Spotlight Series: Dawn Lima

Foss & Company is comprised of a group of experienced tax credit professionals, representing a great depth of knowledge 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.  

As Vice President of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies, Dawn Lima manages all aspects of the transaction lifecycle for both solar and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) investments, including the identification and development of new CCUS opportunities for Foss & Company. Ms. Lima has over two decades of experience in full cycle of oil & gas energy development, spanning operations, business development and acquisitions & divestitures.

To learn more about Dawn, read out latest Spotlight blog series installment:

How did you get involved in the tax credit industry?

By chance or even fate! After over two decades working in the Oil & Gas industry developing fossil fuel energy I was approached by Foss & Company for a position on the Carbon Capture, Utilization & Sequestration (CCUS) team. I was interested in working on renewable energy projects and Foss offered a unique opportunity. I knew little about the tax credit industry at the time but was very intrigued by tax equity investments; corporations can convert a tax liability to an attractive investment that also has a positive social impact! Tax credits and tax equity investing rings many bells: Investment versus liability, reduces the corporate tax rate, ESG project and positive social impact!

What originally interested you about carbon capture and the renewable energy/sustainability industry?

I have over 20 years of experience in Oil & Gas and had the opportunity to work both domestically and internationally on a variety of upstream development projects. I chose to pivot and work in green energy, or sustainable technologies, because I believe our energy future needs to be a diverse platform. Oil & Gas will still have a role, but its role will diminish to one in support of green energy technologies. I enjoy the Energy field but wanted to broaden my experience to sustainable technologies and make a direct positive impact on decarbonization. I have always been passionate about innovative technologies and, particularly, when you can apply them towards improving a business model. I wanted to work in an industry I felt excited about and see as the future of our energy platform. There are so many innovative sustainable technologies emerging currently. I feel it is a perfect time to transition.

What is one thing people may not know about Foss & Company?

We monetize tax credits. Despite the tax equity industry surpassing $20 Billion in 2021, it is still a niche industry, and the knowledge of the benefits is not well known. When someone asked our CEO, George Barry, how they had never heard of tax equity investing, George responded, “I’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years, and I can only make so many phone calls a day!” Foss has been in business for 40 years  and has always specialized in monetizing tax credits. It is safe to say that we are experts in this complex industry. To maximize your tax credit revenue, it is worthwhile to work with an advisor who a) knows what they are doing and b) has a portfolio of investors. After four decades of being in the tax credit industry, Foss has a deep portfolio of tax credit investors to support this expertise.

Any major changes in the renewable energy tax credit industry that you are excited about or that people should be aware of?

With the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022, there are numerous new opportunities for developers to monetize their tax credits. One new method is Direct Pay, whereby developers of tax credit projects can claim those credits as a refund on their tax returns and get paid via a refund.. As of July 2023, we are still waiting on the IRS to issue guidance on how to utilize the Direct Pay option. Although this looks very simple and attractive, there are concerns that the IRS will not be able to issue refunds in a timely manner, negatively impacting developers working capital.  Another new opportunity because of the passing of the IRA, is transferability. The IRS issued guidance on transferability on June 14th, 2023. There is a lot of excitement about the transferability option, and some believe it will expand the tax equity market to include midsize and smaller developers and corporate investors, but this is only a theory. Currently, the industry is still digesting the guidance. In general, the passing of the IRA was meant to spur development in renewable energy and sustainable technologies. It has certainly had this effect! It is a rapidly growing field with many new developers and innovative projects!

Those interested in getting in contact with Dawn can contact her at da**@fo*******.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.