Alexandra Lipsky Mertens

Alexandra Lipsky Mertens

Partner
Seattle, WA
Overview

About Alex

Alex Mertens is a partner in the Corporate practice group and co-chair of the Energy & Natural Resources Industry Group. Alex is experienced in energy finance matters and advises project sponsors, financial institutions and investors on issues concerning the acquisition, development, financing and sale of energy projects. Alex regularly advises clients on structuring and negotiating tax equity partnerships, cash equity investments, construction and term loan financings, note purchase agreements, development loan facilities, joint ventures and M&A transactions.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Alex was a senior associate at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. in Minneapolis (2006‑2011), where she represented emerging and established clients on a variety of business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, governance, and commercial contract negotiation.

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Experience

Experience

  • Represented sPower in a $421.4 million private placement, the first-ever broadly distributed back-leverage private placement financing on nine unique tax equity partnerships. The financing backs a portfolio of 41 utility scale solar and wind projects with a total nameplate capacity of 565 MW. The transaction was awarded “North American Renewables Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International, and “North American Renewables Project Finance Deal of the Year” by Power Finance & Risk.
  • Represented sPower in its $498 million private placement financing of 16 utility-scale solar projects, totaling 652 MW. The financed portfolio represented approximately half of sPower’s operating portfolio at the time.
  • Represented sPower in connection with the $1.58 billion acquisition by AES Corp. and Alberta Management Corp. of the equity interests in sPower. The transaction was awarded “North America M&A Deal of the Year” by Power Finance & Risk.
  • Represented sPower in a tax equity investment and syndicated construction and term loan facility totaling $786 million. The debt facility, raised by a syndicate of lenders led by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., financed a portfolio of nine solar projects in Lancaster, California, with a total nameplate capacity of 339.4 MW.
  • Represented Pine Gate Renewables, LLC in its entrance into a partnership with John Hancock in which Pine Gate owns and manages 35 solar facilities totaling 413 MW, located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Oregon, while John Hancock acquires an equity interest in the facilities.
  • Represented sPower in the acquisition of a 55 MW solar project in Idaho from York Capital.
  • Represented Forefront Power, LLC in the tax equity financing of 64.18 MW of residential community solar projects.
  • Represented VivoPower USA LLC in the acquisition, development and financing of an approximately 34 MW AC ground mounted solar photovoltaic generating facility located in Bladenboro, North Carolina, and an approximately 34 MW AC ground mounted solar photovoltaic generating facility located in Maxton, North Carolina. The financings consisted of senior secured construction debt, tax equity financing and cash equity investments.
  • Represented a solar developer in a land purchase loan and construction loan for a 3 MW solar project in Napa County, California.
  • Represented Clean Line Energy Partners LLC in the sale of certain assets related to the Plains and Eastern Transmission Line to NextEra.
  • Represented Geronimo Renewable Infrastructure Partners, L.P. in a $51 million tax equity investment by The Guardian Life Insurance Company and a $35 million back-leveraged debt financing by CIT Bank, N.A. in a 9-project, 39.7 MW portfolio of community solar garden projects in Minnesota.
  • Represented 1st Source Bank in its $30 million debt and tax equity financing of a 2-project portfolio of Minnesota community gardens.
  • Represented Longroad Energy Partners LLC in the back-leverage financing of two operating wind projects in Minnesota totaling 80 MW with CIT Bank, N.A.
  • Represented sPower in its construction and term back-leverage debt financing of a portfolio of solar PV projects (10 projects, totaling 343 MW) in California by a club of lenders, led by KeyBank National Association.
  • Represented sPower in its partnership-flip tax equity financing of a portfolio of 10 solar projects, totaling 343 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its construction and term back-leverage debt financing of a portfolio of solar projects (five projects, totaling 183 MW).
  • Represented sPower in its partnership-flip tax equity financing of a portfolio of two solar projects, totaling 83 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its partnership-flip tax equity investment in a portfolio of two solar projects, totaling 30 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its lease pass-through tax equity financing of a portfolio of six solar projects, totaling 70 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its construction and term back-leverage debt financing of a portfolio of solar PV projects (four projects, totaling 95 MW) in California by a club of lenders, led by KeyBank National Association.
  • Represented sPower in its partnership-flip tax equity financing of a portfolio of four solar projects, totaling 95 MW.
  • Represented sPower in a back-leverage debt financing of three portfolios of solar PV projects (25 projects, totaling 144 MW) in California and New York by a club of lenders, including KeyBank National Association, OneWest Bank, and Zions Bank.
  • Represented sPower in a partnership-flip tax equity financing of a portfolio of 10 solar PV projects in California, totaling 84 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its inverted lease tax equity financing of a portfolio of four solar PV projects in California and New York, totaling 26 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its inverted lease tax equity financing for a portfolio of 10 solar PV projects in California, totaling 34 MW.
  • Represented sPower in its debt financing and tax equity financing of three 25 MW solar projects in California.
  • Represented Kina’ole Capital Partners, LLC in a $13 million partnership-flip tax equity financing with a subsidiary of Patagonia, Inc. and a $10 million debt financing of a residential solar fund comprising over 1,000 systems in Hawaii.
  • Represented sPower in its acquisition of a portfolio of solar projects in North Carolina, with an aggregate nameplate capacity of 63.1 MW, from FLS Energy, Inc.
  • Represented Capital Dynamics in its partnership-flip tax equity financing of the first phase of the 300 MW Green Pastures wind project in Texas.
  • Represented Capital Dynamics in the tax equity financing of an 11.5 MW portfolio of solar projects in Massachusetts and California.
  • Represented AltaGas Power Holdings (US) Inc. in the acquisition of Caithness Blythe II, LLC, including development assets relating to its proposed 569 MW combined cycle power plant.
  • Represented a private investment firm in its investment in two solar developers with a combined portfolio totaling approximately 400 MW.
  • Represented AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture Limited Partnership in acquiring a majority interest in Petrogas Energy Corp.
  • Represented Capital Dynamics in a tax equity financing with an institutional investor for an approximately 33 MW portfolio of solar projects in Massachusetts and California.
  • Represented a subsidiary of AltaGas Ltd. in its acquisition of the Blythe Energy Facility, a 507 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle plant and related 230 kV 67-mile electric transmission line in Southern California, valued at $515 million.
  • Represented Hudson Energy Solar Corp. (a subsidiary of Just Energy Group Inc.) in a $12 million construction and $6.5 million permanent debt financing with Seminole Financial Services, LLC, and a $7 million tax equity financing with an institutional investor, for a portfolio of solar projects in New Jersey.
  • Represented Capital Dynamics in the acquisition and tax equity financing of a 12.8 MW solar project on Long Island.
  • Represented Enel Green North America, Inc. in negotiating a $375 million cash equity partnership agreement with GE Financial Services for a 235 MW wind project in Oklahoma.
  • Represented an organic waste-to-energy company in multiple acquisitions of green waste composting facilities and development assets in California.
  • Represented AltaGas in the acquisition of Decker Energy International, an independent power company, which owns a 50 percent interest in a 48 MW biomass power facility in North Carolina and a 30 percent working interest in a 37 MW biomass power facility in Michigan.
  • Represented a U.S.-based wind energy components manufacturer in multiple private equity sponsored add-on acquisitions and capital raising efforts ranging from approximately $12 million to $140 million.
  • Represented a national distributor of fuel products and services in an approximately $100 million acquisition by a global leader in fuel logistics, products and services.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (USA – Nationwide) by Chambers USA (currently: Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy), 2019
  • Listed among Top Women (Business/Corporate), Washington Super Lawyers®, 2018
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Business/Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions), Washington Super Lawyers®, 2016-2018
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, The District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member, WRISE (Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy)

