About ACORE Finance West

Hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
October 12, 2017 | The Bently Reserve, San Francisco

ACORE Finance West convenes leaders at a pivotal time for renewable energy in the western U.S. as states intensify their renewable commitments in the face of federal retrenchment.

This premier industry event will highlight top investment opportunities and provide the latest insights on the financing of renewable energy and grid modernization efforts in leading western markets.

Join a dynamic group of senior industry executives, investors, corporate purchasers and other top transactional professionals to discuss pressing issues on:

  • The cost of capital, trends in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity investment, and the availability of tax equity;
  • Challenges and opportunities for securing financing in the context of changing western electricity markets, with the rise of community choice aggregators, shifting business models for distributed generation, growth of energy storage and the expansion of wholesale markets;
  • The potential impacts of federal tax reform, a possible new infrastructure initiative, the new solar trade case, renewed interest in fossil fuels, states’ strategies to achieve 100% renewable power, and other policy and regulatory actions affecting renewables growth and investment; and
  • The role of newer market entrants – such as Fortune 500 companies, institutional investors, and other new sources of private capital – in ramping up investment and deployment.

ACORE Finance West Agenda

October 12, 2017 | The Bently Reserve, San Francisco


Networking Breakfast


The Policy Perspective for Renewable Power
ACORE’s president and CEO will offer the latest insight on recent policy and regulatory activity that could upend competitive power markets and impact renewable energy growth, including:

  • DOE’s proposal to have ratepayers subsidize uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants
  • The Suniva trade case and potential remedies, and
  • The continuing effort to revamp the Federal Tax Code

Greg Wetstone, President and CEO, ACORE


David Hochschild, Commissioner, California Energy Commissioner


Renewables and the Next Wave of Corporate Sustainability
Senior sustainability and energy leads at Fortune 500 companies will discuss their continued commitments to renewable energy in the context of corporate sustainability objectives, and how evolving corporate attitudes towards energy procurement are changing the electricity marketplace.

Greg Wetstone, President and CEO, ACORE (Moderator)
Marsden Hanna, Lead, Global Energy Policy and Markets, Google
Eunice Heath, Global Director, Environment Health Safety and Sustainability, The Dow Chemical Company

9:45am - 10:45am

The State of Project Finance
Leading investors will discuss trends in project debt and tax equity for renewable energy projects and what to expect in terms, tenor, and risk acceptance.

Kevin Walsh, Managing Director, Renewable Energy, GE Energy Financial Services (Moderator)
Jack Cargas, Managing Director, Renewable Energy Finance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Steve Vavrik, Chief Commercial Officer, Apex Clean Energy
Beth Waters, Managing Director, Project Finance – Americas, MUFG

10:45am - 11:00am



Presentation: Market Outlook
Bloomberg will offer the latest analysis on national investment flows and market trends in the context of potential solar tariffs, shifting state strategies, and growth of advanced grid technologies.

Colleen Regan, Head of U.S. Utilities and Market Reform, North America, Bloomberg New Energy Finance


Views from the Top: CEO Perspectives
A panel of CEOs from leading renewable energy developers will speak to their companies’ strategies for expansion and attaining financing in the West.

  • The potential impact of the solar trade case and strategies to deal with the prospect for tariffs.
  • How is policy affecting renewable development?
  • The shifting demand and business models in the residential solar market.
  • How big of a role will corporate power purchase agreements continue to play in renewable energy investment?

Julian Spector, Greentech Media (Moderator)
Ron Flax-Davidson, Chairman & CEO, PNE Wind USA, Inc.
Jim Spencer, President & CEO, EverPower Wind Holdings
Steve Lockard, Chief Executive Officer and Director,TPI Composites


Networking Lunch


Fireside Chat: Financing Energy Storage
Senior players in the energy storage market will provide insights on the recent boom in deployment, how it will continue shape western electricity markets, project economics and challenges in securing capital.

Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner, DBL Partners (Moderator)
Susan Kennedy, Founder & CEO, Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Rhys Marsh, Director, CIT Energy Finance
Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President, Energy, Walmart


Equity Investment in Renewable Energy Companies
Equity investors will discuss the opportunities and challenges relating to direct investments in renewable energy companies, ranging from regulatory uncertainty, low returns and state and federal policies.

Ed Feo, President, Coronal Energy LLC (Moderator)
Berk Gursoy, Vice President of Business Development, Brookfield
Frank Nicklaus, Principal, Greentech Capital Advisors
Rob Sternthal, President and Founder, CohnReznick Capital




New Frontiers in Renewable Energy Capital

Dan Reicher, Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University (Moderator)
Andrew Beebe, Managing Director, Obvious Ventures
Jonathan Silver, Managing Director,Tax Equity Advisors
Wayne Van Dyck, CEO, Repower Capital, Inc.


The Wild West: Consumer Choice, Aggregation and Grid Flexibility
Experts will take stock of what companies should understand when financing and developing projects in the changing western power markets, including market and grid restructuring, new technology applications and the rise of community choice aggregation.

  • How will community choice aggregation affect the future of retail electric services and utility business models as load departures from IOUs continue to rise?
  • Without ratings, how are community choice aggregators financing projects?
  • Integrating and managing different sources of flexibility.
  • What to expect in state policy reforms?

Emil Barth, Special Counsel, Baker Botts LLP (Moderator)
Barbara Hale, Assistant General Manager, Power, SF Public Utilities Commission, Chair CalCCA
Dai Owen, Director, Power Marketing, EDF Renewable Energy
Cliff Rechtschaffen, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
Dawn Weisz, Chief Executive Officer, Marin Clean Energy


Networking Reception 



Hotel Information:

ACORE Finance West 2017 is being held at the Bently Reserve. Sleeping rooms are available next door at the Le Méridien San Francisco, a newly renovated luxury hotel located in a prime Financial District location. The special rate for this hotel is no longer available.

Le Méridien San Francisco
333 Battery St.
San Francisco, CA, 94111
(415) 296-2900

Registration & Pricing

Standard Rate


Member Rate


Standard Gov't, Non-Profit, Academic Rate


Member Gov't, Non-Profit, Academic Rate

Refund Policy: A full refund (less a 10% administration charge) is available for cancellations received in writing by September 12, 2017. You will be liable for the full conference fee after this date. However, a substitute delegate may attend in your place at no extra charge, provided you notify us in writing before the event. Registrations received after September 12, 2017 are non-refundable.

Please note:
Delegate passes are for use by one person only, and the swapping of badges will not be permitted. There is an additional $100.00 administration fee for onsite registration.

Contact Us


American Council On Renewable Energy
1600 K Street NW Suite 650
Washington, DC 20006
Mail: P.O. Box 33518
Washington, DC 20033