Energy Law Blog

After the landmark prices received for eight offshore wind leases in the New York Bight, and with great anticipation for the upcoming December 6, 2022, lease auction for the Humboldt and Morro Bay Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of California, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is turning its sights to the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden Administration’s announced goal of developing thirty (30) gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 now includes two WEAs in the Gulf of Mexico with the potential of producing up to 3 GW of
Continue Reading Offshore Wind Comes to the Gulf of Mexico

On October 21, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) published a Final Sale Notice (“FSN”) for commercial leasing for wind power on California’s Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). Specifically, the FSN announces a list of eligible bidders, deadlines, lease stipulations, and financial terms and conditions for an auction of five leases within the Humboldt Wind Energy Area (“WEA”) and Morro Bay WEA. We highlighted these elements of the FSN and discussed bid credits in prior blog posts. Here, we summarize several aspects of the FSN which stem from the California Coastal Commission’s consistency determinations for both WEAs.
Continue Reading California Offshore Wind Lease Sale Announced by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

One of the most noteworthy features of the October 18th Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the PACW-1 offshore lease auction – which will be the first west coast auction held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – is the availability of “multi-factor” bid credits. The multi-factor approach will allow bidders to earn credits for activities BOEM hopes to stimulate, including making commitments to domestic workforce training and supply chain development as well as entrance into community benefit agreements (CBAs) addressing the impacts of offshore development on local stakeholders. Up to 30% of the cash value of their bid
Continue Reading Bid Credits Intended to Stimulate Local Coordination and Development in Upcoming California Lease Auction Add New Wrinkle to Bid Strategies

On October 18, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) will hold an auction to sell five offshore wind energy leases in federal waters off the California coast, with two off the coast of Humboldt and three off the coast of Morro Bay. PACW-1 is the first sale of offshore wind leases on the west coast of the United States, and the first to support the development of floating offshore wind projects anywhere in the US. The auction follows the record-breaking New York Bight auction and the Carolina Long Bay auction, both
Continue Reading California Offshore Wind Auction

Offshore wind development off the California coast took another step closer to reality on August 10, 2022 with the California Energy Commission’s release of a report setting maximum feasible capacity and megawatt goals for 2030 and 2045. The report constitutes a milestone in the planning process prescribed by AB 525, which requires that the Commission “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits” for 2030 and 2045.
Continue Reading California Energy Commission Releases Milestone Offshore Wind Energy Report and Sets Maximum Feasible Capacity and Megawatt Planning Goals for 2030 and 2045

On August 7, 2022, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376) (the “Reconciliation Bill”) on a party line vote with the deciding vote cast by the Vice President. The Senate’s passage of the Reconciliation Bill likely satisfies the requirements for a Proposed Change in Tax Law, as defined under most tax equity financing documents. However, in general, those agreements require that only adverse Proposed Changes in Tax Law be reflected in the Base Case Model in advance of a Funding Date. In general, changes that affect the tax capacity of an investor are not within the
Continue Reading Tax Law Changes in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376)

U.S. state and federal lawmakers, as well as federal regulators, are increasingly focusing on the role of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in ongoing efforts to combat climate change and to facilitate the transition from carbon-based fossil fuels.
Continue Reading Lawmakers and Regulators Examine Role of Blockchain Technology in Energy Transitions

The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided $1.2 trillion in federal funding for infrastructure, including approximately $384 million to support California EV infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (“NEVI”) formula program. This sum supplements significant State investments, bringing California funding dedicated to expanding EV Infrastructure to nearly $3 billion through 2026.
Continue Reading A Quick Guide to EV Charging Infrastructure Funding and Incentives in California

On May 18, a coalition of 235 consumer, environmental, and public interest groups penned a petition urging the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices undertaken by electric utilities, pursuant to Article 6(b) of the FTC Act, which empowers the agency to conduct a broad investigative study and request information. Sec. 6(b), 15 U.S.C. § 46(b).
Continue Reading Federal Trade Commission Petitioned To Investigate Electric Utilities

As current supply chain issues continue to threaten the U.S. photovoltaic solar industry, solar module suppliers, manufacturers, renewable energy developers and utilities alike face great uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of the solar module supply market. The bottom-line is that supply chain issues are increasing shipping and equipment costs for solar cells and panels, however, there are several independent factors that are working together to drive this surge in pricing and constrained market. These factors include the following:
Continue Reading Making Sense of the Solar Supply Chain Issues

On January 12, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) issued its Final Sale Notice for the auction of six offshore wind lease areas in federal waters off the coasts of New York and New Jersey (the “NY Bight FSN”), totaling more than 480,000 acres and up to 7 gigawatts (“GW”) of capacity. This will be the first offshore wind auction to take place under the Biden-Harris Administration, as well as the largest number of U.S. offshore wind lease areas ever offered as part of a single auction. Here are six things to be aware of regarding the auction
Continue Reading SheppardMullin Six: Groundbreaking BOEM Lease Sale in New York Bight Further Accelerates Offshore Wind Development in the Atlantic

President Biden recently wrote a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan urging the Commission to immediately investigate potential anticompetitive behavior in the oil and gas sector. The President noted that gas prices have been rising, while the costs faced by oil and gas companies themselves have decreased. Concerned that the two largest oil and gas companies in the country are set to double their net income over 2019 while the gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the price at the pump is increasing, he called on the FTC to “bring all of the Commission’s tools to bear if
Continue Reading Antitrust Scrutiny Heating Up in Oil and Gas Industries

Introduction: On November 18, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a notice of inquiry seeking comments on various aspects of currently accepted reactive power compensation mechanisms and alternative compensation methodologies, including for those resources that interconnect at the distribution level but offer reactive power capability in support of transmission.  The NOI may foreshadow FERC’s adoption for the first time of a uniform standard for reactive power compensation, displacing the current fragmented reactive power federal pricing environment.
Continue Reading FERC Seeks Comments on Potential Alternative Reactive Power Compensation Mechanisms in Reactive Power Capability Compensation, 177 FERC ⁋ 61,118 (2021) (“NOI”)

On November 15th, 2021, President Biden signed the highly anticipated $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Among other infrastructure-related incentives, the bill includes billions in funding to help fight climate change and support clean energy technologies. Specifically, the bill allocates approximately (1) $65 billion for power infrastructure, of which nearly $29 billion is devoted to bolstering the electric grid (including transmission), (2) $47.2 billion to address critical cyber and climate resilience and (3) $7.5 billion to build out a national network of electric charging infrastructure.[1]  These incentives are critical for facilitating broader proliferation of renewable energy projects and the transmission
Continue Reading Comprehensive $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill to Provide Critical Support for Clean Energy

This is the second of three articles on the Solar Industry and Forced Labor. Here we focus on interactions with solar module suppliers. Our first article in the series focused on regulations in this area, and our next will focus on investors and their requirements.
Continue Reading Clean Energy’s Messy Problem II: The Solar Industry, Its Suppliers, and the Complex Task of Combatting Forced Labor