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Brentan Alexander with New Energy Risk
18th April 2022 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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On this week's Industrial Talk we're talking to Brentan Alexander, President of New Energy Risk about "Project Finance as a deployment tool for companies in the new energy space".  Get the answers to your "Project Finance" questions along with Brentan's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview! Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2022. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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00:04 Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. 00:22 Hello, and welcome to industrial talk. The number one industrial real related podcast in the universe said features industry heroes all around the world because you are bold, you're brave, you dare greatly you innovate. You're solving problems. You're making my life better. Yeah, you are. You're making communities better. Yes. And you're changing the world each and every day. Thank you very much for what you do. All right. We're going to be talking about on this podcast, project finance, you need money, you know the fulfill that dreams however, you're going to finance it you need. You need individuals like Brenton Alexander, new energy risk is the president of that organization. And we're going to be talking about project financing, but not the way you might think. So let's get cracking. All right. We're also brought to you by AI dash, AI dash. What's great about AI dash O, let me tell you what's great about AI dash. I'm a utility guy, former utility guy transmission lineman, right. And one of the biggest challenges we always had each day, and I'm not getting each day is vegetation management. Here's a solution. And then combined satellites with AI technology to be able to manage that vegetation from a utility perspective, looking from above, looking down, and then deploying that capital in a way that is meaningful to your service territory, and the quality of power that we just take for granted. That's AI dash go out to Ai Find out more great company, great people, the other sponsor is Armis. Now, that for me, we talk a lot about digital transformation, that whole connecting of your assets. And every time you connect, you know, that's great, we're pulling data, we're trying to make tactical decisions from those devices, you need to know that they exist out there and that they are secure. Armus has the platform to do that. And quite honestly makes it pretty painless. So go out to Find out more. All right, a couple of things. Again, if you know me, I'm pretty impatient. I want information fast, I want to see it in in bullets, I don't want to read about it, which is sort of bad about it about me. But however i i want to see it in bullets I want I want solutions delivered in little chunks, right. And there's a lot going on in industry, a lot happening, a lot of innovation, a lot of leadership stuff going on a lot of events, talking about new new things. And there's a there's a velocity that exists out there that you need to keep, you know, keep track of you need to be a part of it. And so in an industrial talk, we have that platform, we are dedicated to education, industrial education, featuring companies featuring leaders that are truly pushing the envelope with innovative thinking, that's one educate, you got to educate, you got to collaborate, because I know for me, I don't have all the answers. You don't have all the answers, but you need to collaborate with trusted people. So industrial talk once again, as a platform that says hey, these guys, or this person, this company knows what they're doing. It's sort of a vetting process, for lack of a better term, but you need trusted collaborators in your journey going forward to create that business of true resilience and success. And then finally, you need to innovate. And that's the world we live in. Everybody's talking about it everybody is trying to deploy some sort of level of innovation to deal with, let's say workforce management, whatever, whatever it might be. You name it, the you know, they're looking for solutions to be able to stay in business and survive and definitely prosper in the future. So there's an innovation component. So with that said, 04:20 podcasts are great. Podcasts are great, because we can sit there and banter back and forth. It's a it's sort of a no frills, you know, no, no formal, but we can't do certain things in podcasts. I can't just sort of share, share a presentation and say, What do you mean by that? What is that? So that just begs the question for, I hate to say it, but webinars and there's a value with webinars, but I'm going to sort of take it a little step differently here on industrial talk, micro webinars, small because I am impatient, my attention spans not the best and I just want the unfiltered truth to solving problems, right? And, and so we're going down the road of creating these on demand micro webinars. They're small hour, maybe a little more than an hour. But what we can do is we can definitely provide whatever the paper, whatever that document whatever the presentation and be able to do it a little bit more in depth, it gets a little bit more deeper than what we can do on the podcast, what we do on the podcast, is we elevate the attention, then we bring it down into a little bit more nuts and bolts with these micro webinars, we're going to be starting one with utility maintenance, that's something I'm very passionate about, I see the need for utilities, because again, just think about it, we take it for granted that the power is going to be there, we just do. And until the power is not there, then we realize how important the power is. So utilities are constantly looking at ways of being able to manage their asset base in a way that delivers the solutions and services to the end user. And that's us. So that's an interesting, and they're going through a lot of changes to the other one is of course, manufacturing and that, that that's a big broad category, but we're, we're venturing into that. And again, it's that connected, you're looking at RMS, you're connecting your assets, you're looking at it, you're seeing what's going on, how do you make that, that manufacturer more efficient, we're doing oil and gas, we're gonna be doing logistics supply chain, because that's the topic that is on everybody's mind. So there's a lot of things that are coming out. But the thing for me, for me is that it's there going to be created for on demand, you go out to industrial talk, find the find the webinar, micro webinar, and then be able to download the documents to help you be better, right. But it's on demand, if you're, it's eight o'clock at night, and you feel like you need to learn a little bit more about utility maintenance, ready to go. So that's, it's, it's the Netflix approach to industrial education, right? Just go there, download, do what you need to do watch it. And fast forward if you want to. But the reality is, is that we want to put more information in your hands so that you can succeed because the reality is, again, you need to succeed, you need to prosper, we need to specially now more than ever need to be in that whole education, you know, collaboration, and definitely innovation mindset. You can join, join industrial talk, that's a great ecosystem for people who truly want to make that happen. Now about education. So I'm looking at this and this is an interesting, you know, we talk about connected assets and being able to pull I got an article out there by Trend Micro in depth look at I CS vulnerabilities, this is part one of three, and ICS, if you don't know is industrial control systems, and, and whether whether we like it or not, we have to have that conversation wrapped around cybersecurity, how do we protect, right? How do we prevent, you know, attacks, because once again, you need to be successful, we need to make sure that you're you're not vulnerable. So there's an article out there go out to industrial talk, it's going to be a featured article out there. And I think that it's got a grass, get good pictures. They do a good job. And they know what exactly what they're talking about. All right on to the interview. 