The renewable energy sector is one of the most dynamic elements of the global energy industry, responding to surging changes in the economic, regulatory and political environments worldwide. Coupled with continual advances in technology that are drastically reducing the installed cost of renewable energy, and innovative financing mechanisms, the sector presents tremendous opportunities in developed and developing nations. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable power worldwide is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next five years, and will make up almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018.
Our clients operate in solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, and complementary sectors such as energy storage, smart grid and transmission. We serve project developers, sponsors, lenders, tax equity investors, power purchasers and sellers, utilities, and governmental and regulatory bodies in all aspects of the development, financing, acquisition, and operation of renewable energy projects. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and teamwork, as well as on maintaining a thorough grounding in both the business and legal dimensions of the renewable energy industry. Drawing upon a cohesive team of lawyers from multiple disciplines, and global experience in the renewable energy industry, we provide valuable, strategic legal advice to serve our clients’ business goals.
With lawyers on five continents around the world, including Australia, Asia, North and South America, and Europe and the Middle East, K&L Gates serves clients in virtually all renewable energy and clean technology sectors in developed and developing nations alike. Lawyers at K&L Gates have represented clients in connection with renewables in more than 40 countries globally: in the Asia Pacific region; in the Americas; in Europe; and in Africa.
Our lawyers have assisted developers, lenders, investors, and contractors in project finance and development, including leading negotiations on the power purchase and other key agreements underpinning project viability. We perform due diligence and negotiate deals for project finance, tax equity investment, debt and equity finance, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions, including legal opinions required in connection with tax equity investments. We help emerging energy and technology companies form and organize; secure grants, venture capital and other sources of financing; establish strategic alliances; engage in mergers and acquisitions transactions; commercialize their products through technology licensing; and protect their intellectual property. Our global regulatory and public policy practice helps clients overcome regulatory hurdles and influence legislative and policy development in the renewable energy area.
Corporate Energy Sourcing
As the global demand for reliable and clean energy grows, many energy consumers are exploring new ways to procure energy, create efficiencies, and achieve corporate sustainability goals. Our team advises a diverse corporate clientele in connection with purchases of renewable power to meet corporate goals and control costs; third party agreements, power purchase agreements and ownership arrangements for on-site generation; investment in off-site energy assets; and development and investment in energy storage.
Whether a client seeks to lower its energy costs, improve the reliability of its energy supply, reduce energy demand, meet emission reduction goals, or generate revenue through the purchase of renewable power, we can help.
The solar sector continues to innovate and lower costs. As solar power reaches grid parity in key markets, the global demand for solar continues to grow. Our solar sector experience includes utility scale and distributed solar projects around the world, ranging from the largest solar projects built or contemplated to small residential distributed solar installations. Our team has built a reputation for innovative lawyering on distributed solar finance, including the pioneering use of the inverted lease structure, and the securitization of solar receivables. We have worked with virtually all solar technologies currently on the market, including photovoltaic (both thin film and crystalline silicon), solar thermal, and concentrated solar power.
Trends including micro and distributed wind projects and the development of the first offshore wind projects in the United States have spurred new opportunities in wind project development around the world. Our team has represented clients in the development and siting of thousands of megawatts of wind projects. We advise on power purchase agreements, construction contracts, real estate and land use, turbine supply agreements, interconnection and transmission, energy regulatory matters, and environmental issues, including environmental permitting and endangered and threatened species impact concerns.
The widespread adoption of more intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar power has created a demand for technologies to store and manage variable renewable energy that cannot be used immediately. Many companies are investing in the development and deployment of batteries, flywheels, pumped storage hydropower, compressed air energy storage and other technologies to store wind and solar energy for later use. Our team members have advised clients in connection with the development of a wide range of energy storage projects and associated regulatory policies.
We have extensive experience in traditional dam and run-of-river hydropower, as well as with pumped storage hydropower and emerging technologies in wave and tidal power. Our team has handled licensing processes and water access arrangements for hydropower projects (including the FERC licensing process in the United States), as well as decommissioning procedures for dam removal and habitat restoration. We are adept at working with the large number of stakeholders in relation to hydropower projects, negotiating solutions to preserve recreational and indigenous access to water resources, address migratory fish passage issues, and develop environmental plans relating to endangered and threatened species, and related sensitive habitat.
Biomass, biofuels and biogas
We have worked on open- and closed-loop biomass power generation projects using a variety of feedstock, from wood waste to municipal solid waste. We represent biodiesel and other biofuel producers, and have worked on numerous landfill gas energy projects. Our team has secured research funding on behalf of clients to explore emerging biofuel feedstock including algae.
Members of our team have advised on power purchase agreements, geothermal leases, steam supply agreements and other project documents affecting geothermal exploration and development.