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


Welcome & Opening Remarks


David Hochschild, Commissioner, California Energy Commissioner

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
Jordan Newman, Director, Principal Investments, Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance, Wells Fargo
Beth Waters, Managing Director, Project Finance – Americas, MUFG
Steve Vavrik, Chief Commercial Officer, Apex Clean Energy

10:45am - 11:00am



Presentation: Market Outlook
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.

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

Greg Wetstone, President & Chief Executive Officer, ACORE
Ron Flax-Davidson, Chairman & CEO, PNE Wind USA, Inc.
Mark Widmar, CEO, First Solar
Martin Hermann
, Founder & CEO, 8minutenergy


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
Susan Kennedy, Founder & CEO, Advanced Microgrid Systems
Rhys Marsh, Director, CIT Energy Finance
Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President, Walmart Energy


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
Berk Gursoy, Vice President of Business Development, Brookfield




Institutional Perspectives: The Transition to Permanent Capital
Institutional investors will discuss their strategies and risk appetites for renewable energy as the sector increasingly becomes a mainstream investment and attracts longer term capital.

David Giordano, Managing Director, BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI)


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
Barbara Hale, Assistant General Manager, Power, SF Public Utilities Commission, Chair CalCCA
Cliff Rechtschaffen, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission


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 and conveniently located next door to the Bently Reserve. Hotel accommodations are available at Le Méridien at the special rate of $309.00 per room per night. This special rate is available through Monday, September 18, 2017 and is only available to ACORE Finance West attendees.

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