Christopher B. Berendt

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

(202) 230-5426 phone
(202) 842-8465 fax

Christopher B. Berendt is of counsel to the firm's Environmental & Energy Practice Group and heads the Environmental Markets Team. He concentrates his practice in the design and operations of the energy and environmental markets. He counsels clients on the creation and capture of asset value on matters ranging from legislative and regulatory development and market strategy through investments, transactions, project development and financing.

Chris counsels clients at all stages of energy and sustainability project development. He assists in screening, structuring, developing and financing projects for hosts, developers and investors. He also assists clients in integrating sustainability goals and requirements into their energy procurements, projects and enterprises navigating compliance and voluntary environmental instrument / commodity transactions, the energy markets as well as all types of green certifications. Chris has assisted with pioneering efforts in the pooled origination, financing and securitization of clean energy project portfolios and to employ smart grid and Microgrid technologies as dynamically managed load and onsite generation is becoming an asset in the power markets.

In the last two years Chris has supported a number of clean tech financings, including a Project Finance Magazine Deal of the Year for 2012 and a Bond Buyer Deal of the Year for 2013. Christopher was recently named to the CleanTech 100 by LMG Clean Technology & Renewable Energy, the peer reviewed guide to the top 100 attorneys in the United States who practice in the clean technology and renewable energy space.

Chris is Counsel to the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) and oversees the MRC Secretariat.

Environmental and Energy Markets. Chris has more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental markets. He served most recently as Vice President at Pace Global Energy Services, LLC, a Siemens Company, in Fairfax, Va.  He has helped lead development, offtake and financing for myriad clean energy projects, including wind, biomass, biofuel, landfill gas, natural gas, IGCC/CCS, cogeneration / combined heat and power as well as PV array generation. Chris counsels clients on the electricity markets, including the latest developments regarding Renewable Portfolio Standards (state programs and federal RES/CES proposals), the Renewable Energy Certificate and Energy Efficiency Certificate markets, wholesale and retail power supply options, onsite generation and metering, distributed generation frameworks, energy storage, demand response, ancillary service markets, standard offer service/feed­ in ­tariffs, green-buildings as well as emissions market positioning for energy assets.  Chris also assists clients in the liquid fuels (including biofuels) and the CNG/LCNG markets.   

Climate Change. Chris counsels clients in the industrial, financial and energy sectors in the design and execution of carbon strategy, inventories, supply chain and product positioning, regulatory and legislative positioning, voluntary frameworks development, green investments and complex transactions as well as green business development and integration. He has been active in advising carbon offset project developers, investors and offtakers on pre­compliance, compliance and voluntary market participation for all US project categories, protocols and standards. Developing origination pipeline business models for clients, Chris has advised on the creation of some of the largest domestic landfill gas and forestry carbon project portfolios. He has advised on projects and for companies that have won numerous awards for energy and environmental market innovation.

Renewable Energy. In the renewable energy markets, Chris has counseled clients on RPS, RES and CES regulatory positioning and design since the state and federal policy arenas began consideration of these frameworks. He has advised clients on REC transactions in every major state RPS in country and for years has been a recognized industry leader in the development of best practices as well as standard agreements for the REC markets. Chris is also experienced as project counsel for renewable energy and clean energy developments of all types.   

Capitol Hill. Chris has worked on Capitol Hill helping to draft the first pieces of market-­based climate change legislation introduced as well as multiple clean energy focused bills. He is experienced advising transacting clients on legislative and regulatory strategies, structuring them to anticipate the design and development of future federal, state/regional and international energy and environmental regimes.

In General. Chris earned his J.D., magna cum laude, at Vermont Law School, where he was the environmental editor and a member of the editorial board of the Law Review. He is a five time American Jurisprudence award winner. Chris is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business Accelerated Executive Leadership Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College with a synoptic (triple pronged) major and spent a year abroad at the University of Copenhagen. Chris has taught both graduate and undergraduate levels and has testified before Congress.


Customs & International Trade Alert
Chinese Green Energy Products in the Crosshairs of the Obama Administration
Environmental Finance
The Nature of the Thing
ABA Year-in-Review
Developments in Environmental Market Finance
Trading Carbon Magazine
Gazing into the Crystal Ball: What Does the Future Hold for the U.S. Compliance Carbon Market
Executive Perspectives
Scaling Renewable Energy Capacity: Timing is Everything
Master Renewable Energy Certificate Purchase and Sale Agreement
Point Carbon North America
Avoiding the Oversimplification of Preemption in the Federal Carbon Market
Pace Outlook Series
The Pending War Over Carbon Cost Pass-through
Executive Perspectives
Are We Reaching the Sum of Carbon Federalism?
The Electricity Journal
A State-Based Approach to Building a Liquid National Market Renewable Energy Certificates: The REC-EX Model

