Renewable Energy

MoFo represents leaders and innovators in renewable energy based on decades of experience.

Morrison & Foerster’s team of energy and clean technology lawyers provides renewable energy clients with all they need to enable their projects to move forward. Our collaborative team of lawyers advises on financing and structuring U.S. and international renewable energy projects. We serve a broad range of investors, lenders, trade groups, governments, entrepreneurs, and sector leaders. Our work includes wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal, hydroelectric, ocean (wave and tidal), waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency.

We negotiate underlying power purchase agreements, construction contracts, operation and maintenance agreements, thermal host agreements, fuel supply agreements, wind leases and easements, and construction and permanent financing documents. We help clients site plants and work with local U.S. state, and national regulatory agencies to obtain permits and pass environmental review.

We advise on the regulatory environment in which projects will compete, including U.S. state renewable portfolio standards, resource adequacy requirements, procurement plans, and emissions performance standards. We help our international clients, including governments and agencies, successfully navigate complex regulations and energy transactions. We assist with relationships between independent power producers and marketers, the functioning of a competitive market to generate electric power, and deregulation and new regulatory frameworks for energy markets.

Our lawyers have subject matter experience in these sectors:

Wind energy

Morrison & Foerster has one of the nation’s leading practices devoted to the development and financing of wind power. Our lawyers have played a key role in the inception and development of the equity, debt, and capital markets for wind projects, representing many of the industry's leaders. We have successfully closed transactions of over thousands of megawatt (MW) in size throughout the U.S. efficiently and cost effectively, on behalf of developers, sponsors, lenders, and equity providers.

MoFo counsels on all aspects of wind energy development and finance, including tax structuring, project finance, and mergers and acquisitions. We have experience in negotiating and structuring power purchase agreements; wind turbine supply agreements and warranties (including project specific and frame agreements); interconnections and transmission; balance-of-plant engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts; land acquisition program; environmental compliance; purchase and sale of wind projects; project pipelines; and purchase and sale of wind development companies.

Other renewable energy sectors

  • Biofuels + biochemicals
  • Geothermal
  • Hydroelectric
  • Ocean (wave and tidal)
  • Waste-to-energy
  • Energy Storage

Solar energy

Morrison & Foerster provides solar industry clients with full-service representation led by veteran energy lawyers. We are the premier law firm for California’s burgeoning solar industry, advising the nation’s most promising solar companies on the most complex corporate, intellectual property, and project finance-related transactions and litigation. We advise companies on both photovoltaic (PV) and utility-scale solar thermal projects, in the United States and worldwide. We have deep experience in China, representing PRC-based solar companies in their acquisitions, financing, and investment activities.

Our lawyers work on environmental and energy regulation at the U.S. local, state, regional, national, and international levels. We are experienced in siting solar plants, obtaining permits and environmental review for facilities, and negotiating rooftop leases, solar facility sales agreements, and solar power purchase agreements with end-users. Our corporate and technology transactions lawyers team with litigators and patent counsel to help clients preserve and exploit the value of their core technologies.

We help clients with responses to Requests for Proposals from energy-serving entities (for both base-load and peak) and to negotiate power purchase agreements. We efficiently help clients to obtain interconnection and transmission for the energy output of their solar facilities.

We also help clients maximize financial benefits from the proper use of investment tax credits (federal, state, and regional) and Renewable Energy Certificates.

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Experience

  • Acciona Energia, S.A. in the $375 million financing led by the IFC and the IDB of a 250 MW wind farm located in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Eurus Wind Power Project is the largest wind farm in Latin America. This transaction was listed as a “Deal of the Year” finalist in the Project Finance category by Latin Lawyer magazine.

  • Brigthpath Capital Partners in its role as lead investor in Sungevity’s $63.8 million Series C financing. The Series C closed with $26.25 million cash and conversion of $35,523,139 of the convertible notes. The L/C debt financing was a creative alternative to tax equity. Sungevity is a leader in destination solar.

