Renewable Energy

Jackson Walker’s Renewable Energy team has played a key role in the rapid growth of wind, solar and battery storage projects across the state of Texas and throughout the country. The firm has extensive experience representing investors, lenders, developers, independent power producers, and utilities, and in the financing and sale of renewable energy projects. The firm also has extensive experience representing buyers and sellers of renewable energy, including utilities and corporate offtakers.

Jackson Walker’s Renewable Energy team is immersed in the industry and counsels clients on utility scale projects, as well as distributed generation. The firm advises on all aspects of project development, project finance, power purchase agreements, and regulatory compliance. The team’s deep knowledge of the electric power industry and the regulations and commercial issues that impact the industry help make Jackson Walker one of the leading law firms in Texas in the renewable energy space.

Jackson Walker routinely acts as lead counsel for its renewable energy clients, as well as local Texas counsel and subject matter experts in areas such as real estate, site control, title insurance, ALTA survey and mineral rights, matters, Chapter 312 tax abatement agreements, Chapter 313 property tax value limitation agreements, Texas state tax planning and compliance with respect to construction and operations, transmission and utility interconnection, electric regulatory compliance and environmental issues, state permitting matters, shared facilities arrangements, and regional transmission organization and independent system operator wholesale power market protocols.

In 2019 and 2020, our Renewable Energy team represented lenders and investors in the debt financing and/or tax equity funding of 15+ solar projects with a combined nominal nameplate capacity of over 3,400 MW. In that same two-year period, our Renewable Energy team represented lenders and investors in the debt financing and/or tax equity funding of 20+ wind projects with a combined nominal nameplate capacity of over 4,600 MW. These projects have a combined value of nearly $13 billion, spanning across 439,000+ acres in 30+ counties, and have the capacity to deliver over 8 gigawatts of electric energy to the power grid.

Jackson Walker’s Renewable Energy practice is broad-based and includes the following representative transactions:

Wind & Solar

  • Representation of a large developer and generator of wind power, assisting with and advising on lease and option agreements, substation, transmission and access easements, air rights, shared use agreements, surface use agreements, sub-easements and other related real estate, permitting and environmental issues.
  • Representation of a major private equity fund in structuring and negotiating an equity funding arrangement and a mineral interest acquisition and participation agreement for the accumulation of unleased and leased mineral interests in numerous counties in five states.
  • Representation of a large landowner in connection with a joint development agreement and site control agreements with regard to several solar energy projects in Texas and New Mexico potentially involving tens of thousands of acres.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the tax equity investor in a 500 MW solar project in Wharton County, Texas, where the energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the project are to be sold under the terms of a virtual power purchase agreement.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the lenders in the construction financing of a 250 MW solar project in Lamar County, Texas, which involves shared facilities and easements with four other co-located sites across two collection system circuits.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the lenders and tax equity investor in the repowering of a portfolio of three operating wind projects in Texas with a combined nameplate capacity of 383 MW.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the lenders in the construction financing of a portfolio of six community solar projects in Texas pursuant to terms of a master lease and a participation agreement financing structure.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the lenders and tax equity investor in the financing of and investment in a 238 MW wind project in Starr County, Texas pursuant to the terms of a sale-leaseback financing structure.
  • Representation of a construction company in matters related to the development, financing and construction of a 150 MW solar facility in Arizona, including matters relating to the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Agreement, Department of Energy guaranty, commercial lending arrangements, permitting issues and related legal opinions.
  • Negotiate and draft agreements commonly used by power generators, offtakers, power traders and marketers, including retail and wholesale power purchase agreements, ISDA, GISB, NAESB, EEI, REC purchase agreements, energy and asset management agreements, netting agreements, and guaranties.
  • Representation of municipally owned utility in negotiating a long-term power purchase agreement for supply from a 250 MW solar generation facility.
  • Representation of river authority in negotiating a long-term power purchase agreement for offtake from approximately 140 MW of a 300 MW solar generation facility, including associated agreement for qualified scheduling entity services.
  • Representation of municipally owned utility in negotiating a long-term power purchase agreement for supply from a 200 MW wind generation facility.
  • Representation of municipally owned utility in negotiating a long-term retail supply arrangement for supply from a renewable facility to an industrial customer and obtaining retail tariff changes to accomplish the sleeving arrangement.

