Whose job is it to understand all of the numbers behind a commercial or utility-scale solar project?

That’s somebody else’s job,” is the response we hear from most people in the solar industry.  We built the Solar Executive MBA for those who want to do the hard part.

When you’re at the top of your organization, where do you learn?  Who will check your work to make sure you didn’t mess something up before you sign a contract worth millions of dollars? In speaking to my friends at financial firms and solar companies, it became apparent that somebody had to create this course. Modeling and financing huge solar projects requires expertise that not many people have.

The Solar Executive MBA is technical, rigorous, and comprehensive. It’s the most intense six-week course you’ll ever find but also the most valuable. We developed it for leaders who are responsible for the financial details that drive solar projects. The course is taught by two instructors: Keith Cronin, who built and sold his solar installation business to SunEdison in 2007, and Christopher Lord, a lawyer specializing in finance who works with solar companies to find viable projects and investors for those projects.

Graduates from the Solar Executive MBA course will learn:

  1. How to quickly run the numbers to value a solar project.
  2. The analytical tools and strategies for pricing a deal competitively
  3. Which legal documents and contracts are necessary to develop and finance a project.
  4. How work with investors to build good relationships that lead to future opportunities. We’ll give you the model to price commercial solar PV projects, and all the legal documents and contracts you will need to finance a project. The capstone project for this course is a development plan and financial model for a commercial solar project.

About the Instructor: Christopher Lord

christopher lordChristopher J. Lord is a lawyer with extensive banking experience and currently the Managing Director of CapIron, Inc., a firm he founded in late 2011 to provide advisory and consulting services to customers, owners, developers, utilities, suppliers, installers, and distributors covering the full range of value-add in renewable energy and energy efficiency. CapIron has provided consulting and modeling services for waste-to-energy projects, advisory services to a large-scale distributed generation solar project, consulting and advisory services in the solar thermal industry and early-stage development of a startup wind energy company.

About the Instructor: Keith Cronin

K48-30277-keith-cronineith Cronin, the author of Solar Success Principles, is a business consultant, speaker, and founder of The Solar Business Blueprint, a training program that assists business owners with the tools, resources, and metrics needed to expand and manage their solar businesses. He has helped solar companies achieve their goals through his training, speeches, coaching sessions and products. Keith’s life changing message reaches people all over the US, Canada, Central and South America. Keith lives in Kailua, Hawaii.

Course Outline

  • Development Plan – In this section, you’ll create or fine-tune your project’s development plan, which maps strategy, budget, and timetable. It identifies critical path items, long lead items, and resource needs.
  • Project Economics – In this section, you’ll learn about the three types of capita—debt, cash equity, and tax equity—and their role in financing commercial solar projects.
  • Risk Management – Tax equity is not going to go with a project that ought to work. This section will cover all of the costs and contingencies that should be built into your model. Ready to roll up your sleeves and start digging into the numbers?
  • Financing Strategies – Your sales strategy must be closely linked with your financing strategy. Any lender or investor will do a thorough due diligence review of your project. This section will cover best practices for starting your own due diligence library to streamline that process.
  • Resource Management – An outgrowth of your development plan must be the resource management plan. An important part of that plan is recognizing what work is best done internally versus externally.
  • Capstone Project – In this section, you’ll put everything you’ve learned into practice by applying it to one of your own projects. The instructors will review your work and provide feedback.

I’m proud to be on the team building this course with Christopher and Keith. Lots of people can model a solar project with 80% confidence. The Solar Executive MBA prepares you for scenarios when 80% isn’t good enough.  If you need to be 100% confident, this course is for you.