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Renewable Energy & Sustainability

“Their leadership and commitment to client service is what makes them stand out. They work hard to understand not only the market and the business, but also their client’s place in the industry.”

 – Chambers USA, 2019

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Bracewell has one of the world’s largest dedicated energy legal teams and has been at the forefront of developments and innovations related to renewable energy and sustainability. Solar, wind, biomass, hydropower and hydrogen — all are vital parts of the energy transition. These renewable sources — combined with carbon capture, energy storage, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices — involve complex legal, financial and regulatory issues that we are well positioned to address due to our depth and vast experience. 

Our global team advises on complex renewables projects at every stage of development. Our experience across the solar, wind and hydroelectric power sectors is complemented by the strengths of our regulatory, environmental, restructuring, tax, litigation and government relations teams.

We represent sponsors and developers, lenders, governments, private equity and infrastructure funds, service companies and contractors. Our extensive experience across the renewable energy spectrum has set the standard in the market for legal and transactional excellence. Leading companies in the renewables space — including Alcazar, Competitive Power Ventures, Engie, Equinor, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Invenergy, Marubeni, Sol Systems, Total Solar and Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners — rely on Bracewell’s thorough knowledge of the issues that impact today’s energy markets.

Global Recognition for Excellence

At the core of our renewables and sustainability practice are lawyers who have dedicated their careers to working in the energy industry. Our broad energy platform is widely recognized for excellence globally, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Africa, and in every practice area related to renewable energy and sustainability. 

  • Chambers Global ‒ Africa Projects and Energy; Middle East Projects and Energy; UK Energy Sector (International and Cross-Border); USA Electricity – Regulatory and Litigation; USA Electricity – Transactional; USA Energy Sector (International and Cross-Border); USA Projects – Power and Renewables Transactional
  • Chambers USA – Nationwide Climate Change; Nationwide Electricity – Regulatory and Litigation; Nationwide Electricity – Transactional; Nationwide Environment; Nationwide Projects – Power and Renewables Transactional
  • Chambers UK – UK Projects
  • IFLR1000 – UAE Project Finance; USA Project Finance; UK Project Development – Power; UK Projects
  • Legal 500 US – Energy Regulatory – Conventional Power; Energy Transactions – Conventional Power; Energy Transactions – Renewable/Alternative Power; Environment – Regulatory; Environment – Transactional; Government Relations

Market-Leading Engagements Throughout the World

We have been involved in market-leading projects across multiple global jurisdictions.

  • Alcazar Energy on the 1.8 GW Benban Solar Park in Egypt – 2017 Global MLA Deal of the Year, PFI Awards
  • Equinor on the 816 MW Empire Wind Offshore Wind Farm – the first large-scale offshore wind lease in New York State (Projects Deal of the Year Finalist, 2020 IFLR United States Awards)
  • Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in the development of the 55 MW Mets Masrik power plant – the first utility-scale solar plant in Armenia
  • Invenergy in its $4.5 billion build-transfer sale of the 2,000 MW Wind Catcher wind energy generating facility – the second-largest wind farm in the world
  • Marubeni and Total Solar in the development and implementation of the 800.15 MW Al Kharsaah solar photovoltaic independent power project – the first utility-scale renewables IPP in Qatar
  • Sol Systems in a joint venture with Microsoft to develop over 500 MW of solar projects in under-resourced US communities
  • Storegga Geotechnologies on its acquisition of Pale Blue Dot Energy, lead developer of one of the first carbon capture and storage projects in the UK
  • Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners in a joint venture with 8minuteenergy Renewables and J.P. Morgan Asset Management to provide capital to support 10.7 GW pipeline of utility solar and storage projects
  • Vestas Wind Systems on the 300 MW Lake Turkana wind projects – the largest single-private investment in Kenyan history and one of the largest onshore wind farms in Africa
Access our Insights

Our deep and extensive experience in the energy sector includes representing sponsors, developers and lenders on the development and financing of biomass projects in the United States and the United Kingdom. We have first-hand knowledge of the logistic and operational issues inherent in biomass projects, including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) matters.

Market-Leading Engagements

  • Abengoa Bioenergy affiliate in the financing of the combined cellulosic ethanol production facility and related biomass-fired power plant in Hugoton, Kansas
  • Sacyr Industrial USA on the EPC contracts of two biomass power plants in North Carolina

With one of the largest cross-disciplinary energy teams in the world, Bracewell has been at the forefront of developments related to carbon capture.

We have an unparalleled understanding of the business issues facing carbon capture developers, investors and off-takers because of our extensive experience in both the midstream and upstream sectors. Our experience and understanding of the power markets effectively positions us to advise on projects where the carbon dioxide producer is a coal or natural gas plant.

Our environmental lawyers are equally adept in negotiating federal and state regulations, while our transactional tax and tax policy teams are well versed in the US federal tax incentives for carbon capture and utilization projects.

