Energy: renewable/alternative power in United States
Latham & Watkins LLP advises developers, sponsors, financing entities, governments and export credit agencies on financing, M&A, project development and regulatory matters. Jointly headed by David Kurzweil in the New York office and Washington DC-based David Schwartz, the energy and power industry group has experience of projects involving a range of energy sources in the renewables space, including biofuels, biomass, ethanol, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. Another key contact in New York is Eli Katz, who assisted Sempra Energy with the $1.5bn sale to Consolidated Edison of Sempra Solar Holdings, a US portfolio of solar and wind assets consisting of 981MW of operating renewable electric production projects, and shares in 379MW of jointly owned projects. Also recommended are Matthew Henegar, Jonathan Rod and David Penna, all of whom have particular expertise in project finance and are based in New York.
Milbank assists debt and equity investors, private sponsors and government lenders in the development, financing, acquisition and disposal of renewable energy projects. New York-based Daniel Bartfeld and Roland Estevez advised a syndicate of lenders on the $435m project financing of Aela Energía’s wind portfolio, which includes the 129MW Aurora project and the 170MW Sarco project located in Chile. Other contacts in the global projects, energy and infrastructure finance department include Jonathan Green and Eric Silverman, both of whom are based in the firm's New York office. Goldman Sachs, Pattern Energy and Onyx Renewable Partners are also among the team's clients.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP acts across the entire life cycle of a project. The team has considerable strengths in development, environmental and regulatory issues, tax, financing and M&A, and also handles disputes and arbitration in relation to wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and biofuel projects. San Francisco-based Les Sherman heads the US renewables department, and Houston-based Blake Winburne acts as global head of energy and infrastructure. Recent highlights have included San Francisco-based Mark Weitzel advising Invenergy on the sale of a 300MW wind power generation facility to a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway for $495m, which involved multiple layers of equity and debt financing. Other key lawyers include Christopher Moore, who acts as deputy business unit leader of the energy and infrastructure group in New York, and Thomas Glascock, who has experience of solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas and biomass projects. Also of note, Wolfram Pohl was promoted to partner in 2018.
The 'deeply knowledgeable' team at Winston & Strawn LLP handles project finance and development, commercial arrangements including power purchase and tolling agreements, and asset sales and acquisitions. The department is headed by San Francisco-based Joseph Karp, and includes senior counsel Jerry Bloom and Laurae Rossi, who are both in the Los Angeles office and specialize in wind, ethanol, solar and geothermal power projects. Also recommended is San Francisco-based Thomas Solomon, whom clients have described as 'not only exceptionally bright, talented, and experienced, but very efficient, diplomatic, and enjoyable to work with'. In the project finance, space, the team acted for Renew Financial Group in connection with its warehouse financing and securitization of more than $700m of PACE bonds and unbonded assessments, issued to provide financing to homeowners to install energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to their homes. Other key clients include Apex Clean Energy Holdings, Santander Bank and NRG. Also of note, the team has seen a number of new arrivals including Washington DC-based Neely Agin, and New York-based Patrick Groomes, Michael Loesch, Michael Pikiel and David Gillespie, all of whom joined from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Houston-based Douglas Atnipp, who joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Washington DC-based Thomas Trimble from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; and Richard Shutran, who joined from O'Melveny & Myers LLP and is in the New York office.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is instructed by a number of prominent energy companies including SunPower Corporation, NRG Energy and Falck Renewables. The global project finance group is jointly led by Los Angeles-based Daniel Sinaiko and Washington DC-based John Marciano, the latter of whom advised South Jersey Industries on its $350m sale of 76 distributed solar energy projects located at 143 sites across New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. In the project finance space, the team acted for Royal Bank of Canada in the debt and tax equity financing of the Buckthorn Wind Project. Dino Barajas has moved to DLA Piper LLP (US).
