Renewable Energy Tax

Maximizing Benefits: How to Make the Most of Transferable Tax Credits

This blog is the third and final in a January 2023 series that will explore the opportunities in the transferability of renewable tax credits for investing in renewable energy and reducing tax liability.  Consider reading the first and second blogs on this topic.  The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on August 16, 2022, has created new opportunities to invest in a sustainable future. There are many options, but one of the more promising is new transfer provisions which allow for the transfer of renewable energy tax credits between taxpayers. With these new transfer provisions, a taxpayer can purchase a tax credit generated from an eligible project, for example, at $0.90 per $1 of tax credit and then apply the credit to reduce required tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the full $1.   In this blog, we’ll cover some of the considerations both investors and developers should keep in mind as they explore participating in the transferred tax credit market.  The specific considerations we will explore are those associated with tax credit “step ups” on transferred ITCs, monetizing depreciation on transferred tax credit deals, recapture and eligible basis risk for transferred tax credits.   Eligible basis risk and tax credit “step ups”  Investment tax credits – whether a transferable or a traditional tax credit investment – are 30% (or more, if adders apply) of the eligible (cost) basis of the development of renewable energy development.  What is allowed to be included in the eligible basis of a renewable energy development (e.g., solar system, battery storage facility, etc.) is subject to the rules of the IRS.  In traditional tax equity transactions, it’s common for the project assets to be contributed into a holding company at a fair market value, thus establishing an eligible basis that is higher than the hard costs of the project. This fair market value is typically…

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What Do We Know About the Transferability of Renewable Energy Tax Credits?

By Kimberly Carlini, Senior VP of Investments, and Bryen Alperin, Managing Director  This blog is the second in a series that will explore the opportunities in the transferability of renewable tax credits for investing in renewable energy and reducing tax liability.     The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on August 16, 2022, has created new opportunities to invest in a sustainable future. There are many options, but one of the more promising is new transfer provisions which allow for the transfer of renewable energy tax credits between taxpayers. With these new transfer provisions, a taxpayer can purchase a tax credit generated from an eligible project, for example, at $0.90 per $1 of tax credit and then apply the credit to reduce required tax payments to the IRS by the full $1.   We know enough about transferability to be certain that this added feature in the Internal Revenue Code will allow for a meaningful new avenue to access tax credits from renewable energy projects, and we expect these changes to expand the population of taxpayers that participate in the renewable tax credit market.  The industry anxiously awaits guidance from the IRS on the intricacies of transferability, and when that guidance will be delivered is still uncertain. However, we do have solid visibility into what participants can expect, including that:  Taxpayers can elect to transfer all or a portion of their tax credits to a non-related transferee.  Payment for credits must be in cash.  The tax credit amount will not be included in taxable income, nor deductible.  There are no caps or phase outs (unlike direct pay).  Election must be made no later than the due date (including extensions) for the respective tax return, and is irrevocable.  Transferees cannot re-transfer the credits.  If the tax credit is generated by a partnership, the…

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Tax Equity and ESG: Leveraging Tax Credits for Sustainable Investments

Due to the risks posed by unsustainable practices, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis has gained increasing importance in the corporate world. This approach considers key stakeholders outside of shareholders during investment analysis, which helps investors protect against risks, capitalize on green opportunities, and attract ESG-conscious investors. By doing so, ESG analysis promotes stakeholder capitalism.  In recent years, ESG-aligned investments have accelerated and outperformed the market. Environmental and social factors are among the top risks identified by the World Economic Forum, and double materiality makes ESG-aligned corporations best positioned for a low-carbon future. Governments can incentivize private investment in green industries through taxes and tax credits, which are an increasingly popular option as part of ESG strategies. Tax credit investments provide a market and revenue stream for renewable energy producing organizations, enabling them to align themselves with a sustainable, low-carbon economy and reduce their transition and liability risks and cost of capital while enhancing their ESG-credentials.  Currently, ESG measurement and reporting space lacks a universal framework and consistency in terminology, data, and practices. The Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance aim to provide clarity and guidance on ESG and its incorporation into investment decisions, while the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed disclosure rule will mandate public companies to report on their ESG impacts and seek assurance on that data from a third party. Companies that report and progress on ESG impacts and progress towards ESG goals are viewed as remaining competitive, while financial markets predict long-term benefits for returns.  ESG-related disclosures are important as they provide stakeholders with the necessary data to analyze the material impacts of an organization. This enables companies to make smarter tax credit investment decisions and report the investments afterwards, meeting stakeholder expectations and enhancing their…

