Marissa Leigh Alcala

Co Partner-in-Charge, Washington, DC
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Marissa Leigh Alcala

Marissa Leigh Alcala


Related services and key industries


Marissa Alcala’s practice focuses on representing multilateral and bilateral agencies, commercial bank lenders, and project developers in international and domestic project financings, and equity transactions, with an emphasis on renewable and clean energy. Her work in the United States has also included numerous tax equity investments in the renewable energy sector. In Latin America, Asia and Africa, her work is centered on the financing and development of energy projects in emerging markets.

Professional experience

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JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 2000 
BA, Yale University, 1997

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • Represented International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in the US$290 million financing of the 141 MW Luz del Norte solar photovoltaic project under development by First Solar in Chile.
  • Represented SunPower Corporation in connection with numerous tax equity financings for portfolios of residential solar projects.
  • Represented IFC, OPIC, the Inter-American Development Bank, KfW Ipex-Bank, Banco Itaú, Corpbanca, Banco del Estado, BCI and DNB on the financing of the US$2 billion, 531 MW Alto Maipo Hydro Project in Chile, sponsored by AES Gener. This transaction was named "Latin American Power Deal of the Year" 2013 by Project Finance International.
  • Representing the US Department of Energy in connection with (a) proposed guaranteed loans to (i) Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia for the financing of the 2,214 MW Vogtle nuclear power project in Georgia, (ii) Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project, LLC, for the financing of the 1600 MW Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Power Project in Maryland, a joint venture between Constellation Energy Group and EDF International, S.A., sponsored by UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC, and (iii) KiOR for the financing of an approximately 9,000 barrels-per-day cellulosic biofuel facility and (b) a guaranteed loan to US Geothermal for the financing of a 22 MW geothermal power project in Oregon. 
  • Representing, in connection with the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program, (a) a lender in connection with a proposed loan under Round 1 of the REIPPP and (b) Google, Inc. in its US$12 million investment in the Jasper Power project, a 96 MW solar PV plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. 
  • Representing the lenders, including IFC, ADB, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Korean Export Insurance Corp. (KSure), BNP Paribas and a syndicate of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India, in connection with the US$4.3 billion project financing of the 4,000 MW Mundra coal-fired ultra mega power project in Gujarat, India, sponsored by Tata Power. This transaction was named "Deal of the Year-Asia Pacific" 2008 by Project Finance and Project Finance International
  • Representing IFC on the financings of (i) the Hidroeléctrica La Confluencia and Hidroeléctrica La Higuera hydro power projects in Chile, (ii) a natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Transierra S.A. in Bolivia, (iii) the development of four oil fields in Venezuela by Pérez Companc de Venezuela, a subsidiary of Pecom Energia S.A., (iv) a wireless mobile telecommunications project in the Dominican Republic, operated by a subsidiary of France Télécom and (v) the Karachaganak oil and gas project in Kazakhstan. 
  • Represented the senior lenders, led by Union Bank of California and Santander, on the financing of the 484MW gas-fired Walnut Creek power project in California sponsored by Edison Mission Energy. 
  • Representing a sponsor in connection with the construction and approximately US$1.1 billion project financing of the Astoria II 550 MW power project in New York State. This transaction was named "North American Single Asset Power Deal of the Year" 2009 by Project Finance
  • Representing First Wind in connection with (a) the tax equity financing of numerous wind projects, including (i) a 203.5 MW wind farm in Utah, (ii) a 102 MW wind farm in Utah, (iii) a 30 MW wind farm in Hawaii, (iv) a 40 MW wind farm in Vermont, (v) a 60 MW wind farm in Maine, and (vi) a portfolio of wind projects in New York State with an aggregate anticipated capacity of approximately 200 MW and (b) a joint venture with Emera with respect to the ownership and development of onshore wind farms in the Northeastern United States. 
  • Represented WestLB AG, New York Branch, as arranger in connection with (i) the approximately US$275 million financing for the construction of three ethanol plants by ASAlliances Biofuels in the Midwestern United States (named 2006 "Environmental Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International), and in connection with the bankruptcy and restructuring of these projects and related debt facilities, (ii) the US$325 million financing of five ethanol plants in California, Oregon and Idaho by Pacific Ethanol (named 2007 "North American Ethanol Deal of the Year" by Project Finance), (iii) the US$100 million financing of a 113-million-gallon ethanol facility in Oregon by Cascade Grain, (iv) the proposed financing of a 125-million-gallon ethanol facility in Montana and (v) the financing of a 60-million-gallon biodiesel facility in Illinois by Nova Biofuels. 