Baker Botts L.L.P.’s global projects and renewable and clean energy department is jointly led by New York-based Michael Didriksen and Houston-based Elaine Walsh. Didriksen assisted The AES Corporation with the negotiation of a joint venture agreement with Siemens for the worldwide commercialization of battery-based energy storage systems, and Walsh is advising a private equity firm on its potential acquisition of certain solar assets. The firm has also been strengthened by a number of recent arrivals. San Francisco-based Jeffrey Kayes and New York-based Adam Griffin, both of whom joined the team from Morrison & Foerster LLP, acted for Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure in connection with a $110m mezzanine loan for additional financing for 13 portfolios of residential solar assets. Additionally, special counsel Martin Menski joined the Washington DC office from Clifford Chance.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner LLP has experience of a wide range of project finance and development mandates, and also advises prominent renewable energy companies on corporate transactions and commercial agreements. In the Los Angeles office, Jeffrey Atkin and David Markey advised NRG Energy on multiple debt and tax equity financing transactions for solar projects in Texas and Hawaii. Atkin also assisted John Laing Infrastructure Fund with its $65m acquisition of four solar projects in North Carolina. Additionally, Milwaukee-based Jason Allen advised Constellation New Energy Inc on its acquisition of PFMG Solar, and Washington DC-based John Eliason acted for project sponsors and lenders in several project finance mandates. ExGen Renewable Partners is another key client.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP advises utilities providers, power producers, project sponsors and developers, investment banks and private equity funds on M&A, project development, and large financing, capital markets and project investment mandates. The energy and infrastructure group is jointly led by Peter Hanlon and Nicholas Politan in the New York office. Further, the Washington DC office saw several new arrivals in 2018, including George Stamas, Mark Director, Andrew Herman and Alexander Fine, all of whom joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Robert Nelson, who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Stamas, Director and Fine have been acting for Morgan Stanley in relation to SCANA’s pending $14.6bn sale to Dominion Energy. Other key clients include Carlyle Power Partners and Terna Energy.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has particular expertise in project finance, where it acts for commercial banks and institutional lenders, development finance institutions, export credit agencies and project developers. The renewable energy and clean power practice is jointly headed by Eric Pogue and David Lowman, who are both based in Washington DC and were instructed by two major investment banks in relation to a tax equity investment in the California Flats portfolio of solar projects, which has an aggregate nominal capacity of 280MW. Other key clients include Allianz Renewable Energy Partners of America, JPMorgan Chase and Duke Energy Corporation. Also of note, Myles Reynolds and Tab Urbantke joined the Dallas office from Vinson & Elkins LLP.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advises developers, sponsors and institutional investors on all types of renewable energy transactions and developments involving wind, solar and energy storage projects. Recent highlights included Los Angeles-based Wayne Song advising Coronal Energy on a $235m tax equity financing for the largest combined portfolio of solar facilities on US Department of Defense property to-date. The wider project finance and infrastructure department is jointly headed by New York-based James Tynion and Boston-based Richard Filosa, and was strengthened by several new arrivals including Jeffrey Dinerstein from Jones Day and Sameer Mohan from Baker & Hostetler LLP in Houston, and Amy Maloney, who joined the Boston office from Latham & Watkins LLP.
Norton Rose Fulbright advises clients on M&A, project financing and commercial agreements such as corporate PPAs. Washington DC-based Keith Martin and New York-based Benjamin Koenigsberg jointly head the practice group. Other key figures include New York-based Todd Alexander, who specializes in solar, wind, hydro, biomass and fuel facilities projects, and Washington DC-based Noah Pollak, who was recently promoted to partner. The department also saw a number of departures in 2018; New York-based Michael Pikiel and David Gillespie, as well as Washington DC-based Patrick Groomes left for Winston & Strawn LLP, and Brian Greene and Rohit Chaudhry joined the Washington DC office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
According to one client, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has some of 'the market's most knowledgeable attorneys' and 'is able to always get deals done quickly and in a way that protects the client'. Jointly headed by San Diego-based Tony Toranto and Chicago-based Katherine Gillespie, the 'exceptional' energy department advises on tax equity financing, project development, regulatory compliance, power purchase and sales contracts, and corporate and M&A transactions. Acting alongside Chicago-based tax specialist Andrew Ratts, Gillespie assisted E.ON Climate & Renewables with the negotiation of commitment and credit support documentation and an operating agreement in relation to a tax equity investment facilitated by JP Morgan in the Bruenning’s Breeze 228MW Texas wind farm. Other key figures include San Diego-based Paul Kaufman and Chicago-based Laurette Petersen, who are rated as 'experts in their field, who consistently plan ahead to prevent issues from arising and are always able to quickly devise a solution that's palatable to all parties'. In the Washington DC office, Kenneth Wiseman and Mark Sundback joined from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, and Joseph LoBue joined from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, while Matthew Bonovich joined the Chicago office from an in-house role at Invenergy. Los Angeles-based Michael Distefano took a position at Avangrid Renewables.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP focuses on project finance and development in relation to solar, wind and gas storage facilities, transmission lines, and water treatment projects. The energy and infrastructure group is headed by New York-based David Lieberman, who advised Morgan Stanley Senior Funding on the $1.2bn financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of an equity interest in ET Rover Pipeline, a FERC regulated interstate natural gas pipeline in the final stages of construction. Also recommended is senior counsel Amy Beller, who is also based in New York and is regularly instructed by commercial and investment banks and renewable energy companies in corporate and project finance matters.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acts for developers, borrowers, bank lenders and investors in solar, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass and nuclear power projects. The practice group is headed by Washington DC-based Lance Brasher, and includes Pankaj Sinha, who is also in the Washington DC office, and New York-based Julia Czarniak. Sinha and Czarniak have acted for Citibank and its affiliates in relation to a number of Puerto Rico-facing tax equity investment funds in solar energy facilities.