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2022 Year in Review

Foss & Company 2022 project, Radical Hotel Many companies have long overlooked tax equity investing as part of their tax strategy for different reasons. But this past year has presented new, unique opportunities in the tax equity market for both developers and investors. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has provided more incentives than ever in US history for tax credit investments and facing the current challenge of inflation and increasing interest rates, tax equity may be essential to push projects forward. 2022 proved to be a big year for Foss & Company as well. In June, Foss announced that in addition to the over $8 billion in tax equity the company has deployed since its inception, we have over $1 billion in tax credits currently under management. Among other milestones, the Foss & Company team has continued to grow. We welcomed 14 new team members who have helped grow our capital markets, renewable energy, marketing and real estate teams. We are also pleased to share that in August of 2022, Foss & Company featured North Carolina project, Capitola Mill, won the Gertrude S. Carraway Award for demonstrating a commitment to extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/ or significance in preservation. We could not be more thrilled with our successes in 2022, and we could not have done it without our dedicated team, developer partners and investor clients. Vision 2045: A Look Towards the Future In 2022, Foss & Company had the unique opportunity to be featured in the Vision 2045 campaign. This campaign supported the United Nations and its objectives for the institution’s 100- year anniversary in 2045 and aimed to inspire businesses and people to take collective action to ensure a better future for all.  As part of this multi-faceted campaign, Foss & Company produced a short, documentary-style video that highlighted…

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GAAP Principles for Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are a set of guidelines and rules that companies use to prepare their financial statements. These principles are established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and provide a consistent framework for companies to report their financial information to investors, analysts, and regulators.  Renewable Energy Tax Credits (RETCs) require specific accounting principles to which companies must adhere to accurately reflect the economic benefits of these credits in their financial statements. One of the key principles is the deferral method, which allows companies to recognize the tax credits over a period of time rather than all at once.  The deferral method is used to reflect the economic benefits of the tax credits in a more accurate and realistic manner. When tax credits are recognized all at once, it can lead to overstating the value of the credits and can result in a mismatch between the tax benefits and the associated costs. By spreading the recognition of the tax credits over a period of time, companies can align the tax benefits with the associated costs, providing a more accurate representation of the economic benefits of the credits.  To use the deferral method, companies must determine the period over which the tax credits will be recognized. This is typically the same period as the project’s useful life, which is the period over which the project is expected to generate economic benefits. Companies must also determine the amount of tax credits that will be recognized in each period. This is typically done by using an estimate of the expected tax credits for the period and adjusting it as necessary based on actual results.  In addition to the deferral method, companies must also follow other GAAP principles when accounting for RETCs. These include properly classifying the credits as either a…

