The Martinsville Clean Energy project successfully combined Investment Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits for the design, construction and installation of state-of-the-art clean energy generation technology into an anaerobic digestion facility in rural Martinsville, Virginia. The installation of the new technology allows the facility to process food waste (which could not be processed by the City facility) into biogas, which is then used to lower energy costs and provide environmental remediation for Monogram Foods (“Monogram”), a major food processing and manufacturing facility. The addition of anaerobic digester technology to Monogram’s production process, produces .4MW of clean energy each year, reducing net carbon emissions by 2,621 metric tons of CO2. Martinsville Clean Energy is a prime example of both the 2014 Virginia New Economic Strategic Plan, focused on utilizing a diverse portfolio of energy sources to encourage and enhance economic development in the area, as well as the objectives included in the Governor’s 2014 Energy Plan to diversify and grow innovated energy sectors, strengthen the business climate through investments in renewable energy sectors, and lower energy consumption throughout the Commonwealth. Monogram was the 2017 American Biogas Council Biogas Industry Award Winner for Project of the Year. With an unemployment rate of 9.4%, the project created 5 new, quality full-time permanent jobs with above average wages and retained over 471 additional jobs at the facility, as well as creating 18 new construction jobs. Over 50% of new jobs are filled by low-income persons or residents of the surrounding low-income community. Without the New Market Tax Credits (“NMTC”), the Sponsor would have been unable to expand as it lacks access to conventional financing. The Sponsor did not meet conventional underwriting requirements primarily due to technology risk and it is a stand-alone facility servicing a single plant.
On Aug. 6, 2018, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission announced the approval of a power-purchase agreement for a new energy facility in Moloka’i. This grid-scale, solar-and-battery energy storage project on Moloka’i will lower power costs for customers and comprise more than 45 percent of the island’s renewable energy production. The 2.6-megawatt (MW) project, which includes a 3 MW battery energy storage system, will be owned and operated by Moloka’i New Energy Partners. Construction was funded with equity from new markets tax credits (NMTCs) allocated by Punawai ‘O Pu’uhonua, a community development entity. The solar-and-battery project is expected to be in service by the end of 2019, with the power purchase agreement slated for 22 years.
On June 15, 2017, Pickwick Electric Cooperative (PEC), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), McNairy County Industrial Development Board, and Silicon Ranch officially commissioned and turned on a 10 MWDC solar energy facility in Selmer, Tennessee. The facility generates clean, renewable electricity that is provided to TVA as part of its Renewable Standard Offer (RSO) program. The project utilizes nearly 87,000 state-of-the-art First Solar modules and single-axis tracking technology to optimize energy generation throughout the year. In addition to the first project, on October 5, 2017, Silicon Ranch, PEC, and TVA commissioned a second 20 MWDC solar project 5 miles southeast of the initial 10 MWDC array. Together, these projects generate enough energy to power approximately 4,000 homes each year in the Tennessee Valley. The two solar projects position Selmer, McNairy County, and Pickwick Electric Cooperative as regional and national leaders in economic development via the advancement of solar energy. The distributed generation from these two facilities assist the utilities with managing peak demand and reducing strain on the electrical grid.
Located in the State of Georgia, historically underserved in the NMTC Program, the Lancaster Energy Partners Project consists of the acquisition and retrofitting of a former coal fired power plant which had closed 10 years ago. The power plant served an adjacent textile mill which had closed due to foreign competition. DVCI’s NMTC investment contributed to bringing the plant, located in severely distressed, low-income community suffering from 21.3% unemployment on a site which was environmentally contaminated, back to life. When operational, utilizing wood waste as the fuel source, this clean energy plant will produce 18 megawatts of electric power. The power will serve the surrounding low-income community and is being purchased by local electrical cooperatives, powering 16,000 homes. The wood waste harvested and transported by local companies will create $30 million of economic activity and 60 indirect full-time jobs.
