To stimulate investment in renewable energy generation projects,
the federal government developed a series of support structures
that reduce taxes for eligible investors--the investment tax
credit, the production tax credit, and accelerated depreciation.
The nature of these tax incentives often requires an outside
investor and a complex financial arrangement to allocate risk and
reward among the parties. These financial arrangements are
generally categorized as 'advanced financial structures.' Among
renewable energy technologies, advanced financial structures were
first widely deployed by the wind industry and are now being
explored by the solar industry to support significant scale-up in
project development. This report describes four of the most
prevalent financial structures used by the renewable sector and
evaluates the impact of financial structure on energy costs for
utility-scale solar projects that use photovoltaic and
concentrating solar power technologies.
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