A graduate of the class of 1984, Paula looks forward to participating in investment and development activities with the AA Board.
A talented and seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in the energy sector, Ms. Zagrecki has developed and financed projects over a broad array of technologies, including geothermal, wind, gas-fired, solar, energy storage, and transmission projects throughout the Americas and Asia.
As CEO of Zorya Energy, Ms. Zagrecki has advised international investors to diversify holdings and improve returns through investments in the US Distributed Solar Generation space by successfully negotiating JV & corporate structures. She has developed core groups of legal, accounting, tax, appraisal, and independent engineering specialists, participates in various Development, Investment and Finance Committees and is a Member of Working Group on Financial Structuring. In terms of project finance, Ms. Zagrecki has institutionalized financial structures and instituted project finance best practices for term sheets, due diligence, and operations to structure $900mm of transactions covering the complete capital stack in the distributed solar sector with leading regional institutions, while ringfencing risk to lower transaction and operating costs and optimize cash flow and IRR.
Prior to founding Zorya Energy, Ms. Zagrecki led two divisions at Diamond Generating Corporation, where she was both Vice President, Distributed Energy Resources and Vice President, Project Finance. Ms. Zagrecki financed over $5 billion of energy projects while at Diamond. Over the years, her financings have garnered numerous Deal of the Year awards from industry publications for their innovation and creativity. In 2015, Ms. Zagrecki was tasked with starting a new Distributed Energy Resources division at Diamond, and in 2016, closed the company’s first investment in a distributed solar company, providing a combined after tax rate of return of 50% from both the corporate investment and project investments.
Prior to joining Diamond, Ms. Zagrecki was Director of Finance for Oxbow Power Corporation, where she was responsible for both the company’s project finance and renewable energy efforts. During her tenure at Oxbow, she financed Costa Rica’s first independent renewable power project, the Miravalles Geothermal Project, putting the country on a path to energy independence. She also financed the first independent renewable project in the Philippines using Philippine banks, thereby avoiding the need to provide political risk cover to the lenders.
Ms. Zagrecki graduated Magna cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Government and a Certificate in Environmental Studies. She also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, where she was a UC Regents Fellow in Public Policy.