Travelers Capital Corp., a Burnaby, B.C.-based advisory shop, is working with developers of rooftop, distributed generation and hydro projects to line up financing from Canadian life insurance companies and pension plans.

SunLife Financial, Industrial Alliance and Ontario Pension Board are all interested in lending to mid-market projects ranging from $10 million-$100 million on either side of the border, Mark Bohn, managing partner of Travelers told PI on the sidelines of the Euromoney Canadian Power Finance Conference in Toronto.


iStockPhoto/Thinstock

There is a growing, and somewhat overlooked, niche for mid-market projects, he said. Developers may have a sizeable queue of distributed solar projects yet still have a hard time attracting the attention of traditional lenders. Siemens Financial Services is also willing to play in the field. There is considerable interest from developers with projects across the U.S., including New Jersey, in arranging financing from alternative lenders north of the border. One advantage to working with Canadian life companies is there is no need to have a project rated by a rating agency, Bohn said.

Travelers recently lined up financing for a 2.2 MW rooftop project developed by energy services company Ameresco. The project is smaller than what Travelers typically pursues but it was the first in a pipeline of projects, he said. The financing included a construction loan followed by a 15-year term loan.

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