Category: The Americas

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Join K&L Gates at Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit 2019
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Screen Grabs: FERC’s NOPR Removes Screens in Organized Markets Where Market Mitigation Rules
3
What’s Next for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard?
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RENEWABLE ENERGY: Leveraging the Opportunity Zones Tax Incentive to Improve Returns on Renewables, Storage Plus, and Standalone Storage
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K&L Gates Links with Global Legal Blockchain Consortium
6
2018 Election Guide: A Guide to Changes in Congress – Available Now
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FirstEnergy: Bankruptcy Court Asserts Primacy Over FERC; Approves Rejection of Power Purchase Agreements
8
Trump Administration Releases Clean Power Plan Replacement Proposal
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Join Us for LSI’s Energy Storage Conference on June 11 & 12 in Seattle, WA
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Join K&L Gates at NEBC’s Energy Workshop on Thursday, June 7

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!

 

Screen Grabs: FERC’s NOPR Removes Screens in Organized Markets Where Market Mitigation Rules

By William Keyser, Benjamin Tejblum, and Abraham F. Johns

On December 20, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOPR) designed to simplify the horizontal market power analysis necessary for electric power sellers to secure market-based rate authority in some wholesale power markets.  Specifically, the NOPR eliminates the need to perform two indicative screens (the pivotal supplier screen and the wholesale market share screen) in capacity markets and wholesale power markets already subject to Commission-approved monitoring and mitigation rules.  Notably, the Southwest Power Pool and California Independent System Operator wholesale markets are not subject to these monitoring and mitigation rules, so parties seeking market-based rate authority to sell capacity in those markets must still perform the two indicative screens.  This simplification will relieve the added procedural burden of administering the indicative screens for parties seeking market-based rate authority in the other FERC-regulated markets. 

The NOPR also proposes to remove the presumption that market monitoring or mitigation measures will adequately address indicative screen failures in organized wholesale power markets where the grid operator does not administer a capacity market. Rather, the NOPR proposes that in the event of an indicative screen failure in those markets, applicants submit a delivered-price test or other evidence demonstrating a lack of horizontal market power or that the applicant propose other mitigation for capacity sales in those markets. 

K&L Gates attorneys will continue to monitor these developments and assist our clients navigating compliance with FERC rules and regulations.

What’s Next for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard?

By Buck Endemann

In September 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved several significant changes to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that will take affect on January 1, 2019. [1] The LCFS is California’s “cap and trade” regime for transportation fuels, where fuels are assigned a Carbon Intensity (CI) that varies depending on their feedstock and how they are produced or manufactured.  Producers of fuels with a CI under the annual cap (for 2018, 93.55 grams of CO2 equivalent per Megajoule) earn credits while producers of higher-carbon fuels like gasoline and diesel incur deficits and are required to buy offsetting credits to meet the annual average CI value.  Credits are bought and sold in the secondary market, and the current LCFS credit price of nearly $200/Metric Ton is driving the development of many facilities that are able to produce transportation fuels with low CI scores. 

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RENEWABLE ENERGY: Leveraging the Opportunity Zones Tax Incentive to Improve Returns on Renewables, Storage Plus, and Standalone Storage

By Elizabeth C. Crouse and Mary Burke Baker                     

Federal and state tax credits for renewable energy facilities are winding down, but a new federal tax incentive enacted in tax reform may provide a boost to many new installations, repowering projects, and storage facilities. The Qualified Opportunity Zones (“QOZ”) incentive provides attractive tax benefits for investors with capital gains that, unlike other federal incentive programs such as the New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, can be combined with the Investment Tax Credit (“ITC”) and Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) for facilities located in geographic areas that are designated as QOZ. Further, QOZ benefits will remain in place for a significant period after the ITC and PTC have become less valuable or expired. Recently released regulations provide significant clarity and highlight how valuable the QOZ incentive can be for qualified investments. See our October 23 alert for a discussion of how the regulations make the QOZ incentive even more interesting.

To view the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.

K&L Gates Links with Global Legal Blockchain Consortium

Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has joined the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), an organization of legal and technology industry stakeholders focused on increasing the security, productivity, and interoperability of blockchain technology.

To date, more than 120 large companies, law firms, software companies, and law schools have joined the GLBC to help in developing standards and policies that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law. Specific issues on which the consortium focuses include data integrity, authenticity, security, and privacy for contracts and documents; interoperability between corporate legal departments and law firms; productivity improvements in the operation of legal departments and law firms; and augmentation of existing legal technology systems.

Judith Rinearson, a partner in K&L Gates’ New York and London offices and one of the co-chairs of the firm’s FinTech practice leading K&L Gates’ involvement with GLBC, said: “We have been very strategic in  how we have approached the enormous opportunities presented by the blockchain. Our membership in GLBC is a great fit in our overall strategy to harness the capabilities of the blockchain in order to benefit our clients.”

