Pierce Atwood is the go-to firm for renewable energy project development throughout New England and New York. Our experienced lawyers help clients acquire, sell, finance, develop, and permit renewable energy projects including solar, energy storage, biogas, and offshore and onshore wind. We also assist with the development of additional transmission resources that are critical to all types of new generation development. With offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, we often serve as local counsel for projects throughout New England and New York.
We understand the regulatory, tax, real estate, land use, financial, and environmental issues underpinning the successful development of renewable energy projects. We have extensive experience providing opinions of counsel in connection with renewable energy financings, including regulatory, permitting, real estate, corporate, and tax opinions. We also have strong relationships with regulators and policy makers in New England and New York which gives us insight into the application of law to complex factual circumstances and helps us identify creative solutions. Our lawyers have experience with all aspects of M&A transactions involving the purchase and sale of renewable projects and portfolios. Finally, we understand the need to collaborate closely with engineers, economists, environmental experts, financial analysts and other experts as part of the broader client and project team.
With federal, state, and local governments adopting and implementing sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, the lawyers of Pierce Atwood partner with our clients to take advantage of these opportunities and bring renewable energy projects to fruition.
Mergers & Acquisitions
We represent both the buy side and the sell side in M&A transactions. Our M&A deals include representation of energy companies, private equity investors, and public companies for which we serve as regular M&A counsel in connection with their acquisition programs. Pierce Atwood has provided advice on virtually all aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions, whether in connection with single-property or portfolio acquisitions. We frequently serve as local or regional counsel to assist national or international counsel with specific local issues. This experience has made us a pre-eminent regional firm in all areas of energy project purchase and sale transactions.
Pierce Atwood’s Energy, Environmental, Corporate, Tax and Real Estate groups have been conducting due diligence and negotiating Membership Interest Purchase Agreements (MIPAs) for the acquisition and sale of numerous solar projects in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For purchasers, this work includes reviewing and analyzing all of the agreements, permits, approvals, corporate and tax records and real estate for each of the projects, as well as analyzing the projects’ compliance with state and local regulatory requirements in order to ensure that the projects can operate and generate revenue post-closing. Where there are issues that need to be addressed, Pierce Atwood recommends practical and efficient solutions so that the parties can reach closing in a timely manner. Pierce Atwood also works with clients to draft, negotiate and revise MIPAs to ensure that such documents comply with the Maine law and regulations, as well as the nuances of Maine real estate practice.
Developing renewable energy projects requires in-depth understanding of the federal and state regulatory frameworks underlying the projects. Our regulatory lawyers have the expertise to address the many issues that arise in acquiring, developing, operating and financing energy projects. Pierce Atwood’s multidisciplinary team can help clients obtain the requisite federal and state regulatory approvals, navigate and satisfy applicable federal and state regulations, and assess the impacts and risks of federal and state regulatory and policy developments. We have extensive experience before numerous state regulatory agencies throughout the Northeast, including in all New England states and New York, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Environmental, Siting & Permitting
Renewable and other power projects are subject to a patchwork of local, state, and federal regulation regarding facility siting, environmental, and land use requirements. Pierce Atwood attorneys understand the environmental laws and regulations that affect how a project proceeds through the permitting and siting process. We have more than 40 years of experience in permitting power projects under state and federal stormwater, wastewater, natural resource, wetland, land use, air and contaminated property statutes.
We provide guidance at every stage in the process from site assembly/acquisition and initial planning through permitting, construction, and operation. Our attorneys work with clients to obtain the full range of governmental approvals for a renewable energy project, including local, state, and federal permits, permitting compliance, license renewals and modifications; federal and state-level stormwater, wetlands, tidelands, natural resource, environmental notification and site contamination requirements; risk assessment and mitigation for contaminated properties; as well as local zoning, subdivision, and site plan approvals. Pierce Atwood successfully employs efficient, cost-effective strategies to secure permits on a timely and often expedited schedule.
Tax Structuring & Financing
Pierce Atwood’s tax attorneys have substantial experience integrating all elements of a project’s capital stack and assisting clients to structure their renewable energy projects in the most tax-efficient manner possible. We have experience with all tax aspects of energy projects, including tax equity financing utilizing investment tax credits, production tax credits, and new markets tax credits. We have assisted clients in implementing a variety of different structures to optimize the value of tax benefits, such as sale-leasebacks, partnership flips, and inverted lease structures, including back-levered loan structures. We also have substantial experience in structuring renewable energy projects to avoid or minimize property tax assessments, including obtaining tax abatements, minimizing the treatment of property as real estate fixtures and improvements, and negotiating tax-increment financing and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements. Our tax attorneys also provide state and local litigation, planning, transactional, regulatory and legislative support services to project developers on all state and local tax issues and economic development incentives. Our work has included advising clients on the state and local tax and economic development aspects of power projects. We have significant experience with issues involving the valuation of facilities, starting at the local level, through state boards and trial courts and all the way up to state supreme courts.
Pierce Atwood enjoys a national reputation advising clients on the rapidly growing area of energy storage projects. We have extensive experience working with energy storage companies before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators, and public service commissions on issues including, but not limited to, capacity accreditation, storage-as-transmission assets, and hybrid resources. We provide significant value to clients by offering a deep understanding of the regulatory process and how regulators are likely to rule on particular issues. We served as outside counsel to the U.S. Energy Storage Association from 2006-2021, prior to its merger into the American Clean Power Association (ACP). Pierce Atwood’s energy attorneys, among other matters, led efforts on behalf of the energy storage industry that resulted in FERC Orders Nos. 755 (pay for performance for frequency regulation), 784 (Third-Party Provision of Ancillary Services; Accounting and Financial Reporting for New Electric Storage Technologies), 792 (interconnection of small generation interconnection agreements), 841 (expansion of the storage industry into the energy, capacity and ancillary services markets), and 2222 (distributed energy resources). We actively work with ISOs/RTOs and FERC to help develop innovative tariffs to allow new energy storage technologies to operate on the grid and to be paid for the benefits they provide, including for voltage regulation, peak shaving, grid reliability and environmental value.
Our energy lawyers understand the challenges facing the energy storage marketplace, including those associated with integrating storage technologies into the grid and utility distribution systems, and how these technologies can be incorporated to help alleviate those challenges. We have extensive experience working with ISOs/RTOs and utilities to ensure that new technologies satisfy reliability and other regulatory thresholds.
For more information about how we can help with your renewable energy project in New England or New York, please contact one of our team members:
|Solar||Sarah B. Tracy, Kris J. Eimicke, Merrill L. Kramer, Brian M. Rayback|
|Offshore Wind||James M. Avery, Richard S. Novak|
|Transmission||Jared S. des Rosiers, Matthew D. Manahan, James M. Avery|
|Energy Storage||Andrew O. Kaplan|
|Onshore Wind||Kris J. Eimicke, Brian M. Rayback, Sarah B. Tracy, Lisa A. Gilbreath|
|Renewable Gas||Randall L. Rich, Sarah B. Tracy, Brian M. Rayback, Lisa A. Gilbreath|