A rapidly expanding renewable energy sector presents a variety of legal issues involving the development, implementation and commercialization of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. Drinker Biddle lawyers work with project developers, underwriters, tax equity participants, private investors, power purchasers and sellers, universities, municipalities and other non-profit institutions to take advantage of new opportunities presented in this evolving sector. Our team has experience advising clients on energy and environmental market framework development for the advancement of renewable energy deployment.
We have assisted clients with the development of wind, solar, biomass, tidal, geothermal, landfill gas, fuel cell, and biofuel projects. We have counseled clients with respect to technologies and measures promoting energy efficiency, such as solar hot water, cogeneration, building envelope, lighting and HVAC improvements. Our lawyers have negotiated engineering, procurement and construction agreements, power purchase agreements and other offtake agreements designed to maximize environmental assets and instruments such as renewable energy credits, energy efficiency certificates, and carbon credits / offsets. We have represented developers and technology providers serving universities, hospitals and retirement communities regarding new energy efficiency construction, energy efficiency retrofits and implementation of smart grid technologies. Drinker Biddle lawyers bring their knowledge to bear regarding land use, energy regulatory requirements, federal, state and local government permitting requirements, renewable portfolio standards, net metering requirements and interconnection requirements, when working with a client’s technical and financial advisors to achieve results.
Drinker Biddle lawyers are skilled at structuring renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to take advantage of federal tax incentives, including production tax credits, investment tax credits, the Section 1603 cash grant in lieu of energy tax credit, new market tax credits and energy efficiency deductions. We can assist in identifying which tax benefits are available and which ownership, leasing and operating structures will take advantage of those incentives. These project structures include partnership flip structures, true leases and inverted leases and often involve complex financing issues. Our expertise in project finance and tax-exempt finance enables us to assist clients in structuring creditworthy projects.