With rising prices of crude oil, continued demand for new energy sources and increasing concern about greenhouse-gas emissions associated with traditional energy production, our nation’s methods of energy generation, transmission and distribution are under unprecedented scrutiny.
New technologies, funding sources and industry activism all are increasing. Federal and state governments are providing renewable energy incentives and, at the same time, many are requiring utilities to include mandated levels of renewable energy in meeting customer requirements. For energy developers, buyers and sellers, these new opportunities and requirements are creating more contract and financing complexity, regulatory oversight and contract litigation, all requiring knowledgeable and experienced legal assistance.
A Range of Pertinent Legal Disciplines
Lane Powell’s interdisciplinary practice assists independent power producers and wholesalers, project developers, investors, lenders and utilities in a variety of ways related to energy financing, development and dispute resolution. Examples include:
- Project Finance: Lane Powell’s Renewable Energy lawyers represent clients in energy project financing for development, operation, acquisition and disposition of power generation and other industrial and infrastructure matters involving complex financing structures. Lane Powell is one of only a handful of firms in the United States skilled in combining various tax-credit financing programs, such as renewable energy tax credits, new markets tax credits and historic preservation tax credits.
- Power Purchase Agreements: Lane Powell’s attorneys represent sellers and purchasers of renewable energy in negotiating and drafting power purchase agreements and related credit support documentation, such as guarantees, letters of credit and cash collateral agreements.
- Project Development. Lane Powell’s Renewable Energy Law attorneys are knowledgeable in energy project development, capable of expertly guiding clients through the real estate, environmental and land-use entitlement aspects of acquiring, siting and permitting an energy facility. The Firm also provides due diligence analysis on acquiring and developing electric-generation and transmission assets for companies throughout the United States.
- Regulatory: In addition to energy project development and finance, Lane Powell attorneys work with clients on regulatory and transactional matters, as well as energy-related litigation. The Firm’s Renewable Energy Law attorneys have proven experience representing independent power producers and industries in Oregon, Washington and California before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the Oregon Public Utility Commission, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and Bonneville Power Administration.
- Litigation and Administrative Proceedings: Lane Powell has expertise in negotiating and litigating on behalf of energy and utility clients, which typically involves both regulatory and environmental challenges. The Firm’s attorneys have worked on cases arising from the California energy crisis litigation and have obtained positive results for clients.
Lane Powell believes that development of technologically advanced, dependable and sustainable sources of energy is critical to our nation’s economic success and security and to preservation of the global environment. Lane Powell strives to stay at the forefront of this developing area and to assist clients in capitalizing on ever-expanding opportunities.
Lane Powell attorneys are familiar with the technical and economic issues facing the renewable-energy industry. Examples of recent projects Lane Powell has successfully accomplished on behalf of energy clients include:
- Negotiations for constructing a 75-mile, 500 kV electric transmission line
- Development and sale of wind farms
- Acquisition and development of biomass facilities
- Financing of gas cogeneration facilities
- Due diligence related to acquisition of a large company involved in the development of cogeneration and biomass assets
- Development of a biodiesel processor, including contract negotiation and siting matters
- Successfully represented two California cogeneration facilities seeking past-due payments for energy delivered to Southern California Edison
- Obtained a jury verdict, affirmed on appeal, in favor of owner/operator of a Washington energy facility in a complex commercial contract dispute with a local utility involving firm power agreements
- Represented an energy provider responding to Civil Investigative Demands by the Washington and Oregon Attorneys General arising from the California energy crisis
- Represented Bank of America regarding state tax credits in financing of the groundbreaking Oregon solar highway project, the first of its kind in the nation.
- Represented Lime Wind LLC regarding construction financing and project development for Oregon’s first community scale (under 10 MW) wind farm in Baker County, Ore.
- Represented Green Lane Energy regarding construction financing and project development for one of Oregon’s first biogas facilities in Junction City, Ore.
- Represented ZeaChem Inc. regarding land use, New Markets Tax Credit financing and project development of its cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility in Morrow County, Ore.
- Represented SunRun with regulatory and legislative issues concerning third party financing of solar projects and SunRun’s entrance into Oregon’s residential solar market.
- Represented EV4 Oregon regarding tax credit financing and project development for its innovative electric vehicle charging stations with solar canopy and battery storage.
- Represented SoloPower regarding the development of its thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore.
- Represented XZERES Corp. in development of commercial contracts for sale of its wind turbine and power efficiency products.
- Represented Gerding Edlen regarding third party financing of solar projects on two Oregon high schools.
- Represented Solar Congregations regarding financing of solar projects on several Oregon churches.