Dirk Michels


Tel 424.204.4384
Fax 424.204.4350
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 corporate, M&A, energy project development and financing, debt and equity financings, 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 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

Recognized as one of the "Top 25 Clean Technology Lawyers in California," Daily Journal, 2011

The Legal 500 US, Industry Focus - Energy: Renewable/Alternative, 2016-2017; Finance - Project Finance, 2019


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," in Energy and Environmental Project Finance Law and Taxation, Oxford University Press, 2010

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:

Moderator, "Full Stack Lending–Pre-NTP, Back Leverage, Construction, Permanent, Securitization," Novogradac's 2019 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Conference, San Francisco, May 23, 2019

"The Cost of Capital Outlook," Greentech Media: Solar Summit 2017, Paradise Valley, Arizona, May 17, 2017  

"Cost of Installation-Where are Costs Going in the Future?" Infocast: Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit," San Diego, March 21, 2017

"Closing the Loop on Financing & Performance," Greentech Media: U.S. Energy Storage Summit 2016, San Francisco, December 8, 2016

"Corporate Green Energy Procurement – Moving Forward on Direct Renewable Purchases," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 6, 2016

"Opening New Sources of Capital for Solar Projects," Greentech Media: Solar Summit 2016, Paradise Valley, Arizona, May 11, 2016

"How do Yieldco Strategies Impact M&A?" Infocast: 8th Annual Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015 – Project M&A in the Yieldco Era, San Diego, October 20, 2015

"Fundamentals of Solar Finance: Understanding Alternative Financing Platforms," 3rd Annual Sunshine Backed Bonds Conference, April 2015

"Claim Management in the Operational Phase," Solar Asset Management North America, April 2015

"Solar securitization roadmap for developers: Understanding the requirements to get financing for small utility scale projects," Solar Power Generation USA Congress, February 2015

"Fundamentals of Solar Finance: Understanding Traditional Platforms,” 2nd Annual Sunshine Backed Bonds Conference, May 2014

"Update Energy Storage, Commercial PACE and Community Solar," Novogradac Financing Renewable Energy Conference, April 2014

Board Memberships

Founding board member, German-American Business Association of California

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)