The Energy and Project Finance Group has over twenty years' experience with renewable energy project development and financing, working on hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, agricultural biomass, wood waste, and geothermal electric generation, as well as ethanol and biodiesel facilities.

Our work on projects involving agricultural, municipal, and other wastes has benefited from our extensive experience with tax exempt financing, and we are adept at structuring projects to take advantage of production tax credits, investment tax credits, and other incentives for renewable energy.

On behalf of developers, power purchasers, and underwriters, we have been involved in numerous distributed generation projects serving hospitals, universities, industrial users, and retirement communities. Such projects often present state regulatory issues involving avoidance of public utility status and tariff questions relating to the incumbent utility. We understand the regulatory dimensions of developing small power plants with unusual technical capabilities.

We are experienced with Renewable Portfolio Standards legislation that has been adopted in many states. We can assist with trading of renewable energy certificates in both voluntary and state-mandated markets. We are familiar with the federal requirements that establish biofuel credit trading, and we have assisted with greenhouse gas emissions reduction trading under the Kyoto protocol. We are following state efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and establish their own biofuel requirements. We understand how to structure projects to take full advantage of these programs.

Sustainability

The world is entering a new era of limits on physical resources. Oil and gas reserves are declining as demand increases, and soil loss and aquifer depletion threaten agriculture (and biofuels). Global warming is a frequently discussed concern. Opportunities await entities that take the lead in reinventing their business models to meet these challenges.

Emissions Trading and Environmental Banking

We assist with NOx, SOx, and mercury trades under federal legislation and state implementation plans. We have acted as counsel in land-banking and habitat-banking transactions and brownfield recycling.

“Green” Buildings

Buildings are green if they use renewable materials, create less waste in the building process, and use less energy and water to operate. Our attorneys are familiar with real estate contracting practices in the green building area, including performance standards and certifications.

Reputational Risk and Reporting

Major public companies are under increasing pressure to report publicly on their environmental practices and the sustainability of their business model. Reporting should be consistent with required securities reporting and disclosure, and we assist companies in determining whether risks identified in Sustainability Reports should find expression in SEC filings. The practices of a company's suppliers affect the performance of the company, and contracts with suppliers should specify the reporting needs of the purchaser. 

Product Labeling and Certification

Consumer concern with the source and environmental soundness of their purchases raises intellectual property issues. We can assist with labeling and certification issues (e.g., "organic,” “sustainably harvested") and energy use and life-cycle labeling.