Christopher B. Berendt is a partner in the firm's Environmental & Energy Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the design and operations of the energy and environmental markets counseling on matters ranging from legislative and regulatory development and market strategy to advanced commodity procurements (retail and wholesale), project / portfolio developments and financings.
Chris counsels clients at all stages of energy and sustainability project development including screening, structuring, developing and financing projects for hosts, developers and investors. He assists clients undertaking advanced energy commodity, service and equipment procurements. 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. Chris is Counsel to the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) and represents leading microgrid development projects.
In recent years Chris has supported a number of leading clean tech deals, including a Project Finance Magazine Deal of the Year for 2012 and a Bond Buyer Deal of the Year for 2013. Chris was 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
Energy and Environmental Markets. Chris has more than fifteen years of experience working in the energy and environmental markets. Prior to returning to private practice, he served as Vice President at Pace Global Energy Services, LLC, a Siemens Company, in Fairfax, Virginia. 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 design of the electricity markets, including the latest developments of wholesale and retail power supply options, onsite generation and metering, microgrid and distributed generation frameworks, energy storage, demand response, energy, ancillary service and capacity markets as well as emissions market positioning for energy assets. Chris also assists clients in wholesale liquid fuel rack, wet-hosing and travel center transactions (including biofuels) as well as offtake in 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 compliance transactions and enforcement proceedings as well as green business development and integration. He is experienced in counseling carbon offset project developers, investors and offtakers on pre-compliance, compliance and voluntary market transactions 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 climate innovation.
Renewable Energy Markets. 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 the country and for years has been a recognized industry leader for his development of best practices as well as co-chairing the drafting of 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 worked on Capitol Hill in the early years of climate and clean energy framework development. He helped to draft the first pieces of market-based climate change legislation introduced as well as multiple clean energy focused bills. He is experienced in advising transacting clients on legislative and regulatory strategies, structuring contracts 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 studying and teaching sustainability. Chris has taught both graduate and undergraduate levels and has testified before Congress.