Speaking Engagements

Drinker Biddle Event
Grassroots Energy Summit: The Microgrid Future
Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
The Integration of Renewable Energy in the Power Markets
National Governors Association Policy Academy on Targeting Clean Energy for Economic Development
Regulatory Strategies to Promote Clean Energy Project Finance
Maryland Clean Energy Center Microgrid Summit
Opportunities, Challenges and Concerns. . . Democratizing the Grid
ABA SEER21st Fall Conference
Environmental Markets 2.0: The Evolving Use of Market-Based Mechanisms
Community Wind in Maryland Webinar
Community Scale Wind Projects with the Maryland Clean Energy Center
Clean Energy States Alliance – National RPS Summit
Issues with Solar in RPSs
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Corporate Sustainability Event
Legal Issues That Arise in Pursuit of Corporate Sustainability Strategies
New York City Roundtable at The Penn Club
Grass Roots Energy Finance II – Impact Investing & Sustainability
Drinker Biddle's Washington, D.C. office
ACORE – Energy Communications Group
Drinker Biddle’s Impact Investing and Clean Energy Roundtable
Impact Investing and its Effect on Clean Energy
Drinker Biddle New York City office
New Carbon Roundtable
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments – Energy Advisory Committee Meeting
Community Energy Aggregation Options
American Council on Renewable Energy Webinar
Federal Regulatory Innovations Driving Enhanced Renewable Energy Integration
PA Bar Institute – Power Law
Buying and Selling Power and Environmental Commodities under Dodd-Frank
RETECH 2012 – 4th Annual Renewable Energy Technology Conference & Exhibition
Workshop: Community Energy Finance: Evolving Private Capital Market Access - Panelist
Presentation to the MWCOG (Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments) and Chairing the Event
Innovative Financing Tools for Energy Efficient Buildings
CLE Workshop
Avoidance of Greenwashing in the Energy Sector
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Webinar on New Structures for Pooled Financings of Aggregated Renewable and Energy Efficiency Projects
EPA Green Power Partnership Webinar
Innovative Financing for Aggregated Renewable Projects
Sustainable Development Law & Policy (SDLP) Symposium, American University College of Law
On the Brink: Environmental Conflicts Along the Path Toward Sustainable Development
EUCI Conference: Utilizing Clean Power Development On-Site
REC/SREC Instruments and Market Outlook – How Will My Project Engage the Environmental Markets?
American Council On Renewable Energy
Municipal Sustainability Utilities: A User’s Primer
Due Diligence for Solar PV Projects Seminar
Strafford Publications
CBS/Platts Energy Week
"The Utility Role in Renewables"
ACORE/ABA Renewable Energy Teleconference Series
"Sustainable Forestry, Carbon and Biomass"
Environmental Finance International Webinar
"Environmental Market Supports for Clean Energy"
The Renewable Energy Technology Conference (RETECH)
EUCI Bridging Carbon Conference
"Carbon Balance Investor Briefing"
Wall Street
"Market Supports for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)"
The Houston CCS Summit
"Renewables Policy Conference"
ACORE Member’s Day Presentation
"Renewables in the Modern Energy Era"
ABA/ACORE Teleconference
"Carbon Risk and Opportunity Management"
EUCI Webinar
"Carbon Regulatory and Market Update"
AICHE Annual Conference
"Carbon Pricing Pressures and Impacts"
ACOREs Washington D.C. Phase II Summit
Environmental Market Developments: The Modern Energy Investors Forum
"Carbon Valuation and Due Diligence"
The Ballard Spahr Wall Street Harvard Club Energy Finance Summit
"Carbon Regulatory Options and Tax Policy Implications"
The Federal Bar Association’s Strategic Issues Conference
"Carbon Supply-side Dynamics: The Project Reduction Market"
ABA ACORE Teleconference
"Toward Financial Success in a Carbon-Regulated Marketplace: Perspectives for Louisiana Industry"
Pace Webinar
"Carbon Project Finance"
Carbon Project Reduction Development and Finance Conference
"Senate Carbon Briefing"
Key Note, ABA Senate Clean Energy Finance Briefing
"The Vanguard of Energy & Climate Strategy"
Duke Energy Summit
"U.S. Renewable Energy Project Finance: Leveraging the Environmental Markets"
Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC)
"Waiting for the Carbon Finance Engine to Start: The New Build Environment for Generation"
Environment and Energy Utilities Conference (EUEC)
"Expert Testimony before the full United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee"
Hearing on America’s Climate Security Act (the Lieberman Warner Boxer Bill)
"The Interplay of Renewable Energy and Carbon Finance"
The Carbon Reduction Project Development & Finance Conference
"The Impact of Carbon Legislation on Electricity Rates and Market Functions"
The Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON) Carbon Strategic Conference
"The Intersection of RECs and Carbon"
Environmental Markets Association’s Annual Western Markets Conference
"Future Carbon Constraints & Their Impact on U.S. Industry"
Pace Webinar
California Air Resources Board and California Global Warming Action Coalition’s Carbon Conference
Carbon Based Empowerment of Green Building Deployment
"The Costs and Opportunities for Industry from the Adoption of a Federal Carbon Market"
VMI Environment and Sustainability Conference
"Financing with Environmental Instruments"
The Ballard Spahr Wall Street Harvard Club Energy Finance Summit
"The Evolution of National Environmental Markets"
Industrial Environmental Professionals Forum
"Renewable Energy Financing"
Pace Webinar
"Options in Carbon Regulatory Design: What Does the Future Hold for Compliance & Reporting?"
California Municipal Utilities Association Carbon Strategic Conference
"Carbon Market Legal and Policy Challenges"
Troutman & Sanders Washington Executive Energy Summit
"The Present & Future Landscape of U.S. Carbon Regulations"
Environmental Markets Association’s Annual Conference
"Towards a Workable Carbon Market"
National Coal Transportation Association’s Annual Conference
"The Intersection of Energy & Carbon: Challenges and Opportunities"
Houston Energy Market Forum
"Carbon Operating Cost Dynamics and Renewable Energy Opportunities"
Association of Defense Communities Conference