Category: Wind

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Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last
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Next Massachusetts Offshore Wind Solicitation Ready for DPU Review
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Join K&L Gates at the Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit
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Join K&L Gates at Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit 2019
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RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS’ SUMMIT
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Winds of Change
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US Offshore Wind Market Handbook Helps Investors Navigate Technical and Regulatory Issues
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K&L Gates Advises innogy on Acquisition of More Than 2,000 MW Onshore Wind Projects
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Join K&L Gates at NEBC’s Energy Workshop on Thursday, June 7
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Tax Credits for Storage After Solar or Wind?

Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last

By Eric Niller of Wired

On June 1, 2019 the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts will shut down, a victim of rising costs and a technology that is struggling to remain economically viable in the United States. But the electricity generated by the aging nuclear station soon will be replaced by another carbon-free source: a fleet of 84 offshore wind turbines rising nearly 650 feet above the ocean’s surface.

In this article from Wired, K&L Gates partner and Practice Group Coordinator for power David Hattery discusses how in recent years, wind turbines and their technologies have become more palatable, and therefore are more accessible, to communities. Because of this, turbines are able to generate more power than ever.

Click here to read the full article.

Next Massachusetts Offshore Wind Solicitation Ready for DPU Review

By Elizabeth C. Crouse and Michael L. O’Neill

On March 27, 2019, Massachusetts’s three electric utilities submitted a draft of their second offshore wind request for proposals (“RFP”) to the state’s Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”) for review and comment. This second solicitation is a follow-up to the initial RFP under Section 83C of Massachusetts’s 2016 renewable energy mandate that directs its utilities to procure 1,600 megawatts (“MW”) of offshore wind nameplate capacity by June 2027.

The initial solicitation in 2017 resulted in the selection of the Vineyard Wind project to enter negotiations with the utilities. The utilities executed power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) totaling 800 MW of offshore wind capacity with Vineyard Wind. DPU is reviewing those PPAs currently. [1]

Even though DPU has not approved the PPAs for the initial solicitation yet, the utilities have moved forward with the second solicitation because Massachusetts law requires that the second solicitation be issued within 24 months of the first solicitation. The second solicitation contemplates procurement of at least 400 MW of offshore wind capacity, although the utilities will consider proposals ranging between 200-800 MW of capacity. According to this draft RFP, the utilities will consider a larger project proposal if it is “likely to produce more economic net benefits to customers based on the evaluation criteria in the RFP.”

Some of the key bidding requirements and evaluation criteria include:

  • Each bidder must be in possession of development rights for offshore wind generation in a designated federal wind energy area (not closer than 10 miles from an inhabited area) as leased after January 1, 2012;
  • Each bidder must submit at least one bid of a 400 MW project, or explain why it cannot, and can submit its projects in up to two phases;
  • Each bidder must propose a generator lead transmission line;
  • Each proposal for the energy generation and/or associated renewable energy certificates must be less than $84.23 per MW-hour on a nominal levelized basis as calculated based on the first solicitation; and
  • Proposals will be evaluated on direct contract prices and other costs and benefits, including:
    • Direct benefits of any applicable energy storage systems,
    • Impacts on Massachusetts’s greenhouse gas emission rates,
    • Specific investments in supply chain infrastructure, port facilities, workforce and the Offshore Wind Accelerator Fund, and
    • Demonstrated direct benefits to low-income ratepayers.

As proposed, the utilities plan to issue the RFP on May 17, 2019, and expect to receive confidential proposals by August 9, 2019 (with public redacted versions due by August 16, 2019). The utilities plan to select the winner(s) by November 8, 2019, and finalize the PPAs for DPU approval by January 10, 2020.

In comments on the second Section 83C solicitation, several wind developers raised concerns that a timeline that does not permit developers to demonstrate a construction start by the end of 2019 imperils the developers’ ability to qualify for the 12% federal investment tax credit (“ITC”). The production and investment tax credits are currently phasing out for wind, but wind projects that begin construction in accordance with IRS guidance in 2019 may still qualify for the credits at a reduced rate, specifically a 12% ITC or 40% of the maximum production tax credit rate applicable to electricity produced in a relevant year. Many of the commenters indicate that the 12% ITC is more valuable to their projects.

Although the utilities propose to select the winning bidder(s) before the end of 2019, the timeline in the solicitation does not suggest that the utilities and the winners will execute their PPAs and submit them for DPU approval by 2020. Any activity that the developers undertake to begin construction in 2019 based on the unapproved PPA may expose them to the risk that DPU will reject or modify the PPA after a developer has made some expenditures towards the project.

[1] See Offshore Wind Handbook, K&L GATES LLP AND SNC LAVALIN at 19 (2018), http://www.klgates.com/files/Upload/2018-08_OG_Offshore-Wind-brochure.pdf.

Join K&L Gates at the Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit

K&L Gates welcomes you to join us at the Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit.  As a Gold Sponsor for the Summit, we are excited to have the opportunity to meet with you!  The conference will be held on February 5-7 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA.

K&L Gates Highlights

We look forward to seeing you!

