Energy Law Blog

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

Continued commitments to renewable generation in 2021 mean that corporate purchasers remain major drivers in the development of new wind and solar power generation projects in the United States.  Megawatt numbers vary depending on the source; however, there is no dispute about the significant role played by corporates.  While corporate offtakers were initially focused on wind generation, corporate offtakers now regularly contract for solar generation as well.
Continue Reading Corporate Offtake Agreements are a Driving Force Behind the Shift Toward Renewable Energy in the United States

Investors are increasingly focused on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and more companies are reporting on these statistics.  Reporting on ESG metrics is challenging because there is a lack of consistency in the market as to what ESG is, how to measure whether ESG is successful, and how that success is rewarded.  In the debt capital markets, industry trade groups are working to provide market participants with ESG reporting frameworks in order to unite these ESG reporting efforts and move towards a more uniform reporting standard.  The latest proposed framework is the Social Loan Principles published by the Asia Pacific
Continue Reading Six Key Items to be Aware of Regarding the Social Loan Principles

Offshore Wind Goes West.  On May 25, the Biden administration and the State of California announced an effort to develop areas off of the coast of California for up to 4.6 GW of offshore wind generation.  While Northeastern states and project developers are poised to begin bringing commercial scale offshore projects to market, this announcement represents the first concrete step to open up the West coast to offshore wind development.  Wind generation in the waters off the West coast will face some unique challenges (such as water depths that will force the use of floating wind turbines that are still
Continue Reading Six Key Things to be Aware of in the Development of Floating Offshore Wind in California

As the demand for renewable energy in the United State increases, so does related project M&A activity.  For decades, the Sheppard Mullin team has been working on renewable energy project M&A and now we are helping our clients address several accelerating market trends for projects at all stages of the project life cycle. Here are six key items to be aware of today in US renewable energy M&A transactions.

Click here for the full article: The Sheppard Mullin Six US Renewable Energy MA Transactions

Other Parts of this series include:


Continue Reading Six key items to be aware of today in US Renewable Energy M&A Transactions

Last week, the Biden Administration through the Department of Energy, took actions regarding Executive Order 13920  (the “Bulk Power Order”).  Such actions effectively established a clean slate for how the Biden Administration will implement the Trump-Era order.  This article summarizes the timeline of the Bulk Power Order since its issuance last year, including the actions taken by the Biden Administration last week, and the Biden Administration’s initiatives going forward.
Timeline

  • On May 1, 2020, former President Trump issued the Bulk Power Order, which prohibited certain transactions involving bulk-power system electric equipment manufactured or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by,


Continue Reading A Clean Slate for Executive Order 13920: The Bulk Power Order