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Nossaman LLP

Energy and Utilities

Nossaman represents public agencies, investor-owned energy utilities, merchant generators of electricity for wholesale supply, co-generators, renewable resource generators, and providers of distributed generation services, who are purchasing, providing, or planning to provide electric, natural gas, and other energy services or otherwise participating in the provision of those services.

We also represent customers and competitors of public utilities, property owners, and other interested parties in addressing issues related to energy projects and utility operations, services, and rates.

Our experience and expertise in public utilities regulation and contracting span a broad range of subjects and proceedings, including transactional matters, utility rate cases, market entry authorizations, enforcement and compliance actions, policy proceedings, rulemaking proceedings, mergers and acquisitions, customer complaints, and utility relocations. Our role also includes drafting and negotiating long-term power purchase agreements, fuel supply agreements, and facilities leases, and has involved business transactions (including the procurement of electric supplies and services), regulatory matters, litigation, and bankruptcy proceedings.

Nossaman also assists developers with siting and permit issues and environmental compliance for energy producing facilities. In addition, we advise clients on turnkey contracting for facility construction and represent developers in connection with taxable and tax-exempt financing.

Climate change and the associated push to reduce carbon emissions have spawned a number of legal and public policy initiatives focused on renewable energy resources including, among others, renewable energy portfolio standards ("RPS") that require utilities to obtain significant percentages of their energy supplies from renewable resources, and self-generation technologies that allow consumers to produce their own electricity and to sell excess electricity back to the public grid. These initiatives, together with the commitment to and support of clean energy technologies by the Federal and state governments, have combined to make solar energy one of the most promising clean energy technologies of the present and the future.

Nossaman is able to assist consumers, commercial real estate owners and developers, equipment manufacturers, renewable energy generators, and utilities with the development, project financing, implementation, and operation of all types and sizes of solar energy projects. We have the knowledge and expertise to:

  • Provide general legal advice with respect to photovoltaic, thermal-based, and other types of solar projects for residential uses, commercial and government buildings, and large utility scale projects.
  • Assist with the project financing of solar energy projects, including advice on solar investment tax credits, California Solar Initiative support, and other government incentives necessary for viable solar projects.
  • Negotiate and document transactions including project financing, equipment purchases, installation and operating agreements, site and system leases, power purchase agreements, power sales to utilities, and sales/purchases of existing solar projects.
  • Provide advice on renewable energy credits and the role of solar projects in carbon emission cap and trade systems.
  • Represent and advocate for renewable energy generators and other interested parties before regulatory agencies such as the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission and before Congress and state legislatures on issues related to solar energy and other renewable energy technologies.
  • Advise and assist solar energy project developers with obtaining financing from the more than $60 billion in grants, tax credits, and other incentives relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.
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