Last year, K&L Gates announced plans to implement its own private blockchain to assist in the exploration, creation, and implementation of smart contracts and other technology applications for future client use, a commitment that very few, if any, other major law firms have made.

Lawyers in the firm’s FinTech practice are part of a cross-disciplinary, global team focused on helping clients navigate regulatory, policy, and business issues surrounding the FinTech space, such as consumer financial services regulation, e-commerce regulation, fund formation, cybersecurity, finance, and intellectual property matters.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. For more information about K&L Gates or its locations, practices and registrations, visit klgates.com.

2018 Election Guide: A Guide to Changes in Congress – Available Now

The tumultuous 2018 midterm election, characterized by many as the most consequential in a generation, ended as predicted: the Democrats took control of the House while the Republicans increased their hold in the Senate.

Indeed, it was a tale of two Houses. As of 10:00 a.m. ET on November 7, the Democrats have picked up 28 seats in the House of Representatives, with the prospects of gaining about seven more as the remaining close races are decided, mostly in the west. In the Senate, Democratic Senators in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota were defeated while a Republican lost in Nevada, resulting in a net gain of two Senate seats thus far for Republicans with three races too close to call.

To help you assess yesterday’s election, K&L Gates has prepared a comprehensive guide that summarizes the results and their impact on the 116th Congress, which will convene in January. The Election Guide lists all new members elected to Congress, updates the congressional delegations for each state, and provides a starting point for analyzing the coming changes to the House and Senate committees.

Please click here to download the most up-to-date version of the 148-page Election Guide, which will be updated on an ongoing basis as more of the close races are called and committees are finalized.

For additional information regarding the effects of the recent elections, please contact Tim Peckinpaugh or any member of the Public Policy and Law practice.

To view the complete guide online, click here.

FirstEnergy: Bankruptcy Court Asserts Primacy Over FERC; Approves Rejection of Power Purchase Agreements

By Charles A. Dale III, William M. Keyser, David A. Mawhinney, and Michael L. O’Neill                      

In a closely watched battle between FirstEnergy Solutions (“FirstEnergy”) and the Ohio Valley Energy Corporation (“OVEC”) that could have significant implications for the U.S. power sector, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio asserted its primacy over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in deciding whether to allow FirstEnergy to repudiate certain FERC-regulated power purchase agreements (“PPAs”). In a decision with significant implications for all participants in rapidly evolving wholesale power markets, the bankruptcy court applied the highly deferential business judgment standard instead of the more stringent standard applied by FERC when evaluating proposed changes to PPAs featuring mutually agreed-upon filed rates. The court’s decision is now the subject of a direct appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the outcome may inspire additional action by Congress and the president.

To read the full alert, click here.

 

Trump Administration Releases Clean Power Plan Replacement Proposal

Advancing President Trump’s campaign promise to end the “war on coal,” on August 21, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a new rule to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). Unlike the CPP, the proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule (the “ACE Rule”) does not set numerical standards or targets for greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Instead, the ACE Rule would give states flexibility to set their own standards of performance for existing coal-fired power plants. EPA asserts that the ACE Rule will eventually reduce GHG emissions to a similar extent as the CPP would have; however, according to EPA, the ACE Rule would reduce GHG emissions by 1.5% by 2030, compared to 32% by 2030 under the CPP. Interested parties will have 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the ACE Rule.

To read the full alert, click here.

Join Us for LSI’s Energy Storage Conference on June 11 & 12 in Seattle, WA

K&L Gates is pleased to participate in Law Seminars International’s upcoming Energy Storage Conference.  The conference is scheduled to be held at our office in Seattle.  K&L Gates’ Portland partner William Holmes hosts this event as Co-Chair.  Washington DC partner William Keyser will present on “FEROrder 841: Electric Storage Participation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators” and Seattle partner David Hattery will join a panel on “Business and Transactional Issues.”

About the Conference

Many experts view 2017 as the year in which energy storage turned the corner from nascent technology to full-fledged energy market participant. Major milestones included the construction of a large-scale energy storage facility to replace a natural gas plant in California, completed in less than six months; a large-scale solar-plus-storage PPA in Arizona priced substantially below prior market floors; and Tesla’s announcement of the successful powering of a 100MW mega battery in South Australia.Evolving market rules are expanding revenue opportunities for energy storage, including from deferred transmission and distribution upgrades, reduced peak demand charges, integration of intermittent resources, and provision of ancillary services. With FERC’s Order 841 and state policy initiatives to facilitate energy storage and distributed energy resources, energy storage projects may soon receive additional regulatory support.LSI’s first Energy Storage conference will explore in detail all of the facets for energy storage project development with the goal of better positioning you to take advantage of the opportunities.
For more information and to register, click here.

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.

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