Energy Law Blog

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.…
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…
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…
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: Six Key Items to be Aware of Today Regarding the
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,…
On October 1, 2020, the fourth edition of the Equator Principles came into effect.  This fourth edition expands the scope of infrastructure projects that are captured by the principles and creates additional obligations for participating financial institutions and their borrowers.  Here are six key items to be aware of today regarding Equator Principles IV. Click here for the full article: Six Key Items to be Aware of Today Regarding the Equator Principles IV Other Parts of this series include: Six Key Items to be Aware of Today Concerning FERC Carbon Pricing Policy Six Key Items to be Aware of Today
On February 18, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a renewed Notice of Inquiry (NOI)[1] seeking input on potential revisions to its current Policy Statement on the certification of new natural gas transmission facilities.[2]  The NOI supplements FERC’s 2018 NOI issued on the same topic.[3]  Citing changes following receipt of comments in its 2018 NOI proceeding (e.g., the Council on Environmental Quality’s promulgation of updated regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for implementation by all federal agencies[4] and Executive Order 14008[5]) FERC is seeking to…
With the change in administration in Washington, D.C., President Biden elevated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Commissioner Richard Glick to the position of Chairman. A Democrat, Commissioner Glick now assumes certain agenda-setting powers, including directing ongoing lawsuits at FERC and setting policy priorities. Two policies of note are transmission build-out and carbon pricing approval – both initially advanced during the Trump Administration, and enjoying some measure of support. Click here for the full article: Six Key Items to be Aware of Today Concerning FERC Carbon Pricing Policy Other Parts of this series include: Six Key Items to be Aware of
With the change in administration in Washington, D.C., President Biden elevated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Commissioner Richard Glick to the position of Chairman. A Democrat, Commissioner Glick now assumes certain agenda-setting powers, including directing ongoing lawsuits at FERC and setting policy priorities. Two policies of note are transmission build-out and carbon pricing approval – both initially advanced during the Trump Administration, and enjoying some measure of support. Here are six takeaways on how Chairman Glick’s appointment may impact the evolution of the prior carbon pricing approval proposals in a new Administration in the months ahead: On October 15, 2020,…
On December 30, 2020, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (the “Department”) promulgated statewide ambient limits on greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions for the years 2030 and 2050 (the “Regulations”).[1]  The GHGs covered by the Regulations include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons.[2]  The final Regulations constitute a critical step in the implementation of New York State’s climate strategy set out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA”). The CLCPA, enacted in July 2019,[3] amends both the state’s Environmental Conservation Law and Public Service Law to address and mitigate the effects of…
The FERC today issued Order No. 871-A, seeking further comment on modifications last summer to its regulations under Natural Gas Act Sections 3 and 7 that prohibited initiating pipeline construction, pending timely filing of any rehearing request, or a rehearing order on the merits. The Commission has requested initial briefs promptly, by February 16, and reply briefs by March 3. Perhaps not coincidentally, Order No. 871 is currently pending judicial review. Order No. 871-A inquires whether the Commission should prohibit construction while a rehearing request is pending, even though traditionally construction could begin before that (i.e., following an order authorizing…
Through a Notice of Inquiry (“Notice”)[1] approved at its January 19, 2021 open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) asked whether its Uniform System of Accounts (individually, an “Account,” and for more than one, “Accounts”) should be modified to better reflect the circumstances of non-hydro renewable assets that rely on heat, or motion, of the earth or sun, such as facilities that rely on solar, wind, biomass and geothermal sources.  The Notice describes how various Account categories currently do not readily correspond to renewable equipment. The Notice observes that certain types of renewable equipment (e.g., solar panels and…
As Congress was completing final negotiations of the stimulus package dealing with the public health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, several key energy provisions made their way into the 5593-page omnibus spending bill passed by the House and Senate on December 21, 2020, particularly much needed extensions of several renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives. Specifically, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”)[1] addresses, among other things, the concerns of renewable energy developers regarding the potential expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and, for the first time, includes provisions for…
Momentum is growing quickly towards widespread construction of US offshore wind-powered electrical generation facilities. Several States along the northern part of the Atlantic coast have projects actively under development and RFPs for more projects to come.  Recent regulatory guidance has been issued clarifying Jones Act implementation. Here are six key trends and developments for market participants to be aware of. Click here for the full article: Six Key Items to be Aware of Today in U.S. Offshore Wind (“OSW”) Other Parts of this series include: NYISO Battery Storage Rules Tax Equity for Public Utilities Natural Gas Pipeline Development CORSIA Baseline
Recently, the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) implemented new rules to integrate storage resources, including battery resources, into wholesale electricity markets. NYISO’s rules come in response to FERC Order No. 841. Here are six key regulatory and transactional items from the new rules. Click here for the full article: NYISO Battery Storage Rules Other Parts of this series include Tax Equity for Public Utilities, Natural Gas Pipeline Development, CORSIA Baseline Emissions Decision, and Blockchain in the Electricity Industry: Six Items to Consider.…