Project finance direct loans and guarantees enable U.S. businesses to acquire financing for both large and small-scale RE&EE projects, including grid and off-grid solutions. When conventional financial institutions in the country where the RE&EE project is located are reluctant to lend on a long-term basis, these programs can facilitate viable terms for the private sector.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC): OPIC has adopted a new approach to streamline and expedite processing for projects involving U.S. businesses in the renewable resources and clean technology sector. OPIC offers two products to meet the needs of investors:
- Project Finance Direct Loans for Small and Medium Enterprises – provide medium- to long-term funding through direct loans to eligible investment projects in developing countries and emerging markets. Direct loans are provided to those projects being undertaken by U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises. OPIC lends in U.S. dollars at a fixed rate in loan amounts up to $250 million per project.
Eligibility: U.S. businesses with annual revenues under $250 million. Please refer to the OPIC Finance Eligibility Checklist for more details.
- Structured Finance Loan Guaranties – provide medium- to long-term financing through loan guarantees for those projects in need of significant capital, such as infrastructure projects. These guarantees are issued to U.S. banks funding the project up to $250 million per project.
Eligibility: U.S. businesses with annual revenues over $250 million. Please refer to the OPIC Finance Eligibility Checklist for more details.
Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank): The Ex-Im Bank aims to give maximum flexibility for project sponsors and to help U.S. exporters compete globally in the natural resource and infrastructure sectors. The three options below may be of particular interest to U.S. RE&EE companies whose exports are dependent on project financing:
- Limited recourse project finance: The Ex-Im Bank lends to newly created project companies and looks to the project’s future cash flows as the company’s source of repayment instead of relying directly on foreign governments, financial institutions or established corporations for repayment of the debt.
Eligibility: Greenfield projects and significant facility or production expansions; no country or project dollar limits.
- Structured finance: The Ex-Im Bank can consider existing foreign companies as potential borrowers based on their creditworthiness as reflected on their balance sheet and other sources of collateral or security enhancements.
Eligibility: Both large and small projects
- Renewable Express: A new initiative to meet the increased demand for financing of small solar and wind power transactions, this program provides streamlined financing (both direct loans and guarantees) to small solar and wind power projects that meet Ex-Im Bank’s credit standards and are seeking project financing between $3 million and $10 million. If all the requirements of the program are fully met, Ex-Im Bank can approve the Renewable Express application in as little as 60 days.
Eligibility: See the Ex-Im Bank’s Guidelines for the Renewable Express Initiative.
RE&EE exports in action
- With the support of financing from the Ex-Im Bank, Gamesa Wind US LLC, a wind turbine manufacturer headquartered in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, will export equipment and services for the Cerro de Hula Wind Farm, the first utility-scale wind project in Honduras. The $159 million, 18-year fixed-interest-rate direct loan to the project sponsor, Energía Eólica de Honduras S.A., in August 2010 financed its purchase of 51 Gamesa G87 2 megawatt wind turbines. The 102 megawatt project will be the largest wind energy project in Central America and will generate 6 percent of Honduras power.
Where do I start?
To learn more and to apply for these programs, please click on the links for each description.
RE&EE investors who are interested in OPIC resources can contact OPIC directly via email.
The U.S. government also provides finance-related events and online training to further assist in exporting your products and services.
To receive counseling on how the programs listed above can help you achieve your international sales goals, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service International Trade Specialist.
More financing programs
Return to the online guide "Financing" section to read more about programs that can help RE&EE exporters.