Market-Leading Engagements

  • Hillcorp Energy on a hybrid upstream and midstream joint venture to utilize captured CO2 for an enhanced oil recovery project in Texas
  • Harvest Midstream in a $1.125 billion acquisition from Williams Partners of assets in the Four Corners area, including a CO2 treating facility
  • Storegga Geotechnologies on its acquisition of Pale Blue Dot Energy, the lead developer of one of the first carbon capture and storage projects in the UK

Falling battery costs, along with the growing amount of renewable energy on the grid, continue to drive the need for energy storage. Bracewell works with investors and developers in creating cutting-edge offtake and hedging agreements for battery storage, flywheel storage and other energy storage projects, including in the United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Market-Leading Engagements

  • 8minute Renewables on a range of offtake arrangements and energy storage agreements
  • Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage on various compressed air energy storage facilities in Texas
  • Fotowatio Renewable Ventures on its first grade-scale battery projects, as well as in its investment in one of the largest planned battery energy storage plants in the southern UK
  • Invenergy on a 50 MW battery project in connection with an Arizona Public Service solar power plant
  • Rockland Capital on the sale of two 20 MW flywheel energy storage projects
  • Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners on its joint venture with 8minute Renewables on financing a 10.7 GW development pipeline of utility-scale solar and storage projects

Whether it’s promoting hydrogen-supportive policies, resolving regulatory challenges or structuring transactions, Bracewell is strongly positioned to advise clients on issues related to hydrogen investments.

Our lawyers are at the forefront of the federal policies and regulatory developments driving the hydrogen economy. They leverage their relationships with key federal agencies, congressional committees and the White House to help clients navigate the legal and regulatory issues associated with hydrogen projects and initiatives.

As a case in point, our government relations team represented Hydrogen Energy U.S. in educating policymakers and creating opportunities to use hydrogen to modernize the electric grid and mobility sector. These efforts resulted in several pieces of legislation promoting the use of hydrogen in production, energy storage and transportation.

We also were recently engaged by Powertech Labs to evaluate the proposed sale of mobile hydrogen refueling stations for third-party use in the United States.

Hydropower is expected to grow to nearly 150 GW by 2050, with nearly 50 percent of this growth taking place within the next 10 years. Bracewell has one of the top power regulatory practices in the nation, as well as the experience in helping energy companies secure state and regulatory approvals for hydroelectric plants.

Market-Leading Engagements

  • Alcoa Power Generating on regulatory approvals for its sale of the 378 MW Tapoco hydroelectric project to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners
  • Alcoa Power Generating on regulatory approvals for its sale of four hydroelectric power plants with a combined generation of 215 MW to Cube Hyro Partners
  • ENGIE North America on federal regulatory approvals and related assignments on its $1.2 sale of 1.4 GW of pumped storage and conventional hydro assets to PSP Investments

Bracewell has been a leader in the solar industry since its inception. Our clients include some of the world’s leading solar companies and investors. They turn to us because of the understanding of the legal and commercial issues that comes from our deep knowledge of the industry and our experience working on high-profile solar transactions.

Bracewell has advised on virtually every significant regional solar project in the Middle East, and we are the only firm to be twice named “Infrastructure and Energy Projects Team of the Year” at the Middle East Awards (2017, 2018). We have also been recognized two years in a row by The Times as one of the top 20 firms in the UK for energy and renewables (2019, 2020).

We are highly regarded for our role on complex commodity transactions, such as solar hedges and contracts for difference, which enable the financing of new generation agreements between independent power producers and utilities.

Market-Leading Engagements

Bracewell has been at the forefront of developments in the onshore and offshore wind market for more than 15 years. We have played a leading role in wind projects across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, representing global companies looking to increase their wind capacity, as well as domestic funds looking to expand in new jurisdictions.

We represent developers, sponsors, lenders and contractors on large-scale wind projects throughout the world, including the 816 MW Empire Wind offshore wind farm in New York, 84 MW Al Rajef wind project in Jordan, 300 MW Lake Turkana wind project in Kenya and the 2,000 MW Wind Catcher in Texas.

Market-Leading Engagements

  • Alcazar Energy on the 84 MW AL Rajef Wind Project in Jordan
  • Equinor in its 816 MW Empire Wind Offshore Wind Farm – the first large-scale offshore wind lease in New York State (Projects Deal of the Year Finalist, 2020 IFLR United States Awards)
  • Invenergy in its $4.5 billion build-transfer sale of the 2,000 MW Wind Catcher wind energy generating facility
  • Marubeni in its acquisition of a 50 percent interest in the 206 MW Lakefield Wind Farm from EDF Renewables
  • Marubeni in its acquisition of a 90 percent interest in the 103 MW Shiloh IV Wind Farm from EDF Renewables
  • Morgan Stanley in the construction financing and back leverage financing of 106.5 MW wind generation facility in Montana
  • Rockland Capital in its acquisition of four wind development projects in Texas and Montana, with approximately 700 MW of generation capacity
  • Vestas Wind Systems on the 300 MW Lake Turkana wind projects – the largest single-private investment in Kenyan history and one of the largest onshore wind farms in Africa

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

Affiliate of Abengoa Bioenergy — financing of the Hugoton (Kansas) combined cellulosic ethanol production facility and related biomass-fired power plant under a project financing by the Federal Financing Bank guaranteed by the US Department of Energy under the Section 1705 DOE Loan Guaranty program

Biomass project developer — development of biomass-fired projects in California

Lenders EPC and operation and maintenance aspects of a 50 MW biomass power plant project in Wales

Sacyr Industrial USA LLC — negotiation of EPC contracts for the remodeling of two biomass power plants in North Carolina

Sponsors EPC contract and tender documentation in relation to a biomass power plant in the UK

Sponsors EPC contract and operation and maintenance aspects of proposed 300 MW biomass facility in the UK, including all of its tendering documentation as well the documentation for the two stage contracting from FEED to EPC stage and ancillary documentation

People

Awards

News

Insights

International Comparative Legal Guides: Renewable Energy 2021

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ICLG: Renewable Energy 2021

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FERC Redefines QF Eligibility Requirements

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Energy Legal Blog®

On September 1, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an order breaking with decades of precedent regarding how it will determine whether a renewable resource is eligible...

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