Civic Activities

  • Partner (2012-present), Vice-Chair, Environmental Collective Action Team (2014), Social Venture Partners
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Moderator, “What Investors Are Looking For in the U.S. Solar Market,” Infocast Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit, March 2018
  • “Other Essential Renewable Project Development Contracts and the Challenge of Making Them Work in Harmony,” PPAs and Contracts for Renewable Energy, Law Seminars International, Oct. 6, 2017
  • Program co-chair, Renewable Energy in the Midwest, Law Seminars International, Oct. 3-4, 2017
  • “Project Finance for Solar Projects” (coauthor), Chapter 7, The Law of Solar Energy: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues, Stoel Rives LLP, Fifth Edition, 2017
  • Moderator, “Solar Financing Outlook with a Stable ITC in Place,” Infocast Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit, March 2016
  • “CFIUS Intervenes in Chinese-Owned Wind Project” (coauthor), Stoel Rives Energy Law Alert, Sept. 24, 2012
  • “Utilizing State and Federal Incentives to Finance Your Wind Project,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Midwest Wind Development Conference, 2010
  • “President Signs 2010 Tax Relief Act Extending 1603 Cash Grant” (coauthor), FredALERT: Renewable Energy, 2010
  • “Notice 2009‑52: Election of ITC in Lieu of PTC” (coauthor), FredALERT: Energy, 2009
  • “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – Wind Energy Provisions” (coauthor), FredALERT: Renewable Energy, 2009;



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