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Renewable Energy & Sustainability

“They have a good view of current market developments and provide pragmatic and commercially sound legal advice….Their lawyers are excellent with deep industry knowledge and amazing network of contacts.”

 – IFLR1000 2019

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With one of the largest dedicated energy legal teams in the world, Bracewell has been at the forefront of developments in 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 practices — involve complex legal, financial and regulatory issues that we are well positioned to address.

At the core of our renewables and sustainability practice are lawyers who have dedicated their careers to working in the energy industry. Their knowledge and experience are consistently recognized on the national and international level by independent directories such as Chambers Global, Chambers UK, Chambers USA, IFLR1000, Legal 500 UK and Legal 500 US.

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. Many of the transactions in which our teams have been involved are market-leading projects, such as the Empire Wind project offshore New York, Ergon Peru’s off-grid solar panel projects, the Arabia One’ Seven Sisters solar project in Jordan and Alcazar Energy Partners’ Benban Solar Park in Egypt.

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 — such as Alcazar, Cubico, Cypress Creek and Engie — rely on Bracewell’s thorough knowledge of the issues that impact today’s energy markets.

Biomass power will play a significant role as global markets focus on new energy sources. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping clients finance, develop and obtain permitting for biomass projects. As a result, they are familiar with the fuel supply, transportation logistics and the operational issues inherent in biomass-fired power plants. We are also experienced in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for biomass projects, as well as operations and maintenance agreements.

Bracewell is a global leader in carbon capture and utilization projects with experience in relevant tax, environmental, intellectual property, real property, project finance, project development and energy regulatory issues. Drawing on our extensive upstream, midstream and other energy industry knowledge and experience, we understand the business considerations relevant to carbon capture project developers, investors and off-takers, including maximizing federal incentives, negotiating commercial contracts involving sequestration and utilization, and meeting environmental monitoring, reporting and verification standards for carbon capture projects.

Our tax team advises clients on qualifications for federal tax credits available for carbon capture and utilization projects, as well as structures to effectively monetize such credits. In addition, our tax policy team is actively engaged with lawmakers, educating them on carbon capture industry issues and commenting on recent guidance relating to federal tax credits.

Our environmental team understands the policy and regulatory considerations at the federal and state levels to permit, develop, construct and operate sequestration assets, including the process for securing an EPA UIC Class VI permit for a leading US carbon sequestration project. Our experience and understanding of the power markets, combined with the insights of our government relationship team, uniquely positions us to advise on carbon capture projects where the carbon dioxide producer is a coal or natural gas plant.

Falling battery costs, along with the increasing amount of renewable energy on the grid, will continue to drive growth in energy storage for the foreseeable future. Our lawyers are experienced in advising clients across the United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa on battery storage, flywheel storage and other energy storage capabilities. Our extensive understanding of the power and renewable products markets enables us to structure cutting-edge offtake and hedging agreements for energy storage projects.

Hydrogen is poised to play a fundamental role in the clean energy transition. Whether it’s promoting hydrogen-supportive policies, resolving regulatory challenges or structuring transactional and operational agreements, Bracewell is uniquely qualified among law firms to support clients in their investments in hydrogen.

Our practitioners are at the forefront of federal policy and regulatory opportunities that are poised to drive the hydrogen economy. We navigate the expanding set of legal, regulatory and transactional issues impacting hydrogen focused projects and initiatives with confidence, leveraging relationships in key Executive branch agencies, such as the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor; the Congressional committees of substantive jurisdiction; and the White House.

One of the oldest forms of renewable energy, hydropower is expected to grow from current levels of combined generating and storage capacity to nearly 150 GW by 2050 with more than 50 percent of this growth by 2030. Our lawyers understand how to navigate clients through their projects and obtain governmental approvals through key state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Our experience includes working with clients in the development, construction, financing and acquisition of hydropower projects.

Demand for clean energy continues to make solar power more cost-competitive to traditional power generation. Our track record in the solar power sector is significant, as we have advised on the financing, structuring, construction, development and operations of a range of solar projects in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We have advised on almost every significant regional solar project throughout the Middle East, and we are the only firm to twice be 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 as one of the top 20 firms in the UK for energy and renewables by The Times (2019, 2020).

On the transactional side, we are highly regarded for our role on complex commodity transactions, including solar hedges and contracts for difference. Our transactional lawyers work with the firm’s tax and government relations teams to help clients understand and take advantage of renewable energy tax credits.

Bracewell has one of the leading practices related to the development and financing of wind power. Our lawyers have been at the forefront of market developments over the last 15 years, playing a major role in wind projects across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. We represent global players seeking to increase their onshore and offshore wind capacity, as well as domestic funds and energy companies looking to expand in international jurisdictions.

Our experience includes representing developers, lenders, private equity sponsors and contractors with the construction and operation of offshore and onshore wind projects. We help clients monetize these projects and make use of governmental renewable incentives, as well as advise on interconnection and transmission models and rate structures, energy management and scheduling, power market designs and environmental compliance.

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

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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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