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.
- Represented a client in connection with its approximately $200 million equity investment in a 161 MW facility in the Texas Panhandle and served as lead counsel in connection with environmental, real estate, permitting and regulatory issues (except as related to FERC).
- Jackson Walker played a central role in the Texas PUC’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) docket which resulted in a plan to move forward with a $5 billion transmission construction plan to bring 18,456 megawatts of power from wind-rich areas in West Texas and the Panhandle to Texas’ major metropolitan areas.
- Our attorneys were instrumental in the preservation and extension of key incentive programs essential to the continued growth of the renewable energy industry in Texas. Our attorneys also assisted in the drafting and passage of a first-of-its-kind grant program for electricity storage projects related to renewable energy that could pave the way for utility scale solar energy projects and further expansion of Texas wind energy.
- We represented a large 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 title and environmental issues.
- Represented a developer of several proposed wind energy projects, currently awaiting funding and development, in Shackelford, Callahan, McCullough and Jack Counties, Texas, covering a total of approximately 90,000 acres, and proposed facilities capable of generating more than 700 MW of wind energy.
- Represented a large wind-energy developer in connection with the developing, funding and leasing of a 166 MW wind energy project in Shackelford County, Texas, involving leasehold estates covering approximately 20,000 acres. This representation included due diligence, leasing, interconnection and crossing agreements, legal opinions and other documents relating to financing, corporate structuring and related documentation.
- Represented a wind-energy developer in connection with title and survey review, leasing, interconnection agreements and other real property agreements relating to development of a 60MW wind project in Floyd County, Texas, covering approximately 11,000 acres of land.
- Represented a large generator of wind power in connection with multiple projects and related operations, including 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 title and environmental issues. Recent projects for this client include a 114 MW project in Taylor County, Texas, and a 41 MW project in Culberson County, Texas, comprised of over 64,000 acres.
- Represented a 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.
- Represented 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.
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.
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. Some of our recent successes include assisting with the drafting and passage of legislation that created incentives for energy storage projects, as well as electric power generation technologies involving biomass, algae, and other carbon sequestration projects projects; developing market protection mechanisms for the continued growth of the biodiesel industry; drafting and advocating the passage of legislation to establish the Texas Bioenergy Council; and participating in the Texas PUC’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) plan to bring power from West Texas and the Panhandle to Texas’ major metropolitan areas.
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.