline #2 - Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects

Week 1 - Introduction to Modeling

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

  • Course Overview (Video - 07:35 minutes) Preview
  • Housekeeping (Video - 09:56 minutes) Preview
  • Planning and Organizing (Video - 20:40 minutes)
  • Homework Assignment Description and File Upload (Submit File)
  • Solar Modeling Class 1 Homework Sample - Site Lease vs. Buy (Excel) (Download .xlsx)
  • Week 1 Presentation Slides (Download .pdf)
  • Solar Model with 8760 and Cash Flow v1.7 (Download .xlsx)
  • Video Recording of Class Call, 1/29/21 (Video - 59:52 minutes)
Week 2 - 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.

  • Model Tour - Overview and Dashboard (Video - 19:23 minutes)
  • Model Tour - Solar Production and Revenue (Video - 16:02 minutes)
  • Model Tour - Partnership Flip and Customer Analysis (Video - 25:35 minutes)
  • Model Tour - Unstructured and EBITDA (Video - 20:31 minutes)
  • Homework Assignment - Unstructured Model (Download .pdf)
  • Homework Assignment - File Upload (Submit File)
  • Supplemental Video - Auditing & Correcting a Name for Insurance Calculations (Video - 08:40 minutes)
  • Solar Model with 8760 and Cash Flow Template for Homework v1.6 (Download .xlsx)
  • Partnership Flip Overview (Download .pdf)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 2/5/21 (Video - 01:06:52 hours)
Week 3 - 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

  • Modeling Overview: 12 Basic Commands, Functions, and Formulas - Part 1 (Video - 36:07 minutes)
  • Modeling Overview: 12 Basic Commands, Functions, and Formulas - Part 2 (Video - 18:45 minutes)
  • Modeling Overview: 12 Basic Commands, Functions, and Formulas - Part 3 (Video - 15:22 minutes)
  • Modeling Overview: Four Important Features or Tools (Video - 28:31 minutes)
  • Week 3 Homework (Download .pdf)
  • Homework Assignment - File Upload (Submit File)
  • Solar Model - 12 Basic Commands Formulas and Functions (Download .xlsx)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 2/12/21 (Video - 01:02:37 hours)
Week 4 - 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.

  • Depreciation (Video - 28:06 minutes) Preview
  • Presentation Slides - Depreciation (Download .pdf)
  • Depreciation Example (Download .xlsx)
  • Understanding and Modeling the Partnership Flip (Video - 34:58 minutes)
  • Presentation Slides - Partnership Flip (Download .pdf)
  • Leverage (Video - 34:07 minutes)
  • Presentation Slides - Leverage (Download .pdf)
  • Leverage Example (Download .xlsx)
  • Complete & Upload the Customer Analysis Worksheet in your Template Model. (Submit File)
  • Zoom Class Call Recording - 02/19/21 (Video - 01:02:51 hours)
Week 5 - 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.

  • Upload Your Modeling Tool (Submit File)
  • Class Call 5 - Related Article (Text)
  • Class Call 5 Recording (Audio .mp3)
  • Audio recording of Class Call, 03/20/20 (Video)
  • Audio recording of Class Call, 03/20/20 (Video)
  • Audio recording of Class Call, 03/20/20 (Video)
  • Audio recording of Class Call, 03/20/20 (Video)
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