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Renewable & Alternative Energy

Concerns about climate change and energy security, together with the increased cost of traditional energy sources, have resulted in an increased focus on renewable and alternative energy sources (particularly solar, wind, wave, biofuel, biomass, and geothermal). At the same time, advances in technology have made renewable and alternative energy more cost-efficient and desirable.  National, state and local governments are providing increased incentives for the development and use of renewable and alternative energy sources, and, in some instances, are even mandating their use.  In addition, there is increasing consumer demand for affordable access to renewable energy sources.

The emphasis on the development of renewable and alternative energy creates significant opportunities for many of Steptoe’s clients.  Our Renewable and Alternative Energy Practice Group comprises experienced lawyers from the various disciplines necessary to help clients take advantage of those opportunities: corporate and finance, government affairs, energy transactions, intellectual property, environmental law, tax, and international trade.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and its North American affiliate, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc., on its most complex transactions and disputes involving wind turbine generators (WTG's), including a series of contracts involving multi-hundred-megawatt turbine supply agreements and the resolution of disputes with Babcock & Brown arising in both the US and Australia, as well as disputes in the US involving Cielo Wind Power Corporation and its affiliates.

  • Assisted a wide range of clients in understanding and shaping federal and state legislative and regulatory developments that impact the renewable and alternative energy industry (particularly the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), including renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency requirements, smart grid development and greenhouse gas regulations, and tax credits and financial assistance opportunities.

  • Represented a major utility in various joint ventures to construct high voltage transmission lines.

  • Represented a major utility on joint-venture arrangements with a foreign hydro-electric power company.

  • Assisted a major photovoltaic manufacturer with protection of its intellectual property assets, including providing patent, trademark and trade secret advice, and IP representation through its initial public offering.

  • Assisted a leading renewable energy company in connection with its purchase of a company located in Arizona.

  • Drafted contracts and policies for the procurement of more than $100,000,000 in equipment for a renewable energy company building production facilities in the US and Europe.

  • Advised large Swiss electricity producers  involved in hydraulic energy with respect to negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union on the liberalization of European electricity markets.

  • Represented a renewable energy client in purchase of its US manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters.

  • Advised a major manufacturer of paper products with respect to tax credits available for the production and use of alternative fuels and with respect to the application of the excise tax rules.

  • Advised a major manufacturer of turbines and generators as to energy credits and grants for investments in projects using wind to produce electricity.

  • Advised solar generation client on various federal and state tax issues relating to the development, financing, construction, and operation of a solar generation facility in Arizona.

  • Advised solar panel manufacturers with respect to hazardous materials issues in California and chemical registration issues in Europe.

  • Drafted customer service and installation agreement for solar electricity system provider for use with consumers of solar energy services.

Noteworthy

  • Recommended, Legal 500 Energy: Litigation and Energy: Regulatory 2012

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Publications

  • Treasury Cash Grants under ARRA
    October 2009, LexisNexis Emerging Issues Analysis