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drew goldman

Spotlight Series: Drew Goldman, Vice President, Investments

Foss & Company is comprised of a group of experienced professionals, representing the best in class within their respective fields. In this blog series, we highlight different Foss & Company team members to shine a light on the diverse and dedicated people that help make us who we are.    Drew Goldman, Vice President of Investments for Foss & Company, spent 18 years in financial services and held roles including equity syndication, strategic M&A, global investment banking, corporate lending, and commercial real estate before joining Foss & Company in 2019. Drew has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and earned his BBA from The University of Texas at Austin.  Get to know Drew in the latest Spotlight Series blog:   How did you get started in the tax credit investing industry?    After working in the corporate finance and investment banking industries, I moved “back home” to Atlanta in 2005 and found myself in charge of business development for an apartment management company; a large portion of the third-party units were in the Low-Income Housing sector, so I learned a lot about tax credits by absorption.   With 2008 – and the “Great Recession” an opportunity to raise capital for a large LIHTC syndicator presented itself. I then transitioned into tax equity. Since then, I have migrated from Housing into Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation.  When did you join Foss & Company and what interested you about the company?    I joined Foss in January 2019 with a growing interest in financing Renewable Energy and other Sustainability-focused initiatives. Foss has a highly entrepreneurial culture, and a flexible approach to our evolving marketplace.   What do you find important or interesting about tax credits?    I have been in financial services since the 1990s – tax credit equity is well-proven for mobilizing private sector capital into…

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Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) is the process of capturing carbon oxide (can be either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, but most commonly we speak of carbon dioxide or CO2) from emission sources for the purpose of preventing it from reaching the atmosphere, which would amplify greenhouse heating. Typically, the CO2 is permanently stored deep underground, but it can also be utilized in other ways, so long as the CO2 never reaches the atmosphere. CCUS and the related 45Q tax credit provides a unique opportunity for tax equity investors to invest in an Environmental, Societal, and Governance (ESG) friendly tax credit. The process of CCUS typically involves the following steps: Locate a predictable and constant source of carbon dioxide emissions: Most combustion processes create CO2, a few examples are coal/natural gas plants, power plants, and ethanol production. Capture the CO2: The process involved in capturing the CO2 depends on the concentration or purity levels of the source emissions. High purity emissions of CO2 (>95% by volume), such as the CO2 emitted from the biorefining of ethanol requires minimal, off-the-shelf-technology to separate out the CO2. Low purity emissions (<95% by volume), such as the CO2 emitted from a coal power plant require advanced technology and various chemical processes to separate out the CO2. Find storage site: A suitable storage site is required to permanently sequester the CO2. Currently, the most suitable sites may be a saline aquifer or in a depleted oil reservoir as is the case in enhanced oil recovery (EOR).  Other means of permanent storage are being pursued, for example permanent sequestration in concrete during the manufacturing process. Transfer the CO2 to the sequestration site: In some instances, producers (emitters) of CO2 may be conveniently located on or near a suitable storage site. In all other instances, pipelines are used to transport the CO2 from the emitters to the…

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Solar Industry Veteren Alex Tiller To Launch Renewable Energy Tax Equity Fund

Solar Industry Veteran Alex Tiller to Launch Renewable Energy Tax Equity Fund September 1, 2017, San Francisco, California – Foss & Company is pleased to announce that Solar industry veteran Alex Tiller has joined the firm as Managing Director to launch a new tax equity investment fund and syndication platform focused on renewable energy projects throughout the US. The new group will be based in Denver Colorado and seeks to deploy $300 Million in renewable energy projects by the end of 2018.  Foss Renewable Energy Partners primary focus is on photovoltaic solar and storage projects but may make discretionary investments in other renewable energy technologies. When asked about the new fund Mr. Tiller said, “due to the nuance and complexity of the tax code, the tax credit market is extremely inefficient for investors and energy project developers alike. Our goal is to streamline and simplify the process on both sides, allowing more capital to flow to high quality projects faster.” Mr. Tiller is the former President of Vancouver BC based Solar Alliance Energy, Inc. and the former CEO of Sunetric, previously Hawaii’s largest solar company.  Tiller was also a founding partner of Sunetric Capital, Aloha Solar Energy, and Aloha Solar Partners.  All three entities operated within the solar project development, financing, and asset management space.  Prior to his career in renewables, Tiller led the development of a private equity investment fund focused on agriculture and he started his career at Fidelity Investments. Foss & Company is a national institutional investment management firm founded in 1983.  The company has deployed over $5 Billion in cash equity from institutional investors including national insurance companies and large corporations.  Foss provides its investors with a broad array of tax credit programs combined with the most efficient implementation available in the tax credit marketplace. To date the…

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