08:31 Here is something his name is Brenton Alexander, right. And if anybody's ever been through project financing, the traditional project financing, there's a lot of justification to stacks and stacks and stacks of paper. But that's the way we normally have to finance we don't have the balance sheet to be able to say on out EMI, let's go down here. So many fall into that category that they've got. Definitely a project finance where they're going. This is an important conversation. That if you are looking for capital, I just he's, you know, new energy risk is is they're just an open book. And they've got some real creative ways of being able to help you succeed at what you're trying to do have that conversation all the contact information will be out there. And it was a great conversation, so enjoy it. Brenton Welcome to industrial talk. Thank you very much for finding time in your busy schedule to talk to the best listeners in the universe. How are you doing? 09:31 I'm doing well. Oh gee, Scott. 09:33 Well, I can't complain because you're talking about a topic listeners that you might think is not sexy, but boy do I think it's sexy. And it's it's funny. How do we take this incredible innovation, the energy out there in this energy transition, right energy transition space, and be able to mitigate, manage, and financially bring a lot of this innovation to the mark Get. And that's what Brenton with new energy risk brings to the table. All right. Let's get a crack. And for the listeners, let's, let's sort of lay the foundation on who Brenton is, give us a little 411. on who you are. 10:15 Yeah, sure. So Brian Alexander president, your energy risk, technical background. So mechanical engineer by training went through, you know, multiple degrees can decide what to do with my life. So stayed and did a PhD. In electrochemistry, thermo chemistry and got really into the energy transition space, went out into the world, tried a number of startups and quickly realized, you know, good tech is necessary, but insufficient piece to actually get infrastructure built in this world stealing to the ground. So, you know, you mentioned not very sexy topics, I ended up ending up in insurance, which is a good topic to kill a conversation at a dinner party. So you 10:56 don't say insurance. Right. 10:59 But, you know, our goal here is to utilize insurance Capital to help solve all these risks that exists in new energy projects and enable them to get to market faster by accessing low cost of capital financing that they otherwise we'd be unable to access due to, you know, tech risk on the project or contractual risks from some of the counterparties that lending institutions are just unable to take. So we're really trying to use a capital efficient insurance capital to enable these projects to move forward in a way they'd be unable to do otherwise. 11:31 Because yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean, a part of my history has been to try to finance projects, and it is it's, it all gets down to the capital that you can deploy to be able to bring that that solution that innovation to the market. And then that requires a team that requires a team of financial people who are in your corner to be able to do what is necessary to make that happen. So it's interesting, given your background, and how you sort of ventured into Hi, I want to do that you just sort of saw the need out there and say, I got this innovation, we got to wrap it some way, shape or form. 12:16 Yeah, that's right. So that, you know, the company was founded by a combination of insurance folks and tech folks. And the idea was, you know, these projects are being held up at the finish line, because, you know, new tech developers in the energy space feel like you wrap your project in green credentials, you know, it's energy transition, it's ESG. It's good for the environment. You go to the lender, the lender has an ESG mandate, they want to do these projects. And then you run into the credit committee, and they say, Well, so what you don't have a bankable technology, you know, bankable offtake, you don't have a bankable feedstock agreement. We can't put money behind that. And then you stop. So our view was, Well, is there a way we can use insurance capital here to actually solve this problem, take these risks off the table and let the lender move in and make the project go. And that was the genesis for the company, the genesis for our founding. And that's what we've been doing for about 10 years now. 13:06 So take us through an example. Let's say, I know you rattled off feedstock offtake, you've there might be technology risks that is unique. How do you take that risk? off the table? Wrap it, and everybody makes money, right? I'm a bank, or I'm a bank, and I say, oh, all the risk is over here in that area. How do you how do you sort of approach it that way? I don't see how you make money. Because that's, you're, you're accepting the biggest risk of everything. I mean, that's what it is. 13:41 Yeah, I suppose. But I mean, it's, it's, it's, you know, it's like any other insurance you buy, you're gonna have a few failures, but you've you've spread that risk across everybody paying premium, and then you socialize the risk. And so instead of nobody getting done, you get everybody done, and how, you know, some people are going to fail. But you're all socializing the cost of those failures across all those projects, and everything moves forward. 14:03 See, and I do like that. And so if I'm a new tech, so what would be the first step if I came to you knocked on your door? And I said, Yep, I've got this green transition manager gamma, and I want to I want to get financing, find out, how do we go? Will you take us through that scenario, 14:23 or so so we want to talk to everybody in anybody at every stage of development. And so people come in our door, some people, it's, you know, they have an idea and it's, it's, it's one person in a garage, and other folks are, you know, established companies with 100 employees, and they're what they think is weeks away from a financial close, we get everybody in between. And you know, we will come in, we'll take a look at at your proposed structure or your proposed economics, the technology, and, you know, we'll give feedback on areas we think we can support and help and areas we obviously can't, and we'll give guidance on what you think what we think you need to do to kind of get to the finish line. So, you know, for our projects, it's not uncommon for us to have from first contact financial close to three, four years. Because these, these projects are long to just stay, there's a lot of pieces that have to come together. And as you're putting the pieces together the facts on the ground change, so you got to get them back together. And, you know, the shape of the world is moving as you're trying to get it all back work and, and, you know, if the stars of Saturn and everything else align, and, you know, it's the third, third Thursday, or whatever special month, it all comes together and you reach financial close. And...