The team at Vinson & Elkins LLP is headed by Houston-based John Connally and Kaam Sahely, who have experience of energy and infrastructure project development and industrial investment mandates. Sahely and Dallas-based Peter Marshall advised affiliates of Global Atlantic Financial Group on the $1.2bn acquisition from Southern Power of a 33% minority interest in its solar portfolio. The duo also assisted Goldman Sachs' renewable energy fund with its $350m acquisition of Marina Energy's solar portfolio. Houston-based Jay Cucils left the team for White & Case LLP.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP has particular expertise in project finance, where it advises lenders, developers and project companies on a range of alternative power projects. The department is headed by Washington DC-based David Slade, who has experience of project finance transactions involving private capital and also has expertise in projects in emerging markets. Also recommended are New York-based project finance lawyer Dorina Yessios, and Washington-DC based Sami Mir, who focuses on Latin America-facing matters, and recently advised IDB Invest on the $114m financing for the Naranjal and El Litoral solar PV projects in Uruguay, which are owned by Atlas Renewable Energy. Recent arrivals include Jillian Ashley from JP Morgan and Andrés Arnaldos from Milbank. Mitchell Silk took a position at the US Department of the Treasury.
Baker McKenzie LLP has broad experience of wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel and biomass, and ocean energy projects, where it acts for developers, lenders, investors and technology providers. Of note, Chicago-based James O’Brien advised SolarReserve on a power purchase agreement in relation to a solar thermal power plant to supply the South Australian Government’s power needs. Also in the Chicago office, José Morán advised a consortium consisting of ACCIONA Energía, Swicorp and TBEA Co on the $180m project financing of three solar PV plants in Egypt. New York-based Clyde Rankin heads the wider North America projects practice group. Other clients include Solar Reserve, EDF Renewables and Capital Dynamics.
Ballard Spahr LLP handles project acquisitions, construction agreements, and project development and financing arrangements for project developers and sponsors, tax equity investors, bank lenders and governmental entities. Philadelphia-based Patrick Gillard heads the practice group. Raymond Faricy joined the Minneapolis office as a result of the firm's merger with Lindquist & Vennum PLLP.
Bracewell LLP is particularly well known in the renewables space for advising project sponsors and developers including Pattern Energy, Recurrent Energy and First Solar. Jointly headed by New York-based John Klauberg and Houston-based Jessica Adkins, the team regularly advises on project development and finance, asset acquisitions and disposals, environmental permitting and tax equity investment transactions. The team is also active on the lender side, where Adkins and New York-based Ron Erlichman acted for a consortium of lenders including HSBC, National Australian Bank, Rabobank and Siemens Financial Services in the provision of a construction facility for a greenfield wind farm in the Texas, which involved a tax equity structure and a secured energy hedge.
Fielding a team of 'true professionals', Dentons acts for a range of clients including public bodies and municipalities, utilities providers and clean energy companies. Headed by Washington DC-based Clint Vince, the team has 'unbelievable know-how' and 'a keen sense of strategy', which it brings to project finance mandates and energy-sector corporate transactions. Carl Steen, who divides time between New York and Los Angeles, advised Enbridge on the monetization of its interest in selected North American onshore renewable power assets and two German offshore wind projects through a joint venture with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Barry Cannaday joined the Dallas office from Gray Reed. City Council of the City of New Orleans, Colorado Springs Utilities and CPS Energy are also among the team's clients.
DLA Piper LLP (US) advises clients on energy asset transactions, in addition to the development, permitting and financing of power generation facilities spanning onshore and offshore wind, solar, biofuels and biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal projects. Jointly led by Washington DC-based Gregory Smith and Timothy Moran, the team has 'a pragmatic approach' and is known for 'developing structures that help clients achieve a successful outcome'. Moran in particular has 'a good blend of legal expertise and commercial acumen', and New York-based Philip Corsello and Washington DC-based Vanessa Richlle Wilson also have 'serious expertise in the field'. Recent highlights have included the team acting for Exelon Corporation, as sponsor and borrower, in connection with an $850m senior secured credit facility to leverage its interest in a portfolio of 33 solar, wind and biomass utility-scale and distributed electric generation projects across 11 states in the US. Joseph Tato left the firm for Covington & Burling LLP.
