CIT continued to be at the forefront of battery storage and cutting-edge solar financing in 2019, winning admiration from clients and peers alike for its “innovative” approach and “reliable” execution.
The firm was active in virtually every emerging area of renewable energy finance, from battery storage to community solar. In addition, the bank continued to pioneer highly-structured solutions to help its clients maximize returns. This includes financing large-scale solar in Texas on the basis of energy hedges and finding appropriate ways to give credit to revenues from renewable energy credits and merchant energy sales.
“They work with the borrower to get the deal done and will try to think outside the box,” said a project finance attorney.
Among the out-of-the-box deals last year were back-levered financings for the 300 MW Prospero and 200 MW Holstein 1 solar projects in Texas, both of which have energy hedges rather than traditional power purchase agreements.
“They take a view on the power market, and that’s pretty rare,” said an official at an institutional equity investor.
In energy storage, CIT led on the final tranche of debt financing for Macquarie Capital’s Electrodes behind-the-meter battery portfolio in California, and in distributed energy, the bank arranged the refinancing of a commercial and industrial solar portfolio for CleanCapital and back-leverage for a community solar portfolio in New York for True Green Capital Management.
The judging panel attributed the group’s success to Mike Lorusso’s leadership and an impressive roster of managing directors in Andy Chen – who is described as “thoughtful” and “pragmatic” – Stephen Sung, Dan Miller and Dan Bernstein. The firm is also known to be an excellent training ground for up-and-comers.
“They’re commercial, they lean in and provide some interesting products,” said a client.
See all of the 2019/2020 awards