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USING THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT James F. Duffy, Esquire Nixon Peabody LLP 100 Summer Street Boston, MA 02110-2131 (617) 345-1129 (866) 947-1697 (fax)

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Presentation on theme: "USING THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT James F. Duffy, Esquire Nixon Peabody LLP 100 Summer Street Boston, MA 02110-2131 (617) 345-1129 (866) 947-1697 (fax)"— Presentation transcript:

1 USING THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT James F. Duffy, Esquire Nixon Peabody LLP 100 Summer Street Boston, MA (617) (866) (fax) FINANCING WIND POWER: THE FUTURE OF ENERGY The Institute for Professional and Executive Development, Inc. July 25-27, 2007 Santa Fe, New Mexico

2 The Production Tax Credit Under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code Available with respect to electricity produced from qualified energy resources

3 Qualified Energy Resources is defined as: A.Wind, B.Closed-loop biomass, C.Open-loop biomass, D.Geothermal energy, E.Solar energy (but only if placed in service prior to January1, 2006), F.Small irrigation power, G.Municipal solid waste, and H.Qualified hydropower production

4 Dollar-for-Dollar reduction in Federal income tax liability Under current law, the renewable energy facility must have been placed in service prior to January 1, 2009 in order to be eligible for Production Tax Credits Using the Production Tax Credit

5 For wind, the Production Tax Credit is currently (for 2007) 2.0 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity produced by the taxpayer and sold to an unrelated person, for a 10-year period beginning on the date the facility was originally placed in service The 2.0 cents per kilowatt hour is reduced to 1.0 cent per kilowatt hour for the following facilities: open-loop biomass, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion, and qualified hydro-power Using the Production Tax Credit (continued)

6 Produced by the Taxpayer means that the owner of the wind facility receives the Production Tax Credits or PTCs (unlike certain open-loop biomass facilities there is no ability for lessees or operators being eligible for the PTCs) Using the Production Tax Credit (continued)

7 So, you cant just sell Production Tax Credits; you have to make the purchaser of the Production Tax Credits an owner of the facility Most developers of facilities either: (i) do not anticipate having Federal income tax liability for the next 10 years such that they will be able to take advantage of the Production Tax Credits themselves, or (ii) need to monetize the Production Credits up front in order to help pay for the costs of developing the facility Using the Production Tax Credit (continued)

8 One option is that at or just before the date when a wind facility is placed in service, the developer will sell the entire wind facility to a purchaser who will own the facility and receive the Production Tax Credits The original developer may or may not remain under contract with the purchaser to manage the facility Using the Production Tax Credit (continued)

9 Under this scenario, the value of the Production Tax Credits is one component of the total purchase price paid for the facility Also, under this typical structure, the original developer generally gives up control of the facility Using the Production Tax Credit ( continued )

10 Particularly in a community-scale facility, the original developer may not want to give up control of the facility, as the original developer may have become invested in the local community (or may have already been a part of the local community) Also, the original developer may have made promises in connection with developing the facility which the original developer may feel an obligation to personally see through Using the Production Tax Credit (continued)

11 Section 45(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code anticipates that the owner of a facility may have more than one owner Section 45(e)(3) provides that if a facility has more than one owner, the Production Tax Credits will generally be shared by the owners in proportion to their respective ownership interests in the gross sales from the facility Syndicating the Production Tax Credits

12 The way to structure a transaction so that there is more than one owner for tax purposes is generally to use a limited partnership or a limited liability company When using a partnership (which includes a limited liability company), for federal income tax purposes, the partners will be allocated their respective shares of PTCs and losses, provided that that the partnership agreement complies with the Treasury Regulations (e.g., those relating to substantial economic effect) Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

13 Limited partnership and LLC structures are also commonly used for investments relating to other tax credits (such as Section 29 tax credits for fuel from nonconventional sources, Section 42 tax credits for low-income housing, Section 47 tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic properties), and Section 45D new markets tax credits Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

14 The original developer can structure the legal owner of the facility as a limited partnership or an LLC, and the investor who is interested in the Production Tax Credits can be a limited partner or member thereof and thus an owner for tax purposes The owner can then allocate all or almost all (99% or even 99.99%) of the Production Tax Credits to the investor (but the developer could also retain a higher percentage of the PTCs) Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

15 The original developer can remain in control of the wind facility by being the general partner of the partnership (or the managing member of an LLC) But, remember that the Production Tax Credits are shared between the owners in proportion to their shares of gross sales So, in my example the investor would have to have a 99% (or 99.99%) interest in the gross sales of the facility Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

