Dirk Michels

Partner
Los Angeles

Dirk Michels is one of the leading energy technology and renewable energy attorneys in California. He represents energy technology and renewable energy companies, as well as investors, developers, lenders, and equipment vendors, in developing and financing solar, biomass, wind, thermal, transmission, storage, smart grid, and other energy projects in M&A, debt, PACE, equity, and tax equity financings, joint ventures, and other strategic alliances within the United States and abroad.

During a 20-year career practicing law in California and Germany, he has advised publicly traded and privately held clients in venture funding, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and project financing transactions worth billions of dollars. A recognized leader in the domestic distributed solar energy industry, Dirk has been at the forefront of representing solar, wind, and energy storage projects involving collaboration between U.S., German, and Canadian companies.

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Co-Chair, National Renewable Energy Lab's Solar Access to Public Capital Committee's Contract Standardization Subcommittee

General Counsel, Solar Energy Finance Association

American Bar Association, International Section

Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Community

German-American Business Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

Global Law Experts - Renewable Energy Sector Attorney of the Year (California), 2019

The Legal 500 US - Project Finance, 2019-2021, Renewable/Alternative, 2016-2017, 2020, 2021

Daily Journal - Top 25 Clean Technology Lawyers in California, 2011

Speaking Engagements

Dirk is a frequent speaker on topics relating to project financing, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, and international business transactions. His recent presentations include:

"Update on CAISO EIM Expansion and Regionalization Efforts," Transmission Summit West Webinar

"Mountain West Renewables Policy and Regulatory Landscape," Mountain West Renewables Summit, Scottsdale, AZ

"Full Stack Lending–Pre-NTP, Back Leverage, Construction, Permanent, Securitization," Novogradac Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Conference 2019, San Francisco, CA

Board Memberships & Community Service

Founding board member, German-American Business Association of California

Publications

Co-author, "Securitisation as a Means to Finance Distributed Solar Projects," Financier Worldwide, February 2013

"Solar as an Asset Class: It’s about More than Technology," InterPV.net, 2011

Co-author, "Innovation in Tax Credit Structuring for Solar Energy Projects," Energy and Environmental Project Finance Law and Taxation, Oxford University Press, 2010

Credentials 

Education

University of San Diego School of Law (LL.M. 1996)

University of Hamburg School of Law (J.D. 1988)

University of Hamburg (B.S. 1986)

Languages

French

German

Admissions

California

Germany