Energy + Natural Resources

Renewable Energy

Farella’s renewable energy group applies its deep expertise to provide practical and effective solutions across the renewable energy industry, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, and hydroelectric generation, energy storage and transmission projects. At the forefront of the rapidly developing market and regulatory environment, Farella attorneys shepherd renewable energy projects from project inception through construction and operation and maintenance, including acquisition, sale and financing.  We apply our experience and practical judgment to help clients anticipate and avoid problems and identify and implement solutions when challenges arise.

We represent developer, manufacturing, technology, investor and financing clients on virtually every asset class in the renewable energy sector throughout the United States.  This expertise  helps our clients succeed. Serving innovative renewable energy companies, pioneering startups, and some of the world’s largest solar, wind, and geothermal energy producers—including the two largest photovoltaic solar plants in California, Desert Sunlight and Topaz Solar Farms, each of which generates 550 megawatts of electricity—we utilize small, highly responsive teams and truly partner with our clients, saving them time and money without sacrificing quality. 

Our dedicated industry approach allows us to efficiently address the cross-disciplinary needs of the renewable energy industry, including project development, real estate, land use, environmental, permitting, construction, tax, financing, litigation, and intellectual property issues. We provide our clients with top-notch legal advice across a wide range of subject matters, such as:

Project Financing / Contract Negotiation

  • Negotiating and documenting purchases and sales of development rights, projects, and project portfolios at all stages of development
  • Representing clients on site acquisitions, dispositions, and contributions
  • Assisting clients with due diligence review of individual project and project portfolios
  • Structuring, negotiating, and documenting complex mergers and acquisitions, multi-project joint ventures, joint development agreements, shared facilities agreements, and development services agreements
  • Negotiating and documenting PPAs for project sponsors and  interconnection, EPC, and O&M agreements for project sponsors and contractors
  • Advising on and documenting related finance terms and conditions.

Environmental, Land Use, and Permitting

  • Obtaining local, state and federal land use entitlements, access and use permits, and development agreements
  • Coordinating environmental and historic resource reviews pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, California Environmental Quality Act, National Historic Preservation Act, AB 52 and other applicable federal and state laws
  • Obtaining federal and state special status species authorizations, streambed and water resource permits, air quality approvals, hazardous materials permits, and contaminated site assurances
  • Negotiating mitigation requirements and compensatory mitigation documentation
  • Defending project entitlements and approvals in judicial and administrative agency litigation

Site Control and Project Development

  • Negotiating and drafting option and purchases and sale agreements, ground leases and commercial leases for storage facilities, easements, shared facility agreements, surface waiver and surface use agreements, water supply agreements, franchise agreements, conservation easements and other contracts related to site control and project development
  • Evaluating and identifying practical solutions to site control, title and other project development issues

Construction and Operations & Maintenance

  • Advising clients in connection with project construction and O&M contract, permit and applicable code compliance process and issues
  • Representing clients with construction and O&M-related claims and litigation

Tax

  • Structuring and negotiating acquisitions, dispositions, and joint ventures to minimize tax costs and maximize tax benefits
  • Representing clients with respect to tax credit qualification and tax equity financings
  • Advising clients regarding property tax exemptions and related issues

Intellectual Property Litigation and Counseling

  • Intellectual property litigation, including patent infringement disputes; post-grant review proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board; trade secret, breach of NDA and employee mobility disputes; licensing disputes; and other high tech litigation
  • Advising clients on intellectual property, including IP due diligence

Firm Highlights

Publication

PG&E Bankruptcy: Lessons Learned and a Path Forward

Farella's Unplugged Renewable Energy Series features Nick Moore (moderator) and Gary Kaplan (panelist) discussing "PG&E Bankruptcy: Lessons Learned and a Path Forward." The California power giant, PG&E, has emerged from the country’s largest utility bankruptcy proceeding as...

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Publication

Permitting Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage Projects: Lessons From California

The increasing mandates and incentives for the rapid deployment of energy storage are resulting in a boom in the deployment of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS). In the first installment of our series...

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Publication

Renewable Energy Roundtable Update in the Wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread disruption of business and industry across California, including the state’s vibrant renewable energy and energy storage industry. Farella Braun + Martel attorneys are tracking developments and advising...

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Publication

Battery Energy Storage Systems Integrated in Solar Facilities To Receive Tax Incentives

Intermittency is one of the largest issues impeding increased reliance on energy from utility-scale renewable energy generation sources such as wind and solar. Battery energy storage systems (“BESSs”) can alleviate concerns related to intermittency...

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Publication

Batteries, Bankruptcies and the Future of Renewable Energy

The Growth of Renewable Energy Renewable energy sources have been rapidly deployed across the nation for more than a decade. In addition to government mandates in California and other states promoting renewable energy, federal...

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Publication

Engineering, Procurement and Construction Agreements for Utility-Scale Battery Projects

The negotiation of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for a battery energy storage systems (BESS) project typically surfaces many of the same contractual risk allocation issues that one encounters in the negotiation...

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Publication

Battery Energy Storage Systems Series

The increasing mandates and incentives for the rapid deployment of energy storage are resulting in a boom in the deployment of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS), presenting both challenges and opportunities for energy developers...

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Publication

Breaking up the Patent Monopoly for the Benefit of Batteries

The patent monopoly is at odds with the global need for battery storage technology. As the world mobilizes towards climate change solutions, companies with battery patents will face increasing pressure to share this critical...

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Publication

Fed Announces New Main Street Lending Program

Loans Will Provide Additional Support for Small and Mid-sized Businesses On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve released the terms of its Main Street Lending Program , a $600 billion loan fund for U.S...

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Publication

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aims to provide qualifying small businesses, nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors forgivable loans of...

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