Renewable Energy

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Overview

The Southwest presents abundant opportunities for clients engaged in the development of renewable and alternative energy resources.  Our lawyers have assisted in every phase of development of such resources, including the challenges clients face in siting facilities, securing land rights, permitting, financing, drafting power purchase and interconnection agreements, securing tax and other incentives, and finding efficient solutions to legal challenges that often arise.  We also have a strong base of experience with business arrangements between private developers and Native American Tribes and Pueblos throughout the country.  Our broad range of expertise in transactions, financing, land issues, taxation, regulatory practices, water rights, public lands and Indian law makes us a key component of any project team.

Our lawyers have represented clients building wind, solar, geothermal, hydro-electric, biomass and biofuels projects in every aspect of project development, operation and transfer.  Our renewable energy expertise builds on our experience with more traditional power plant development for merchant generators, as well as more traditional natural resources development projects on public, private and Indian lands in the West generally.  In addition to working effectively with state, federal and Indian agencies, we are adept at coordinating with county officials and local groups, since counties often are critical to several aspects of renewable development, including siting, permitting and financing, not to mention the fact that opposition to specific renewable energy projects tends to originate within local communities.

Our lawyers offer renewable energy clients assistance in the following:

Distributed generation arrangements
Environmental permitting and compliance
Government relations (lobbying)
Land use and subdivision approvals
Native American business dealings
Permitting under county ordinances
Power purchase agreements
Public lands leasing
Public relations
Real estate acquisitions
Renewable energy certificates
Regulatory matters
Rights-of-way and easements
Taxation planning and incentives
Transmission arrangements

Regulatory Interface

We have positive working relationships with regulators and agencies involved with renewable and alternative energy development, including:

New Mexico

Public Regulation Commission (PRC)
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (ENMRD)
Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD)
Commissioner of Public Lands/State Land Office (SLO)
Environment Department (NMED)
State Historic Preservation Officer/Office (SHPO)
Office of the State Engineer (OSE)

Federal

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Forest Service (USFS)
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

County and Tribal/Pueblo

Various in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Incentives and Financing

Our team helps developers and operators navigate New Mexico's gross receipts tax implications for renewable energy development, capitalizing on all available tax incentives.  Our seasoned lawyers also guide clients through statutory tax abatement procedures under the Industrial Revenue Bond Act and other available abatement procedures.

Attorneys

Experience

  • FPL (now Next Era):  We represented FPL in the development of the first utility-scale wind farm in New Mexico near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, including real estate acquisition, permitting, regulatory interface, interconnection and power purchase agreements, financing, tax incentives, tax abatement, and industrial revenue bond work.

  • Padoma Wind Energy (now NRG Energy):  Our team represented Padoma in the development of the San Juan Mesa Wind Farm.  This work included negotiation of a power purchase agreement, acting as bond counsel in conjunction with the issuance of industrial revenue bonds and assisting with real estate issues.

  • Foresight Wind Energy:  We represented Foresight in the development of the High Lonesome Mesa wind project.  This work included assistance with the issuance of industrial revenue bonds and consultation on real estate issues.

  • Edison Mission Wind:  Among other work, our attorneys are assisting Edison Mission Wind with Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) bonds.

  • Babcock & Brown:  We represented Babcock & Brown with regard to its Caprock and Argonne Mesa projects, including real estate acquisition (private and State land), due diligence, environmental, permitting, and financing.

  • Invenergy LLC:  Our team represents Invenergy in real estate acquisition, permitting, county zoning proceedings, industrial revenue bond and tax advice, transmission rights-of-way and interconnection agreements, and other matters relating to its planned La Sierrita wind farm facility in San Miguel County.

  • Duke Energy:  We represented Duke Energy in the first site location approval of a gas-fired power generation plant in New Mexico, including contested air quality permit proceedings and land use permitting advice.

  • Sempra Energy:  We advised Sempra Energy regarding a utility-scale wind energy project development on the Navajo Nation, Arizona, and a power purchase agreement with multiple tribal utilities in Arizona, Nevada and California.

  • K. Road Energy:  We served as Indian law counsel to K Road Energy with respect to leases of tribal lands for large scale photovoltaic development on lands of the Maopa Reservation, Nevada, the Chemehuevi Reservation, California, and others.

  • Portland General Electric:  Our lawyers represented Portland General Electric in negotiating and drafting a joint venture agreement for the Pelton Round Butte Hydro-Electric Project with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon.

  • We represent a number of other solar and wind energy developers in relation to their project development strategies, environmental permitting, real estate, water rights, and related needs.

  • Geothermal:  We have advised multiple geothermal development clients in connection with securing geothermal rights to federal public lands under the Bureau of Land Management's geothermal leasing program regulations, as well as securing water rights associated with geothermal development.