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North American Solar Deal of the Year 2011: Desert Sunlight

01 March 2012

The Department of Energy’s financial institutions partnership programme (FIPP) had a short and controversial existence. It proved as controversial with the lending community as the wider loan guarantee programme became with the US public. FIPP was rolled out in October 2009, during a period when the department had struggled to demonstrate progress on its existing applications, and was designed to enlist commercial lenders’ due diligence skills and create a new origination pipeline. FIPP turned out to be a useful way to broaden the investor base for US power finance debt, as banks worked out how to syndicate the 80% DoE-guaranteed and 20% uncovered portion of FIPP deals separately. The negotiations between banks that allowed for this separation of tranches – stripping in market terminology – consumed much of the life of the programme. With the expiration of the section 1705 authorisation that created FIPP it came to an end, but...

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