Join K&L Gates at Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit 2019

February 5-7, 2019, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA

K&L Gates is proud to sponsor the 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit. The Summit is widely recognized as the leading gathering place for wind industry deal makers. Each year, the industry’s leading developers, investors, lenders, turbine suppliers, EPCs and other players gather to gain valuable insights into industry trends, get the latest market update on the finance and investment landscape, and efficiently schedule rounds of private meetings.

Bill Holmes will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the conference.

We are pleased to offer clients and friends a 15% discount off of registration. Please contact Lauren Hagerich at lauren.hagerich@klgates.com for more information..

We hope to see you there!

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS’ SUMMIT

January 9-11, 2019

K&L Gates is proud to sponsor the 2019 Infocast Renewable Energy Buyers’ Summit (REBA). REBA is an invitation-only event where renewable energy buyers gather to discuss renewable energy procurement best practices with their fellow corporate buyers, as well as get valuable insights from leading renewable energy experts.

Teresa Hill will be moderating a panel on Latest Trends in PPA Terms and Structuring, and Bill Holmes will be moderating two panels, Assessing the Potential of Green Tariffs as a Renewable Sourcing Option, where attendees will assess the potential of green tariffs to provide a viable sourcing solution for renewable buyers, and Distributed Energy Solutions to Meet Corporate Goals, which will focus on on-site solar and energy storage.

Please let us know if you will be in attendance!

Winds of Change

Federal Auction for Offshore Wind Leases in Northeast Set Record High

By David L. Wochner, Abraham F. Johns, and Michael L. O’Neill

On December 13 and 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted an auction for three offshore wind power parcels in Massachusetts. The auction not only broke the record [1] for number of companies bidding, but also for being the highest grossing offshore wind lease sale. The promotion of federal offshore land auctions and positive statements [2] from both the Secretary of the Interior and the acting head of BOEM suggest that the Trump Administration remains committed to developing U.S. offshore wind resources.

Read More

US Offshore Wind Market Handbook Helps Investors Navigate Technical and Regulatory Issues

K&L Gates LLP, and Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group recently released an Offshore Wind Market Handbook to help guide investors through technical- and regulatory issues in the emerging US offshore wind market.

“Many large companies and institutional investors who have been successful with offshore wind projects in Europe are now poised to invest in the US,” said Andrew Thompson, Director, Offshore Wind at Atkins. “However, technical and regulatory issues unique to this market can be a barrier to developers for offshore wind energy projects. Our handbook provides practical information that addresses key matters.”

Regulatory issues include a discussion of the interplay between US federal jurisdiction and the various coastal states that have enacted laws and regulations encouraging offshore wind projects. Technical issues include turbine and foundation options and solutions, performance assurance strategies and a discussion of innovations in design and equipment that are particularly suited to US coastal waters.

“Essentially, technical and regulatory legal issues are intertwined such that project success requires a closely coordinated cross-discipline team,” said David Hattery, co-leader of K&L Gates’ power practice. “Together, K&L Gates and Atkins demonstrate a pool of knowledge and a depth of experience to draw on that gives us uniquely valuable insight into the legal and technical challenges facing the US offshore wind industry.”

The K&L Gates renewable energy practice combines European project experience with US regulatory and project development expertise. Atkins is a leading provider of full range technical and operational expertise in the energy industry, including engineering design and owner’s engineer services in the global offshore wind market. Together, K&L Gates and Atkins demonstrate market leadership on key issues and can help investors build a leading position in the US offshore wind market.

To read the full press release, click here.

K&L Gates Advises innogy on Acquisition of More Than 2,000 MW Onshore Wind Projects

3 August 2018

Join K&L Gates at NEBC’s Energy Workshop on Thursday, June 7

Please join us on Thursday, June 7, 2018 as we host the Northwest Environmental Business Council’s (NEBC) Energy Workshop “Powering Our Future: Insight into the Growth of Renewables.”

As host of the event in our Seattle office, our partners Ankur Tohan and Alyssa Moir and associate Endre Szalay will speak on a panel titled “Solar & Wind Project Development: Navigating Risk and Seizing Opportunity.”

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Join us for an engaging afternoon of discussions on policy, technology, and legal hot topics in the renewable energy industry. Panelists representing perspectives from power producers, power purchasers, energy investors, utility, and the legal industry will discuss the role of competitive markets in the renewable energy sector, the impact and increasing presence of renewables and storage on the grid, and renewable project development issues and opportunities with a focus on the Northwest.

The workshop is presented free of charge to NEBC members and all interested parties.

DETAILS

Thursday, June 7
1:45 – 2:00 p.m.: Registration & Opening Remarks

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Technical Workshop

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.: Happy Hour

Location: K&L Gates LLP, 925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2900, Seattle, WA

REGISTRATION

For more details and to register, click here.

Tax Credits for Storage After Solar or Wind?

By Elizabeth Crouse, Elias Hinckley and William Holmes

On Friday, March 2, the Internal Revenue Service released Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201809003. The PLR is not binding precedent, but it indicates that the IRS will permit a taxpayer to claim a Code Section 25D credit in respect of a residential battery installed after the solar panels to which it will be attached was installed. In the PLR, the IRS expressly states that it will treat the battery as property that “uses solar energy to generate electricity,” provided only solar energy is used to charge it.

The PLR concerns individuals claiming a credit for a residential system, but don’t stop reading. This outcome matters for C&I and utility scale projects also.

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