Energy Project Development and Finance
Development and financing of major energy projects is a multifaceted endeavor. It requires long lead times to assemble data concerning sites, equipment, construction, power sources to operate the facility, grid connections, purchase of power generated, permits, entity structuring and financing, and sustained attention to assemble and implement the project. Attorneys in this firm have experience guiding and participating in assembling the necessary data and in participating with business people, government entities, engineers and others in analyzing and pursuing the steps to economically and practically bring a project to life.
Our lawyers have assisted and reviewed with owners and others engineering and technical studies and other plans and specifications for projects, bids for equipment and construction, and proposals from providers of power to operate facilities and from users to purchase power generated from facilities. We have represented owners in negotiating contracts to purchase real estate and obtain relevant easements, purchase and maintain equipment, build and maintain structures, including structures to house and service equipment, purchase fuel to operate facilities, including natural gas and coal, and sell electricity produced by the facilities. We have also provided the corporate, securities and tax services required to structure project entities and provide equity and debt financing. We have carried out project and environmental reviews, and obtained required licenses and permits from regulatory authorities, often on a cross-border or multi-jurisdictional basis.
We are engaged in domestic and global private and public equity and debt financings and mergers and acquisitions for oil and gas producers, drilling companies and equipment manufacturers and sellers. Our attorneys have represented oil and gas companies, solar, wind and hydroelectric generating companies and companies producing power from unconventional sources. We have also worked on generating plants using methane from landfills. We have prepared offering documents for private and public sale of equity securities to provide financing for power plants and have assisted owners in negotiating arrangements with underwriters and mezzanine and senior lenders.
Permitting and Environmental Review
The firm is pre-eminent in the field of energy facility environmental review and permitting, having recently represented major regional public authorities in conducting environmental reviews and permitting for a new large combined-cycle power plant, simple-cycle plants, new substations and transmission lines, energy efficiency initiatives, pilot wind projects and solar projects. We were involved in early environmental review work for a large-scale off-shore wind park, and have advised clients in connection with filings in response to requests for proposals, including a recent RFP seeking to bring in an additional 500 MW of power to New York City. Earlier, we were instrumental in helping a public authority site, construct and operate ten new simple cycle turbines throughout New York City in one of the most expeditious environmental review, permitting and litigation projects ever.
We have assisted clients in the transfer of major power plant assets, including due diligence review of agreements and preparing for the transfer of contracts and permits pursuant to state and local laws, and in the permitting and environmental review for major transmission and pipeline facilities.
We have substantial experience in construction of various kinds of projects and in purchase of major pieces of equipment, including combined-cycle turbine generating facilities. Our lawyers negotiate contracts with engineers, architects and contractors in various settings and coordinate closely with owners and lenders the terms of those contracts. We represent government agencies, public and private utilities and project sponsors in condemning property interests, including easements, required for project uses.
For aspects of projects outside of our geographic area, including those that are purely local in nature (such as real-estate use regulation), we work closely with our clients’ local experts and counsel, and draw upon multi-state and international networks of law firms and other professionals with whom we have long-established relationships for assistance.
Multifaceted projects require significant organization and coordination. Our firm has experience organizing, coordinating and leading face-to-face meetings, conference calls and interactive internet sessions with experts and professionals from many disciplines who can provide, absorb and apply information to those projects.
Professional Activities and Related Experience
The firm’s attorneys have been active for many years in the fields of energy, domestic and international environmental law, greenhouse gas regulation and climate change, serving on local and state bar association committees, serving as adjunct professors at law schools, teaching continuing legal education and other courses, and speaking widely on these matters. Our attorneys have assisted in the development of standards in such areas as the appropriate disclosure of climate change effects in project environmental impact analysis as a prerequisite to governmental permitting and handling the financing of numerous energy-related companies.
An example of our climate-change related work involves the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state effort in the northeastern United States that established the first mandatory cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions at the regional level. On behalf of the RGGI states, we established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc., to assist the states in conducting region-wide auctions of emission allowances, implementing a regional system for tracking emissions, setting up requirements for emissions offsets and emissions credits, and related matters, and we serve as its counsel.