The green industry admittedly is all about being green – being environmentally focused – but “greens,” as in dollars, also have a lot to do with it. In fact, the top 10 global finance deals in the green technology industry in 2011 totaled billions of dollars, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Here is a list of the companies that were involved in the top 10 worldwide green deals last year, from smallest to largest in terms of the amount of money involved:
1. High Plains Ranch II and III Photovoltaic Portfolio ($1.6 billion). The deal’s lead arranger, or investment bank, was the Federal Financing Bank, and it was one of the largest solar financings in the United States.
2. Abengoa Mojave STEG Plant ($1.6 billion). Its lead arranger was the Federal Financing Bank, and it was predicted in 2006 that it could become the largest solar photovoltaic power station in the world.
3. Agua Caliente Photovoltaic Plant ($1.7 billion). This is a 290-megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility being established in Yuma County, Ariz. It will use thin film solar panels produced by First Solar and should create more than 400 jobs. The deal’s lead arranger was the Federal Financing Bank.
4. Meerwind Sund (South) und Ost (East) Offshore Wind Farm Phase I ($1.8 billion). Its lead arranger included Commerzbank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial. The two wind farms will have 40 3.6-megawatt Siemens turbines each and be situated off the coast of Germany. They are slated to begin operation in 2013.
5. Dijursland Anholt Offshore Wind Farm ($1.9 billion). Nordic Investment Bank was its lead arranger. This is an approved Danish wind farm that features a capacity of 400 megawatts and actually will produce enough power to replace all electricity powered by diesel on the island of Anholt, a Danish island.
6. Endesa Renewable Energy Portfolio Refinancing ($2.0 billion). Lead arrangers included WestLB and Banco Santander. In the wind industry, Endesa’s goal is to strengthen the commitment to renewable energy as a profitable business that successfully fights against climate change.
7. BrightSource Ivanpah STEG Portfolio ($2.2 billion). The Federal Financing Bank was the lead arranger in this deal. The 370-megawatt solar power project features three power plants in the Mojave Desert of California. It will consist of almost 350,000 heliostat mirrors that focus solar power on boilers positioned on towers. The first phase of the project should be finished in 2013.
8. First Solar Desert Sunlight Photovoltaic Plant ($2.3 billion). Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and BayemLB were lead arrangers in this deal. This is a 550-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant project in California that will include a solar farm site, substation and transmission line.
9. NRG Energy Project Amp PV Plant ($2.5 billion). The lead arranger was Bank of America. Financing of this 855-megawatt project actually was the largest of the 234 new-build asset financing deals that occurred in the United States in 2011.
10. Global Tech I Offshore Wind Farm ($2.8 billion). Lead arrangers included BPCE and European Investment Bank. CEO Willi Balz, of Windreich AG, actually received the “Wind Deal of the Year” award for the 400-megawatt offshore London wind park project. The award came from well-known Project Finance International magazine.
Other Noteworthy Financial Leaders in the Green World
The U.S. Federal Financing Bank provided several loan guarantees for green projects in 2011 and thus tops the list of lead arrangers last year, with $10.14 billion in deal credit.
In addition, Netherlands-based NIBC tops the list of syndicated lenders (syndicated loans are provided by a group of lenders and administered by commercial banks or investment banks, or arrangers). This lender had $1.62 billion in deal credit.
Also, NRG Energy, a utility based in Princeton, N.J., was the top sponsor last year, with $6.46 billion in deal credit based on five investments it made in the solar energy industry. A sponsor is an organization that has an ownership stake in a project as a result of an investment made in it.
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