Martin Klepper is a partner in the firm’s Energy and Infrastructure Projects Group, which consists of 40 lawyers located in Washington, D.C., Houston, London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. He is known for his work developing, financing, acquiring and selling energy, transportation and other large infrastructure projects throughout the world. He also has handled major transactions related to privatizations and restructurings within the electric and gas industry, and has extensive experience in financing sports stadiums, arenas and teams. Mr. Klepper received Renewable Energy World’s Leadership in Finance Award at the 2012 Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards for having “emerged as a preeminent force in renewable energy” and having “led landmark solar merger and acquisition and financing deals that totaled more than $7 billion” in 2011. In 2012, Law360 named him as one of its “Project Finance MVPs” as well as a member of its Energy Editorial Advisory Board. Mr. Klepper also was named Best Lawyers’ 2011 Project Finance Lawyer of the Year for Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
Mr. Klepper has been the lead lawyer representing developers and owners of power plants and gas pipelines, and has represented banks, underwriters and equity investors in connection with acquisitions, joint ventures and project financings (more than 100 major transactions) totaling more than $20 billion — including some of the most complex transactions in recent years.
Mr. Klepper has been a consultant to federal and state governments on energy and infrastructure financing matters and has worked for and with multilateral lenders and export credit agencies. He has helped develop and finance projects throughout the United States and in more than two dozen countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, Latin America and the Middle East. His representations include:
- First Solar, Inc. in connection with a $1.46 billion loan to support the 550MW Desert Sunlight photovoltaic (PV) project as well as the construction, O&M arrangements and sale of the project to investors, including affiliates of NextEra. When complete, this will be the largest solar PV project in the world. The financing for the project is being provided by a syndicate of banks and other financial institutions led by Citi and Goldman Sachs;
- First Solar, Inc. in connection with a $646 million loan from the federal financing bank to support Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One, a 230MW PV project, as well as the construction, O&M arrangements and sale of the project to an affiliate of Exelon, who agreed to invest up to $713 million in the project;
- First Solar, Inc. in connection with a $967 million loan from the federal financing bank to support the 290MW Agua Caliente solar project in Arizona as well as the construction, O&M arrangements and sale to an affiliate of NRG Energy, Inc. When closed, this was the largest solar power financing in the world;
- SolarReserve, LLC in connection with a $737 million loan from the federal financing bank to support the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project as well as the construction, O&M arrangements and sale of a portion of the project to equity investors. Crescent Dunes uses a concentrating solar power (CSP) tower design with molten salt storage to store the sun’s heat, thus allowing it to generate electricity during the day and at night. This is the tallest CSP project in the world and the first of its kind in the United States;
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its financing of SolarCity’s SolarStrong project. SolarStrong, which will build more than $1 billion in solar power installations for privatized U.S. military housing communities across the country, would be the largest residential solar photovoltaic project in American history. This project was highlighted in the 2012 Financial Times “US Innovative Lawyers” report;
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a $1.4 billion loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy for Project Amp, the world’s largest distributed rooftop solar generation project, which supports the installation of approximately 752MW of PV solar panels on 750 existing rooftops;
- ArcLight Capital, a private equity firm, in the purchase from Caithness Energy of a portfolio of 18 wind, geothermal and solar projects in the United States and the related acquisition financing, which included a leveraged lease, a capital markets debt issuance and commercial bank financing;
- MetLife in the negotiation of a naming rights agreement with the New York Giants and New York Jets for MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands;
- PLNG, a consortium of affiliates of Hunt Oil, SK, Repsol and Marubeni, in the development and financing of a $4 billion LNG liquification facility and related gas pipeline in Peru, which included $2 billion of loans and loan guarantees from a consortium that included the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the IFC, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Italian export credit agency (SACE), and commercial banks;
- lenders involved in an effort to finance the $2.5 billion privatization of Midway Airport by a consortium that includes Citi Infrastructure Fund and John Hancock Life Insurance Company;
- the state of New Jersey in developing a $35 billion public-private partnership transaction for the state’s toll roads;
- Dabhol Power Company, a $3 billion LNG-fueled power project developed and financed by affiliates of Bechtel, Enron and GE Capital with loans from commercial banks and numerous government export credit agencies;
- the owners in the purchase and financing of the Minnesota Vikings, an NFL team; and
- lenders in the financing of FedEx Field (home of the Washington Redskins), MCI Center (home of the Wizards and Capitals), Comerica Park (the Detroit Tigers’ new ballpark), Invesco Field at Mile High (the new Denver Broncos stadium), and the new arenas in San Antonio (home of the San Antonio Spurs) and in Ottawa (home of the Ottawa Senators), and in the financing of sports teams.
Mr. Klepper often serves as a guest speaker, chairman of programs and lecturer on energy and project financing at conferences across the country. He repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global (Band 1), Chambers USA (Band 1),Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers, IFLR1000 and The Best Lawyers in America.