We counsel clients at all stages of energy and sustainability project development including screening, structuring, developing and financing projects for hosts, developers and investors. We evaluate energy and environmental regulatory issues, tax and governmental incentives, and business and contractual risks for energy and sustainability projects from microgrids to waste management and desalination facilities. We structure public/private partnerships and project financings. We also assist clients with integrating sustainability goals and requirements into their energy procurements, projects and enterprises.
Project Planning and Structure
We work with clients to understand their goals for their projects and to suggest contractual and financing structures that meet those goals. We evaluate energy and environmental regulatory requirements, site risks, qualification for tax, energy and environmental incentives, and the risk appetites of project participants to structure cost effective and creditworthy projects. We help qualify public and eligible private projects for tax-exempt financing, and we assist in meeting the requirements of debt, equity and tax-equity investors. We understand the energy and environmental markets that are the source of project revenue streams essential to project credit structure. We identify needed permits and approvals, and we factor the requirements of those approvals into project structure. We help identify critical paths and manage projects to schedule.
We have worked on successful public/private partnerships in arenas as diverse as energy, waste disposal and wastewater treatment, desalination and toll roads. We understand the powers and limitations of governmental entities and the risk tolerance of different parties. We have used similar structures for for-profit and nonprofit partnerships, particularly to gain tax benefits for projects involving tax-exempt entities, and are advancing utility/private partnerships to allow distributed energy resources to meet the needs of regulated grid operators.
Project Finance and Development
Our lawyers understand lenders’ requirements for project financing and how to address their project concerns. We assure that project revenue targets for energy resources and infrastructure facilities can be met through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreements based on guaranteed performance criteria that support project revenue requirements.
We have drafted and negotiated EPC agreements for facilities as varied as: renewable and conventional power plants, from solar to biomass to nuclear; water and wastewater disposal facilities; and oil refineries, offshore drilling rigs, pulp de‐inking facilities and toll roads. Operating agreements provide ongoing performance targets for the facility. Commodity offtake agreements provide for minimum purchases. All the agreements provide for liquidated damages if performance or purchases do not meet targets, and together provide seamless support for financing. In less than perfect circumstances, we structure alternatives that work.
We counsel clients in connection with taxable and tax-exempt, rated and unrated, and registered and unregistered financings, credit enhancements, and leveraged leases. We act as underwriter’s counsel, bond counsel and borrower’s counsel on complex project financings and pooled clean energy financings.
We assist with permitting processes and engage with regulatory agencies and stakeholders. For our development clients, we often create and execute plans to preempt, manage and mitigate public controversy and stakeholder intervention. When needed, we have a successful record of defending permits in litigation and a record of successful construction litigation in courts throughout the U.S.