With our market leading energy practice and proven experience in the technology sector, the Baker Botts Renewable and Clean Energy Practice covers every stage and aspect of the renewable and clean energy project lifecycle and related technology development.
We are a team of lawyers adept at advising and guiding clients through the political, economic and legal risks associated with siting and developing renewable projects around the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Our multi-disciplinary teams are capable of advising clients on every stage and aspect of the renewable and clean energy project lifecycle, including project structuring and development, project finance, regulatory, transactional, intellectual property, tax, environmental and real estate matters, as well as disputes.
Project Acquisition and Development
Baker Botts lawyers have acted as transaction counsel to more than 100 renewable and clean energy projects in North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including projects utilizing:
- Landfill gas
- Battery storage
- Hydroelectric energy
- Combined heat and power (CHP) systems
- Geothermal energy
From utility scale solar projects to hydroelectric development and wind farm construction worldwide, Baker Botts lawyers have been involved from the early stages of renewable and clean energy project development through permitting, construction, financing, and commercialization to ongoing operational matters and disputes.
Our lawyers have structured some of the largest wind farms developed in the United States and have acted as counsel in the acquisition of more than 3,300 MWs of wind turbine generators. Our lawyers have also advised clients on some of the largest independent renewable projects in Europe and Africa, including the largest wind projects in each region at the time, as well as hydroelectric power projects.
Our experience with new power projects includes the development and negotiation of:
- Joint venture agreements
- Power purchase agreements and tolling agreements
- EPC contracts and other design build contract structures
- Energy marketing and commodity hedging arrangements
- Turbine and other major equipment acquisition agreements
- Operations and maintenance agreements
- Long-term services agreements
- Interconnection agreements
- Water rights agreements
- Tax abatement arrangements
Our lawyers also have substantial experience in acquisitions and divestitures worldwide, having represented numerous buyers and sellers of power projects encompassing all major fuel sources, including solar, wind, biomass, battery storage and hydroelectric power. We also regularly represent electric and gas utilities in connection with mergers and acquisitions and private equity and other institutional investors with respect to acquisitions and dispositions in renewables and the rest of the energy sector.
Baker Botts lawyers assist power and utility clients globally in obtaining or providing financing for projects and M&A transactions through a wide-array of vehicles and structures. We have a detailed understanding of financing markets and broad experience negotiating a wide range of covenant packages. We offer a deep bench of highly skilled lawyers able to manage any type of financing transaction in the power and utility sector, whether in mature or emerging markets.
In addition, Baker Botts has an extensive practice in the areas of public and private debt and equity markets, including high-yield financings, institutional private placements and project bonds. Our finance lawyers represent clients in transactions involving a large variety of securities having diverse structures, including secured and unsecured senior debt securities, subordinated debt, convertible debt, preferred securities and other structured financings. Our finance and tax lawyers have drawn on their extensive MLP experience to represent both issuers and underwriters in connection with a number of solar and wind YieldCo IPOs.
Our finance experience for the renewables and clean energy sector includes:
- Smart Grid
- Metering/Energy Efficiency
- Electric Vehicles
- Electric Motors
- Pipeline Monitoring
- New Materials
- Space rocket propulsion and fuel technology
In the United States, Baker Botts lawyers handle federal and state regulatory matters for businesses engaged in generating, transmitting, selling, trading, using and investing in electric power from all renewable sources - wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, battery storage and hydro. We work closely with our electric power clients to formulate corporate strategies that address evolving regulatory policies and changing market conditions. Our lawyers routinely counsel clients in regulatory matters before the FERC, the CFTC, state utility commissions and various other federal and state agencies and courts.
Our lawyers also have extensive experience in proceedings under the Federal Power Act and state laws affecting utilities, generators, and wholesale and retail marketers involving approvals of transmission rates, terms and conditions of service, market-based rate applications, hydroelectric licenses, interconnection issues and transmission investment cost allocation, ISO and RTO rules, Qualifying Facility (QF) and Exempt Wholesale Generator (EWG) certification, retail licenses, and power import and export licenses.
Outside the United States our lawyers are experienced in advising on other developed energy markets and subsidy regimes. We also work closely with local counsel to help clients navigate legal and regulatory frameworks in emerging markets that are often untested.
Baker Botts has a long history of representing the power industry and decades of experience representing electric utilities, generators, and energy investors in structuring projects in tax efficient manners and before federal, state and international taxing authorities. In the renewables and clean energy sector, this experience includes:
- Smart Meters
- Landfill gas
Our lawyers have worked extensively negotiating and securing tax incentives for capital-intensive projects. In the United States, we have been involved in securing power-related and/or manufacturing incentives in approximately 30 different states and under various federal grant and loan programs. We are also experienced in structuring transactions to take advantage of federal production tax credits, Treasury grants, and investment tax credits for various types of renewable energy projects.
Our environmental lawyers assist clients in the power industry with issues arising at all stages of development and operations and involving all media (air, water and waste), sensitive environmental conditions, including wetlands and endangered and protected species, and noise considerations. We work with clients in planning, conducting and navigating the results of environmental assessments and help clients anticipate and resolve problems from permitting through construction and compliance, as well as managing legacy environmental liability issues. Baker Botts lawyers are adept at securing regulatory approvals for and resolving community and NGO opposition to even the most challenging projects.
We advise clients on cutting edge technologies related to renewable and clean energy, including battery storage technologies and space rocket propulsion and fuel technology. For example, we advise clients how to protect and acquire intellectual property rights associated with new technologies and projects.
Our energy litigation team understands the power business. We bring that experience to bear in representing power industry clients in lawsuits, arbitrations, regulatory proceedings and other disputes at the federal, state and local level in the United States as well in international arbitrations. We have represented utility and independent power producer clients in numerous lawsuits, including:
- Lawsuits brought by municipalities over rates, franchise fees and other services
- Lawsuits brought by property owners over disputes relating to use of easements and other rights of way
- Litigation before district and appellate courts to enforce tariff limitations of liability
- Disputed rate cases and other regulatory proceedings before state agencies and FERC
- Disputes with governments and state-owned off takers
- Business interruption cases brought by large industrial customers
- Disputes over power purchase agreements and power-related derivatives
- Litigation over the construction of power generation facilities
- Catastrophic injury and death cases and major property loss matters
- Nuisance and other lawsuits brought by private individuals and public bodies over the construction and siting of wind farms, fossil fuel power plants, electric transmission lines and other energy infrastructure
- FERC, CFTC, PUCT, and DOJ enforcement investigations