16 However, the original developer, as the general partner of the limited partnership, can receive a reasonable fee for managing the facility The original developer could also receive a reasonable development fee for developing the facility, and to the extent that there were insufficient sources of funds to pay that fee up front, some of it could be deferred and paid out of operating revenues Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

17 Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued) Debt on the facility could be paid prior to reaching the 99-to-1 sharing ratio Transactions have been structured where the developer puts capital into the limited partnership to fund the gap between the total development costs and the amount of the investors capital contribution, and the developers capital contribution is then returned as a priority cash flow item prior to the 99- to-1 sharing ratio

18 Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued) The developer could borrow outside the partnership to obtain this capital, possibly pledging its interest in the partnership as collateral The investors payments can be characterized entirely as capital contributions to the owner limited partnership or they can be characterized partially or entirely as a purchase price for the investors interest in the owner limited partnership

19 99.99% Limited Partner (Investor)0.01% General Partner (Developer) Limited Partnership (Owner) Qualified Facility

20 Also, at some point after the end of the 10-year Production Tax Credit period, there could be a flip to give the general partner (the developer) a greater percentage interest in the facilitys cash flow And at some point, such as when the investor has achieved a targeted IRR yield (generally after end of the 10-year Production Tax Credit period), the general partner/developer could have an option to buy out the limited partner/investors interest at its fair market value Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

21 There could also be a put where the investor has the right to cause the developer to buy back the investors interest, and many (but not everybody) believe that the put price could be below fair market value Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

22 The investors payment can be made up-front, so that it can be used as owners equity in the development process, or to pay off development period financing The investor could pay all or a portion of its funds on a 10-year pay-in schedule, as Production Tax Credits are delivered (a pay-as-you-go plan) Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

23 The amount of the investors payment depends in large part upon the Internal Rate of Return to be received by the investor, so the later in the process the investor puts up its money, the larger the dollar amount of the investment These credits do not tend to be priced on a cents on the credit dollar basis Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

24 In order to protect its investment, an investor will want a voice in how the facility is operated (such as, regular financial statements, generally audited by a CPA, approval rights on development and operating budgets; the right to take over day-to-day management if the developer is not doing its job; etc.) Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

25 If the investor doesnt receive the anticipated Production Tax Credits as and when anticipated, it will want to be made whole, perhaps by a reduction in any remaining capital contribution (or purchase price) payments or by a delay in the flip date These are just general concepts. The terms of the syndication of the Production Tax Credits from each wind facility will vary, based in part upon the economics of the particular transaction Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

26 Because of the sophisticated tax structuring involved, there will be not insignificant legal and accounting costs in each of these transactions, so it may not be as cost- efficient to syndicate the Production Tax Credits in this manner for smaller community wind facilities, unless either (i) the investor is a community-oriented company willing to make a relatively small investment or (ii) a community wind facility can be pooled with other similar community wind facilities to provide a larger investment to cover the transaction costs Syndicating the Production Tax Credits (continued)

27 Wind Farm D Wind Farm C Wind Farm A 99.99% Limited Partner(s) (Investor(s)) 0.01% General Partner (Investment Banker) 99.99% Limited Partner(s) (Investment Fund) 0.01% General Partner A (Developer) 0.01% General Partner B (Developer) 0.01% General Partner C (Developer) 0.01% General Partner D (Developer) Limited Partnership A (Owner) Limited Partnership B (Owner) Limited Partnership C (Owner) Limited Partnership D (Owner) Wind Farm A

28 PTC Pointers An advantage of PTCs over many other tax credits is that for facilities placed in service after October 22, 2004 for the four-year period beginning on the date the facility is placed in service, the PTCs from that facility can be applied to reduce the Alternative Minimum Tax

29 PTC Pointers (continued) PTCs are received by the taxpayer as they are earned, so (unlike some other tax credits) there is no recapture risk if a PTC investment is sold during the 10-year credit period No equivalent to recapture bonds on housing tax credit transactions

30 PTC Pointers (continued) Most of the costs of a facility can be amortized relatively quickly For a wind facility, about 95% of its costs can be amortized over a five-year cost recovery period

31 PTC Pointers (continued) Under current law, the PTC credit value currently 2.0 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity generated, is re- calculated by the Internal Revenue Service for each year of the PTC period of a facility (was 1.9 cents per kilowatt hour in 2006)

32 PTC Pointers (continued) The PTC is reduced by up to 50% to the extent that facility costs are funded by (i) federal, state or local government grants for use in connection with the project, (ii) the proceeds of state or local tax- exempt obligations, (iii) subsidized energy financing provided directly or indirectly by federal, state or local programs or (iv) other credits allowable with respect to any property which is part of the project

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