Eversheds Sutherland is instructed by developers, sponsors, lenders, private equity investors and utilities companies in various types of renewable energy projects. The practice is headed by Atlanta-based Dorothy Franzoni and also includes Houston-based Ram Sunkara, who advised Shell on its $217m acquisition of a 43.8% interest in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a US owner, developer and operator of solar plants. Other names to note include Thomas Warren, who practices in the firm's Atlanta office, and New York-based Madeleine Tan, who heads the transport and social infrastructure practice. Counsel Stephanie Kroger joined the Austin office from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.
The team at McGuireWoods LLP advises energy companies and investors on a range of corporate, finance and project development mandates. Richmond-based Michael Woodard advises Coronal Energy on comprehensive development and transactional matters across its solar project portfolio, and Becky Diffen, who heads the practice from the Austin office, acted for Hill Country Wind Power in the development and sale of a 400MW wind farm in Texas. Also recommended is Chicago-based Timothy Callahan, who regularly acts for project sponsors and lenders in the financing and development of wind farms, solar plants and other renewables projects. Other key clients include Dominion Energy, Apex Clean Energy and Macquarie Capital.
Morrison & Foerster LLP advises leading investors and private equity firms, developers, banks and non-bank lenders, and renewable energy companies. San Francisco-based Susan Mac Cormac heads the practice and focuses on working with renewable energy start-up companies and developers in the solar, wind and biofuel industries; Mac Cormac recently acted for Emerson Collective Investments in relation to its $5m investment in Natel Energy. Another name to note is Los Angeles-based Elizabeth Sluder, who advised Cathay Bank on its $30m tax equity investment into Sunnova, which was the first such investment made by the client. Goldman Sachs, Apex Clean Energy and EDF Renewables are also among the team's clients.
O'Melveny & Myers LLP advises equity investors, financiers, sponsors, and hedge providers on project finance, tax and regulatory matters in relation to solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and biofuel projects. Recent highlights included New York-based practice head Junaid Chida advising John Laing on a $100m investment in the 149MW Rocksprings Wind Project in Texas, and Washington DC-based senior counsel Hugh Hilliard assisting a consortium of renewable energy sponsors with a regulatory petition concerning tax exemptions for certain equity interests transferred between investors. Also of note, Jeff Hoffner, who practices in the firm's Los Angeles office, advised OCI Solar Power on the acquisition, development and eventual sale of a solar facility in Texas.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP has expertise in nuclear energy and energy storage, and also has experience of a variety of other renewable power projects. Jointly headed by San Francisco-based Robert James and New York-based Michael Reese, the energy, infrastructure and projects team is instructed by energy companies such as NextEra Energy Resources and Duke Energy Corporation, and multinational lenders including Deutsche Bank. Another contact in the New York office is Catherine Hood, who advised an underwriting syndicate, including Barclays Capital and BNP Paribas Securities, on a $525m green bond offering by DTE Electric Company, which was among the first wave of offerings in the US by an investor-owned utility to specifically support green investments. Robert Spjut, Michael Hindus and George Haley retired, and New York-based Nicolai Sarad and Fernando Marin left for Bracewell LLP.
White & Case LLP acts for sponsors, operators and financiers in relation to corporate and commercial transactions across the entire life cycle of renewables projects, from project financing, through all stages of development and construction, to structuring and executing M&A and handling project litigation and arbitration. Primarily based in New York, the team is headed by Arthur Scavone and includes Marius Griskonis, who acted for Calpine Development Holdings in connection with a $300m revolving bank loan facility to fund the construction of wind and natural gas-fired power projects. Invenergy and Sunpower Assetco are also key clients.
Clifford Chance has energy-sector expertise in finance, capital markets, corporate transactions and M&A, with a focus on the Latin American market. Key figures in the team include Washington DC-based Fabricio Longhin, New York-based David Brinton, who leads the Americas corporate practice and Lori Bean, who is instructed by multilateral and development finance institutions in Washington DC. Longhin and the New York-based senior associate Guido Liniado acted for various entities of the Albanesi Group, as borrowers, in the financing of the 133MW Arroyo Seco cogeneration plant and the refinancing of 170MW Timbúes cogeneration plant in Argentina, which involved the execution of a dual-tranche $395m credit agreement. Also in the New York office, Hugo Triaca joined the team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Thais Garcia was promoted to partner.
