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