  • Representing Trust Company of the West in connection with the taxable revenue bond financing of a 60-million-gallon ethanol project in Ohio. 
  • Representing HSH Nordbank in connection with the financing of a portfolio of landfill gas-to-energy projects across the United States. 
  • Represented Ormat Technologies, Inc., an international geothermal energy developer, on (i) the acquisition of four geothermal power facilities in California and in the subsequent financing of such facilities, (ii) the financing of a geothermal power facility in Guatemala and (iii) a tax equity investment for two portfolios of existing projects. 
  • Represented purchasers and sellers in numerous transactions involving the acquisition or sale of power-related assets, including post-acquisition financing and corporate restructuring.
  • Chambers Latin America, Up and Coming lawyer, Latin America-wide, energy and natural resources, Chambers & Partners, 2016 – 2017
  • Chambers Global, Up and Coming lawyer, Latin America-wide, energy and natural resources, Chambers & Partners, 2016 – 2017
  • Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer, Project Finance – Advice to Sponsors, The Legal 500, 2021
  • Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer, Energy: Renewable/Alternative Power, The Legal 500, 2021
  • Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer, Energy Transactions: Conventional Power, The Legal 500, 2021
  • Top 100 Female Lawyers, Latinvex, 2016 – 2018
  • IFLR1000 – United States, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2018 – 2021
  • Best Lawyers, Project Finance Law, Best Lawyers, 2021 – 2024
  • "Secrets of the Biodiesel Market; ethanol market shows signs of cooling because of falling oil prices and fears about overcapacity; biodiesel plants remain hot," Project Finance NewsWire, November 2006
  • Co-author, "Secrets of the Biodiesel Market," Project Finance NewsWire, November 2006
  • Co-author, "New Issues Arise as the Size of Ethanol Plants Increase," Ethanol Producer Magazine, March 2006
  • Moderator, Finance Panel, Deutsche Bank Renewables Conference, October 26, 2016
  • Moderator, "Creative Financing of Distributed Energy, Energy Storage and Microgrid Projects", Distributed Energy Development and Deployment Conference, Washington, DC, June 2, 2016
  • Moderator," New Thinking for New Markets - Third Party Ownership (TPO) versus Direct Ownership", Distributed Solar East Conference, Washington, DC, May 13, 2015
  • Panelist, "Structuring New Nuclear Projects to Maximize Value in Equity and Financing, presenter, and Is It Feasible to Develop Nuclear Power? And How to Meet the Challenges?," Turkey-MENA Nuclear Industry Congress 2014, Istanbul, Turkey, April 15-16, 2014
  • Chair, Fourth Annual Focus on Emerging Markets Conference, Washington, DC, March 20, 2014
  • Moderator, "Exploiting the growth in America’s shale gas industry and implications for regasification and LNG projects in Latin America," 8th Annual Latin American Energy and Infrastructure Finance Forum, Miami, FL, March 11-12, 2014
  • Panelist, "Financing Nuclear Power Plant Development: Structures, Challenges and Opportunities, presenter, and What Is the Primary Consideration in Developing Nuclear Energy?," Turkey MENA Nuclear Industry Congress 2013, Istanbul, Turkey, June 18-19, 2013
  • Panelist, "Nuclear Energy in Europe and Poland," European Economic Congress 2013, Katowice, Poland, May 14, 2013
  • Chair, "Third Annual Focus on Emerging Markets Conference: Energy Explosion," Washington, DC, January 10, 2013"
  • Moderator, "Financing and Investing in Offshore Wind,"  Infocast 5th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit 2012, January 25, 2012
  • Moderator, "Debate: The Electricity Market is on the Verge of a Transformational Shift," Infocast Projects & Money 2012, New Orleans, LA, January 18, 2012
  • Moderator, "The Future of the Project Market in North America," Infocast Projects & Money 2012, New Orleans, LA, January 18, 2012
  • "Solar Power in Emerging Markets: A Tutorial," San Francisco, CA, December 7, 2011
  • Chair, "Renewable Momentum: Factors Driving Increased Development of Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets," Second Annual Focus on Emerging Markets Conference, Washington, DC, November 16, 2011
  • Moderator and Commercial Financeability of SMR Plants, Panelist, "New Markets and Customers for SMR Technology: Remote Populations, Industrial Applications and Heat," Building the Value Chain for Commercializing Small Modular Reactors, Washington, DC, March 29-30, 2011
  • Moderator, "Licensing Small Modular Reactors, Chair, and SMR as a Cleantech Investment," Building the Value Chain for Commercializing Small Modular Reactors, Washington, DC, October 18-20, 2010
  • "What Makes Green Energy Different, Focus on Emerging Markets," Washington, DC, September 16, 2010
  • "Infrastructure Financing and Public Private Partnerships," New York State Bar Association Regional Meeting, Lima, Peru, September 26, 2007
  • "Negotiating and Documenting the Key Biofuels Project Agreements, Ethanol & Biodiesel," Project Finance: The Tutorial, Chicago, IL, November 1-3, 2006
  • "Renewable Power Project Finance: The Tutorial," San Diego, CA, September 18-20, 2006
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, 2010 – present