  • Structured fund for aggregation of investors affiliated with Capricorn Investment Group and represented fund in financing of approximately 60 MW of solar power being developed in New Jersey by True Green Capital.

  • Clean Energy Trust with corporate structure, investments, and tax. Clean Energy Trust is a cleantech accelerator that fuels innovation to create a healthier environment and more prosperous future.

  • Cypress Creek Renewables in connection with the debt and tax equity financing of three solar PV facilities in North Carolina with an aggregate capacity of over 200 MW.

  • Department of Energy (DOE) as loan guarantor in a limited-recourse project financing for construction of three concentrating solar thermal electric generating plants, totaling 392 MW, located near the Ivanpah Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert. Upon completion, The Ivanpah Solar Complex became the largest concentrating solar power plant in the world.

  • EDF Renewables in its:development partnership investment with Orion Renewable Energy for the 175 MW K4 Wind Project located in Illinois;

    acquisition of the 250 MW Roosevelt Wind Project in New Mexico from Infinity Wind Holdings;

    sale of the 250 MW Lundgren Wind Project in Iowa to MidAmerican Energy;

    acquisition of the Longhorn North Wind Project and the adjacent Longhorn South Wind Project from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc.;

    sale of the 250 MW Lundgren Wind Project in Iowa to MidAmerican Energy;

    acquisition of the first phase and its purchase of an option to buy the second phase of the 500 MW Hereford Wind Project in Texas;

    acquisitions of the Bobcat Bluff Wind Project and the Spinning Spur Wind Project;

    sale of renewable energy pursuant to synthetic PPAs;

    sale of three solar projects to Dominion Energy, for a total of 84 megawatt peak (MWp). The three solar projects included 31.6 MWp / 23 MWac Cottonwood Solar, 24.3 MWp / 18 MWac Catalina Solar 2, and 27 MWp / 20 MWac CID Solar Project;

    acquisition of the Palen Project, a 500 MW solar power generation facility in Riverside County, California, from Abengoa Solar LLC; and

    acquisition of the 200MWac Moapa Solar project in Clark County, Nevada.

  • Emerson Collective in its $5 million investment in Natel Energy, a California-based developer of a cost-effective, low-impact hydropower product to provide clean energy to communities without the negative environmental impact.

  • GSSG Solar, LLC, in:

    corporate, finance, and investment matters related to joint ventures with solar companies; and

    its acquisition of the 35 MW Bandai solar power generation project located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, and the subsequent development of the project.

  • Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital in the sale-leaseback of land and financing of transmission line in connection with the 600 MW Mariah Wind project located in Texas. This sale-leaseback financing of a transmission line is believed to be the first of its kind.

  • Invenergy, North America’s largest independent, privately held renewable energy company, in the construction financing and sale of a 24.9 MW solar project to Duke Energy Renewables.

  • Oak Creek Energy in connection with the construction and term loans by OPIC and North American Development Bank for the Tres Mesas Wind Project, a 150 MW wind farm in Mexico. This deal won the MIREC project of the Year Award 2015.

  • Off-Grid Electric in connection with the project financing provided by a consortium of lenders to Million Solar Homes Leasing I Ltd. (a subsidiary holding company of Off-Grid Electric) to finance the purchase of consumer solar home systems developed by Off-Grid Electric. This project provided consumers in Tanzania with access to electricity in their homes for the first time.

  • The Nature Conservancy in the creation of District Stormwater LLC, a new green infrastructure development company expected to generate income while increasing participation in Washington, D.C.’s pioneering Stormwater Retention Credit program.

  • Vision Ridge Partners in connection with the $130 million equity investment and a mezzanine financing in Guzman Energy Group, a full-service energy startup company, which services include providing wholesale power, energy trading, and hedging services.

  • X-Elio in its divestment of a portfolio of Japanese solar assets consisting of four operating plants and three plants under construction with an aggregated capacity of 187 MW to a consortium formed by Japanese institutional investors for an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $700 million.

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