Jones Day advises project sponsors and developers on the financing, development, and ongoing commercial and operational activity of renewable energy projects. Houston-based Jeffrey Schlegel heads the global energy practice, and is advising Southern Power Company on its $1.2bn sale of a 33% minority interest in its solar portfolio to Global Atlantic Financial Group. Key figures in Washington DC include Danielle Varnell, who has expertise in M&A and project development in the clean energy space, and Gerald Farano, who focuses on sale and purchase agreements involving a variety of renewable and conventional energy assets. Also of note, Elise Zoli joined the Boston office from Goodwin. NRG Energy, South Carolina Electric & Gas and Xcel Energy are among the team's longstanding clients.
K&L Gates is instructed by a wide range of market participants including project sponsors, developers and investors, export credit agencies and lending banks, landowners, contractors and equipment suppliers, which the team advises on project finance and development, corporate transactions and regulatory matters. The practice group is jointly headed by Seattle-based David Hattery, who focuses on project development and finance, and Washington DC-based William Keyser, who is active in the contentious and regulatory space. Also recommended is Portland-based William Holmes, who advised Brookfield Renewable Partners on the $5m construction and permanent financing of an 8.8MW battery power storage facility near Stratford, Ontario. Other key clients include Hydro One, Boralex and Centrica. Robert George joined the Houston office from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP.
King & Spalding LLP significantly strengthened its energy team with a number of hires in 2018. Enrico Granata and Jonathan Melmed, who heads the New York-based power and infrastructure team, joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP, Washington DC-based tax specialist Edouard Markson joined from Chadbourne & Parke LLP, and New York-based Brandon Dalling joined from Latham & Watkins LLP. Recent highlights included the team acting for Starwood Energy Group Global in its $1.2bn acquisition of 100% of the equity interest in the operating subsidiaries for two of Dominion Energy’s combined-cycle gas turbine plants, located in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Additionally, Houston-based David Runnels and Roxanne Almaraz advised a Carlyle Group portfolio company on its acquisition, via an affiliate, of the wind portfolio of Noble Environmental Power. Also recommended is Washington DC-based counsel Zori Ferkin, who has expertise in federal and state energy regulation.
Linklaters LLP has particular expertise in energy security, carbon reduction and environmental matters, but also has active transactional and development practices, which bring together skill sets in finance, M&A, project development, litigation and arbitration, tax and planning. The New York team is led by Vijaya Palaniswamy, who has experience of US and Latin American solar, wind and biomass projects, and has acted for financial institutions, utilities companies and project operators, sovereign wealth funds and private equity firms, and government bodies.
Mayer Brown provides comprehensive advice on solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biofuels and biomass projects. Jointly headed by Houston-based Robert Goldberg and Washington DC-based Jeffrey Davis, the large multidisciplinary practice group has experience of project finance, asset acquisitions and disposals, commercial power and energy agreements, tax structuring, engineering and construction contracts, environmental regulations, international trade, M&A and dispute resolution.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP acts for financial institutions, private investors, project owners and operators, trade associations and clearing organizations in M&A transactions, corporate financing and tax structuring matters. Headed by Miami-based Philip Tingle, the team has experience of wind, solar, biomass and water projects. Edward Zaelke joined the firm from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in 2019.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP advises energy companies and project developers and investors on a variety of clean energy projects including solar and biomass, though the team is perhaps most active in the wind power industry. Names to note include Houston-based Craig Enochs, and Nicolle Bagnell, who practices in the firm's Pittsburgh office.
Shearman & Sterling LLP handles project finance, investment and development mandates across a range of renewables projects including biofuel, biomass, fuel cell, geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. Further, the team has experience of environmental regulation and disputes, and has also been involved in federal green building initiatives. The New York-based global project development and finance group is led Gregory Tan, and includes Robert Freedman and Alexandro Padrés. Padrés led a cross-office team that advised a synidcate of lenders including Bancomext, BBVA, Caixa, EIB, IDB, IDB Invest, MUFG and Natixis on the financing arrangements with Enel Green Power for three solar photovoltaic plants in Mexico. Paul Epstein was recently promoted to a partner; Patricia Hammes and Howard Steinberg retired.
Troutman Sanders advises on project finance, environmental regulation, real estate matters, tax and restructuring mandates in relation to solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, geothermal and hydro projects. Key lawyers in the practice group include New York-based Hayden Baker, who joined the firm from Sullivan & Worcester LLP, and Orange County-based John Leonti and New York-based Craig Kline, who jointly head the projects and infrastructure department. Kline acted for Consolidated Edison Development in its acquisition of a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, and Leonti advised Southern Power Company on a tax equity investment partnership concerning a wind generation facility in Texas. Other key clients include Wells Fargo Bank and BNRG Renewables.