Author Archive: Tom Sanzillo

Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo has 30 years of experience in public and private finance, including as a first deputy comptroller of New York State, where he held oversight over a $156 billion pension fund and $200 billion in municipal bond programs.

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico’s Solution—a Microgrid System Supported by Solar Energy

Key to This Modernization Will be Substantial Reduction If Not the Outright Elimination of PREPA's Legacy Debt

In the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the flaws in Puerto Rico’s electric system are apparent. First among them is an island-wide system designed with the bulk of its power plants located along the southern coast of the island while the majority of the population lives along the north shore. Electricity delivery has been historically […]

and November 3, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Hope for Puerto Rico if Control Board Uses its Muscle to Promote Partnerships

A Model Way Forward in How New York City Recovered From Near Financial Ruin a Generation Ago

With the passage of the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in 2016, the venue for solving the commonwealth’s fiscal and economic problems shifted sharply from the governor and the Legislature to the PROMESA board. Today, the Puerto Rico Electricity Authority (PREPA), specifically, is subject to PROMESA board oversight, and PREPA’s operations […]

November 3, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Reform Opportunity in Puerto Rico Electricity-Contract Scandal

An Opening to Establish Order, Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability

The controversy that has erupted over the mysterious electricity-rebuild award by the Puerto Rico Power Authority (PREPA) to a tiny Montana company has a silver lining: It can trigger a thorough audit of the agency’s contracting processes—something that has never happened in the history of PREPA. Now, it’s possible that the actual work done by […]

October 25, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Accountability for Puerto Rico’s Energy Must Be Baked Into FEMA Legislation

A Regressive Grid Rebuild That Will Only Cripple the Economy in the Long Term

As Congress contemplates how to craft emergency FEMA spending legislation for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it must do so with an appreciation for the rare opportunity the moment presents. Puerto Rico’s electricity system, still in tatters 22 days after Hurricane Maria and with no set date for recovery, can be brought into the […]

October 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

The Loss of a Key Customer Challenges a Major Mining Company’s Bankruptcy Recovery

[Second of two parts] Luminant’s announcement that it will soon retire the Monticello Plant in Titus County, Texas, improves its bottom line by eliminating a liability from the company’s balance sheet. For Peabody Energy, which supplies that plant with Powder River Basin coal, the shutdown is not such good news. The Monticello plant gets its […]

and October 12, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]

IEEFA Update: Politics Is the Main Barrier to Solar Energy Independence in Puerto Rico

IEEFA Update: Politics Is the Main Barrier to Solar Energy Independence in Puerto Rico

Tesla Inc.’s interest in turning Puerto Rico into a renewable-energy powerhouse is in its infancy, but the company’s experience with solar is not. The core challenges to bringing a sun-powered electricity-grid to the island are not in the technical constraints but in the political ones—the government’s historic tolerance for innovation and modernization is well known. […]

and October 10, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Trump Says Eliminate Puerto Rico’s Debt: We Agree

Liability Must Be Apportioned Too, and Criminal Action Must Result

President Trump, who knows a thing or two about bankruptcy, says Puerto Rico’s public debt should be wiped out. We agree. The commonwealth owes bondholders somewhere on the order of $70 billion, with most of that debt tied to general-obligation bonds, revenue bonds and bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Ahead […]

October 6, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

Calculated Misinformation by a Coal Company Chasing Fading Profits

The last time Peabody Energy got involved with developing a new power plant it ended in financial chaos for 200 Midwest communities that had been talked into taking part. Peabody was the lead proponent of the Prairie State Generating Center in Marisa, Illinois, which opened in 2012 promising cheap electricity for the towns and cities […]

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Court Weighs a Motion to Turn Back the Clock on Electricity System Reform in Puerto Rico

A Sudden New Move by the Status Quo to Thwart Development of a More Resilient Grid

Still horrifically crippled by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico is now facing a fresh indignity: Its long-simmering fiscal crisis is being used in a quiet attempt to weaken sound utility regulation and to stifle the island’s nascent shift to solar energy. Something resembling a bureaucratic coup is occurring within the context of a larger […]

September 29, 2017 Read More →