The project is a first-in-nation renewable energy operating business that uses Sierra Nevada forest waste as its feedstock to produce electricity. The electricity will be used in an adjacent industrial park (a former Brownfield site) that focuses on the manufacturing of forest-originated products. The utilization of this forest waste is an imperative for the State and USDA to reduce fire hazard in the Sierras. In 2015 Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation that specifically called for the development of forest waste-to-fuel plants as a specific strategy in his initiatives for healthy forests. This is a project that truly meets the ‘but-for’ test. The $7.5 million in capital cost is funded primarily through a California Energy Commission grant of $5 million and in-kind cash and material contributions of $1.3 million. Due to the startup nature of the business, limited balance sheet, new technology, special equipment and remote location, debt financing was not available and equity financing was prohibitively expensive. In fact, a public finance consulting firm utilized by the developer was unable to raise the gap financing through any of its own channels, including USDA B&I programs, tax-exempting bonding, etc. new markets filled the gap perfectly. A $6 million NMTC allocation produced a $1.2 million benefit and subsequent to closing, the project was able to break ground.
There are two big winners in a new markets tax credit (NMTC) equity-financed development in Santa Fe, N.M.: the families who bought affordable, energy-efficient homes and the rest of the neighborhood.
250,000-square-foot expansion on Swiss Krono’s existing Barnwell manufacturing facility. The expansion includes the construction of a new medium-density fiberboard (MDF) manufacturing line, ancillary wood yard, energy plant and waste treatment facilities, as well as the installation of a fourth laminate flooring line. With this expansion, the plant will produce laminate flooring, MDF, high-density fiberboard (HDF), laminated panels for the furniture industry and treated papers for use in laminate applications. Currently, the facility only produces laminate flooring and treated paper.
The Portland Habilitation Center (PHC) is a non-profit whose mission is to assist individuals with disabilities throughout Oregon and Washington by providing job training and skill development so they may obtain and maintain meaningful work. PHC delivers contracted services in custodial, landscaping, light industry and administrative services, and currently trains and employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities. PHC is hosting an 870 kW system atop its new 110,000 SF facility in Northeast Portland. The renewable energy generated from the system will power expansion of PHC’s in-house manufacturing, assembly, order fulfillment, courier and warehousing services. The solar PV installation will eventually save PHC nearly $75,000 in annual energy costs. United Fund Advisors structured and closed the transaction, utilizing the Federal Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit as the primary tool to help finance the project.
Burnsville’s 2013 unemployment rate of 35.4% was more than three times the national average. During the 1990’s, Tishomingo County lost approximately 2,500 manufacturing jobs, primarily in furniture and manufactured housing businesses. As the economy began to add back manufacturing jobs in the 2000’s, the Great Recession hit and saw unemployment rise rapidly.The area has faced challenges creating economic opportunities for residents. Due to low educational attainment levels, the county was designated as a low education county (25% or more of residents 25 to 64 years old had neither a high school diploma nor GED in 2000) and one out of every five residents is below the poverty threshold levels. Mississippi Silicon is changing those statistics. The company built and is operating a $200 million silicon metal production facility in Burnsville, Mississippi with the help of RDP’s $20 million NMTC allocation. Silicon metal is consumed throughout the world in a wide variety of applications including the aluminum, automotive, chemical, semiconductor and solar industries. As a company that will be producing in excess of $100 million in product annually, MS Silicon will require large quantities of raw material inputs for its manufacturing processes. On average during the first 10 years of operation, the company will spend over $52 million on raw material inputs such as quartz, coal, wood chips, electricity, and electrodes â€“ materials that serve as the building blocks for the successful production of high grade silicon. While some of these materials (e.g. electrodes) will be sourced internationally, most will come directly from small towns and regions in the Southern and Midwestern United States. Mississippi Silicon has committed to provide at least 200 jobs for an area with high unemployment rate and few alternative employment opportunities. Additionally, the investment in Mississippi Silicon brings necessary infrastructure to the Burnsville Industrial Park. Community leaders hope the infrastructure attracts additional business, industry and jobs to the area. Without the NMTC, this project would not have gone forward.
The BioFuels energy project includes both the development of a methane gas treatment facility at the City of San Diego’s Point Loma wastewater treatment plant, and the installation of three fuel cells at multiple locations in San Diego. The purified methane gas from the wastewater treatment site were inserted into San Diego Gas & Electric’s natural gas pipeline and nominated for use at two of the fuel cell locations. A 2.8 MW fuel cell was located at U.C. San Diego and is part of the school’s East Campus Sustainability Park. The other two fuel cells were located at the City of San Diego’s Point Loma and San Ysidro wastewater treatment plants.