Solar Trust of America, LLC, (SOLAR TRUST) an integrated industrial solar solutions company, today announced two senior appointments in the finance group of the leading developer of solar thermal power plants in the United States. Thomas R. Miller, a U.S. utility corporate finance veteran joins as the Treasurer of Solar Trust, and project finance and capital markets expert Ali Mirza joins as Vice President of Project Finance. Their appointments are effective immediately.
As Treasurer, Miller will be responsible for the core treasury functions of SOLAR TRUST including directing the capital markets and bank financing activities for the company, managing SOLAR TRUST’s credit facilities, budgeting and forecasting, debt and interest rate management and cash management operations.
With nearly 30 years of energy industry experience, Miller joins SOLAR TRUST from Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, the second-largest energy holdings company in the U.S. with operating companies engaged in electric transmission, distribution and nuclear energy generation. Miller most recently served as Vice President, Treasury & Assistant Treasurer, and led the company’s capital markets and bank financing activities, credit rating process, debt and rate management and other core treasury functions. He previously served as Exelon’s Director of Financing (Capital Markets) and developed corporate and subsidiary capital structures that supported the company and its subsidiaries. His career also includes serving as Director of Financial Strategy for Conoco, Inc., where he led the design and implementation of financial policies for Conoco following its IPO in 1999.
As Vice President of Project Finance Mirza will lead SOLAR TRUST’s project financing efforts, including structuring and negotiating the Department of Energy (DoE) loan guarantees, interacting with project finance lenders and project-level equity investors, and working on analyzing Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) bids and contract negotiations as SOLAR TRUST builds out its significant development pipeline.
With more than 17 years of global project, structured finance and large investment banking transactions experience, Mirza joins SOLAR TRUST from San Francisco-based AIM Capital Ventures LLC, where he provided M&A and project finance advice to the firm’s clean technology and renewable energy clients. During his tenure he advised several solar power developers on the DoE loan guarantee application process and helped other renewable energy clients structure and negotiate third-party renewable investments. Prior to AIM Capital Ventures, Mirza served as Vice President of Corporate Lending for GE Capital’s Capital Markets division, including managing the multi-billion dollar debtor-in-possession (DIP) and exit financing for a large independent power producer (IPP). His career, which spans working in 15 countries around the world, includes nearly 10 years of global project finance and debt capital markets experience with Bank of America.
Both Miller and Mirza will be based at SOLAR TRUST’s Oakland, California office and will report to Solar Trust of America Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, John D. Clapp.
Uwe T. Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Trust of America, said, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Tom and Ali to the Solar Trust finance team. They bring a wealth of power industry finance expertise to the company as well as experience in working with the DoE loan guarantee process. This fits well with our pursuit of a DoE loan guarantee for our Blythe Solar Power Project. We see Tom and Ali as key members of the Solar Trust finance team headed by John Clapp, which as a group is central to our long-term success in the U.S. renewable energy industry. John joined us in May of this year from Citigroup’s Global Power Group and was a key member of Citigroup’s Global Alternative Energy team, so we truly have a world-class finance organization.”
SOLAR TRUST’s U.S. development subsidiary, Solar Millennium, LLC, recently obtained final approval from the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to begin construction on its 1,000 MW Blythe Solar Power Project in California, which when completed will be the world largest concentrating solar power (CSP) facility.