Tracking the Hottest Clean Technologies and Their Unique Legal Issues (San Francisco)

ACC Cleantech Committee Meeting


Clean Technology

Morrison & Foerster LLP
425 Market Street
San Francisco, CA

Susan H. Mac Cormac

Susan H. Mac Cormac


Genevieve Oransky

The Cleantech sector is evolving so quickly that it is important to stay updated on key technologies. This is especially true this quarter, as new regulations and government grants were announced that will dramatically influence the Cleantech market. We are pleased to bring you an in-depth look into four key technologies: Smart Grid, Concentrated Solar Power, Electric Cars and Carbon Market Systems. Representatives from each industry will explain the technology, detail the status of the sector, and analyze new developments. In addition, Cleantech attorneys will explore the legal challenges specific to companies working in these four areas. The event will close with a robust question and answer session.

  • Smart Grid: The smart grid utilizes wireless sensor networks, software, and other technology to assess where energy is being consumed and in what quantity in order to maximize energy efficiency and reduce electricity consumption during peak hours. On October 27, President Obama announced $3.4 billion in grant awards for investment in the smart grid as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The grants will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion, the single largest energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. Silver Spring Networks provides smart grid software solutions, network operating systems, and network management platforms for advanced meter reading, advanced network management and scalable, reliable data management.
  • Concentrated Solar Power: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam, creating a concentrated heat source that produces electricity. In October, US Energy secretary Stephen Chu announced that $750 million in funding will go towards the cost of loan guarantees that could support as much as $8 billion in lending to eligible projects, including concentrated solar projects. BrightSource Energy, Inc. designs, builds, finances, and operates utility-scale solar projects using tower system technology to generate electricity at a levelized cost 30% to 40% lower than is obtained with trough systems.
  • Electric Cars: Electric cars are automobiles which are propelled by electricity stored in batteries rather than the traditional internal combustion engine. A federal grant issued earlier this year provides $100 million to supply charging stations for electric vehicles in Tennessee, Arizona, California, Washington and Oregon. The grant will be matched by regional participants for a total value of approximately $200 million and will create 2,500 charging locations in each of the five target states. Tesla Motors, a leader in electric car manufacturing, recently set a new distance record for production electric vehicles when its Roadster completed a 313 mile drive on a single charge.
  • Carbon Markets: Carbon markets generate economic incentives that drive greenhouse gas emissions reductions by establishing a carbon price. Although a climate change bill has not yet passed in Congress, the pressure of UN negotiations and EPA’s attempts to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act make the emergence of a national carbon cap-and-trade system likely in the near future. APX, an infrastructure provider for energy and environmental markets, consolidates public project information across the major carbon offset programs available to the US market with its new Project Track technology. Buyers and sellers of credits can use the service to securely share confidential documents and contract-related information when trading on voluntary or compliance markets.


  • Jordan Breslow,
    General Counsel of Silver Spring Networks
  • Dan Judge,
    General Counsel of BrightSource Energy
  • Myra Pasek,
    Attorney at Tesla Motors, Inc.
  • Susan Mac Cormac,
    Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP


Title Details Start Date/Time End Date/Time
Registration Registration: 11:30 - 12:00 PM
Program: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
2009-12-17 11:30:00 2009-12-17 12:00:00
Program 2009-12-17 12:00:00 2009-12-17 13:30:00

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