Battery Storage

  • Served as Texas counsel to the tax equity investor in the investment in a 420 MW of solar plus 40 MW of battery storage project located in Andrews County, Texas, near existing oil and gas infrastructure in the Permian Basin.
  • Served as Texas counsel to the lenders and tax equity investor in the financing of and investment in six (6) utility scale battery storage facilities located in Brazoria, Calhoun, Reeves, Robertson, and Travis Counties, Texas.
Meghan Griffiths, Richard Howell, and Mike Nasi with Jackson Walker logo

December 1, 2020
Attorney News

UT Law’s Hot Topics in Gas and Power to Feature Meghan Griffiths, Richard Howell, and Mike Nasi

During the 2020 Hot Topics in Gas and Power webcast on December 11, 2020, Jackson Walker partners Meghan Griffiths, Richard Howell, and Mike Nasi will discuss regulatory updates and environmental challenges and impacts on energy infrastructure.

November 30, 2014
Insights

“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, defined her persona in Lean In, a 2013 New York Times Best Seller about powering through personal and career challenges as a woman to a “have-it-all” life.

More Renewable Energy News

Wind Power

Jackson Walker has represented clients involved in some of the most innovative wind power projects in the country, including major wind energy developments in West Texas and a cutting-edge offshore wind project in the Gulf of Mexico. Drawing on the experience of attorneys in several practice areas, we are able to assist with every aspect of wind power project development from start to finish. Our services include:

  • Incentives: Our attorneys have helped clients obtain economic incentives for wind power development through tax abatements and ad valorum tax credits at the local level; and through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credit and grant programs at the federal level.
  • Site control: We help clients perform due diligence and obtain exclusive development rights for wind energy projects. Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating leases, obtaining necessary easements and planning for all aspects of access, development and transmission for these projects.
  • Ancillary agreements: Our attorneys have experience negotiating and securing the agreements necessary for wind project development, including turbine supply agreements; crossing agreements; Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts; interconnection agreements with transmission providers; renewable energy credit agreements; and Power Purchase Agreements.
  • Permitting: Although wind power projects do not, in general, require as much permitting as other types of energy projects in Texas, where permits are necessary, our Environmental attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating the permitting process.
  • Project finance: We have helped clients develop innovative strategies for financing wind power projects through the use of tax equity partnerships and other financing structures. Our attorneys also have extensive experience in credit and risk mitigation arrangements, including guaranties, hedge and swap arrangements, and master netting agreements.

Solar Power

We have helped clients obtain incentives at the federal, state and local level for solar energy projects. In addition to helping clients identify the types of incentives, grants and tax credits available for solar energy, our multidisciplinary team of attorneys can also assist with every aspect of project development, including planning, permitting, finance and construction.

We keep our clients informed about the latest funding and incentive programs available in the rapidly changing field of solar energy development. Our Legislative team also takes an active role in shaping rules and policies that affect solar energy research and production.

Legislative & Regulatory

At Jackson Walker, our Environmental and Legislative attorneys work together to solve problems for our renewable energy clients. Our attorneys continually advocate their clients’ interests before the Texas Legislature and have been actively involved in creating incentive programs to encourage renewable energy research and production.

Our Regulatory group represents energy clients in a broad range of federal and state regulatory matters, including exempt wholesale generators, retail electric providers, electric utilities, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) qualifying facilities, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines and storage companies, and LNG facilities. Our lawyers represent clients in a variety of matters before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), FERC, the Texas Railroad Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the federal courts.