December 23, 2014

Transmission in 2015: The Path Forward

On Wednesday December 10th, TAG Energy Partners hosted its 10th Power Transmission Roundtable, entitled “Transmission in 2015: The Path Forward,” at the Cornell Club in midtown Manhattan.  This was the eighth such event that we have co-hosted in New York alongside law firm Wright & Talisman.  We have also co-hosted events with Wright & Talisman in Boston and Washington, DC.

This year, participants included a record number of strategic players.  Although they were a small portion of total participants, the dozen or so utility affiliates and energy companies with an interest in transmission were a new and welcome addition to the event.  And, as in years past, we had broad participation from the private equity and infrastructure investment community. Overall, we experienced record breaking attendance.

Speakers included Commissioner Phil Moeller of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Commissioner Moeller has joined us as a speaker before and, as always, his comments regarding the power transmission business were insightful.  We were also joined by Jim Muntz, President of Transmission for Northeast Utilities Service Company. This was Jim’s second appearance on our panel. Also featured was Jason Smith, President of TransCanyon, the recently announced transmission joint venture formed by Pinnacle West and Berkshire Hathaway.  We were also joined by Rick Green, former CEO of Aquila, who now runs Corridor InfraTrust.  Corridor is a REIT focused on bringing an efficient financing structure to the power transmission business.  Rick provided an overview of how a REIT works and its applicability to power transmission. The panel was rounded out by Al Statman, President of Wright and Talisman, and Scott Medla, Partner of TAG Energy Partners.

Discussion revolved around recent trends and new regulatory incentives in the power transmission industry and their corresponding implications. After years of underinvestment, the power transmission industry has been slowly ramping up to accommodate the new transmission requirements arising in a growing economy and to serve a changing mix of generation and load. As the economy has finally taken hold, the signals for construction of new assets have resulted in enormous volumes of investment in new transmission equipment.  During the next half of this decade, investment is expected to be even higher. For this audience, however, the focus was on independent transmission.  Whether from the efforts of a truly independent team or from a utility affiliate, transmission developed by anyone other than the incumbent is deemed independent activity and can benefit from regulatory incentives provided by the FERC and authorized under the EPA of ’05.  The discussion, therefore, was heavily flavored by important issues arising in the interplay of incumbents, independents, and their sources of capital as they seek rights to acquire, develop, build, and own the assets that form the transmission grid in this country.

TAG Energy Partners thanks our speakers and our participants for joining us, and hopes to see everyone at our next event.


June 17, 2013

Transmission Project Hits Permit Milestone

The Bureau of Land Management issued a final environmental impact study (EIS) on Friday for SunZia, a 500 kV independent transmission project in the desert southwest whose backers include Tucson Electric Power and Shell WindEnergy.

“Obtaining a final EIS is a major milestone in the development of SunZia and advances it significantly on its path to financing and completion”, an industry source told SparkSpread.

The project is expected to cost $1.5 billion.

TAG Energy Partners, an independent investment banking firm based in New York City, as serving as exclusive financial advisor on SunZia.

SunZia consists of two 500kV transmission lines between central New Mexico and central Arizona with total capacity of 3,000 MW.

Once constructed, SunZia will enable the delivery of primarily renewable energy from new generation projects that will be built in Arizona and New Mexico to customers and markets across the southwestern U.S., including California.

The project is majority owned by MMR Group, a privately owned construction services company based in Baton Rouge, La., and its wholly owned subsidiary, SouthWestern Power Group II.

Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Shell WindEnergy own the remaining equity interest.

As published on SparkSpread on May 14, 2013.



May 14, 2013

Exclusive: NextEra agrees to acquire U.S. solar developer

NextEra Energy, Inc. has agreed to acquire Smart Energy Capital, an independent U.S. developer and financier of commercial scale solar photovoltaic power facilities, SparkSpread has learned.

Financial terms could not be determined.

TAG Energy Partners, a New York City-based independent investment banking firm, advised Smart Energy on the transaction.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Smart Energy has completed more than 70 MW of projects and deployed over $250 million of project capital for public and private schools, municipalities, commercial entities, investor and municipally owned utilities and electric cooperatives in nine U.S. states, according to the company’s website.

Its portfolio includes a 1.5 ground-mounted solar facility at a wastewater treatment plant in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

Smart Energy was founded in 2009 and is led by Managing Partners Konstantin Braun, Mike Grenier and Rob Krugel.

Braun and Krugel were previously managing directors at Lehman Brothers, where Braun headed ABS/MBS structuring and Krugel ran structured finance.

Grenier previously led the development of SunEdison Europe and SunEdison Canada as senior director of business development.

Officials at Smart Energy, NextEra and TAG Energy Partners could not immediately be reached.

As published on SparkSpread on May 14, 2013.


February 28, 2013

TAG Energy Partners – 8th Annual Power Industry Roundtable

On February 28th at the Cornell Club in New York, TAG Energy Partners  co-hosted the 8th Annual Power Industry Roundtable discussion. This Roundtable focused on the topic of investing in transmission.  For the first time in the series, two of TAG Energy Partners’ advisory assignments were presented: The $1.5 B Sunzia transmission project and the $1.5 B AV Clearview project.  Following project presentations, a panel discussion addressed the topic of “Investing in Transmission”.  Panelists included Commissioner Philip Moeller of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Frederick Buckman, CEO of Powerlink Transmission Company LLC, Jeffrey Yuknis, Vice President of Exelon Corporate Development and Chief Operating Officer of Exelon Transmission Company LLC, Alan Statman, Managing Shareholder, Wright & Talisman, P.C. and SVP & General Counsel for Powerlink Transmission Company LLC, and Scott Medla, Partner at TAG Energy Partners LLC.  Roundtable participants included a selection of senior executives representing private equity firms, infrastructure investors, banks, energy developers, contractors and other players with interest in the power transmission industry.





July 23, 2012 11:01 EST

Solar developer seeks funding for GM-backed pipeline


ViSole Energy, a solar power developer, is looking to raise some $200 million to finance the initial phase of a global pipeline of projects it’s developing in partnership with General Motors.

The developer is being advised by TAG Energy Partners, a New York-based boutique.

Officials at ViSole and TAG Energy Partners declined comment or could not immediately be reached.

ViSole is developing solar photovoltaic facilities at GM properties and will enter long-term offtake agreements with the auto manufacturer, an industry source told SparkSpread.

The company is targeting projects in the 500 kV to 10 MW range.

Funding for the project pipeline will include a tax-equity component, and therefore likely would appeal to a strategic investor, such as a utility, the source notes.

ViSole recently started construction on its first project in partnership with GM. Details of that project could not be determined.

In addition, ViSole is developing electric vehicle charging stations at GM dealerships.

ViSole is backed by General Motors Ventures, the venture capital arm of GM, as well as Atlas Global Investment Management and Tenor Capital Management.


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