Welcome to the Renewable + Law Blog®, one of the pioneers of law firm renewable energy law reporting. First published in early 2008, Renewable + Law blog is dedicated to tracking all major policy and legal developments impacting the U.S. renewable energy industry. Whether your interest involves solar energy, wind energy, biomass, ocean and hydrokinetic energy, biofuels, waste-to-energy, geothermal, electric energy storage or other clean technologies, we blog about it.
Change – both disruptive and transformational – is at the forefront of the energy conversation today. The concerns over global warming, energy policy, economic growth and national security that helped propel renewable energy into a major global industry now have an even sharper focus. Legislators at both the state and federal level continue to push for new laws – both in support of and in opposition to renewable energy solutions – while global energy players also look to exploit new market opportunities both here in the United States and abroad.
We are committed to keeping you informed about how energy developments impact your business and community. You can follow our reporting on this blog, via our RSS feed, and also via our real time Twitter feed. We thank you for your interest and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.
— The Stoel Rives Renewable + Law Blog® team
Jessica Bayles is a partner in Stoel Rives’ Energy Development group, where she focuses her practice on energy regulatory support for renewable project development and transactions, compliance counseling, and regulatory controversies. Jessica counsels renewable energy developers and asset managers on compliance with the requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She has significant experience in complex litigation and settlement proceedings before FERC. She also advises large electric customers in state public utility commission proceedings.
Sara Bergan is an energy law attorney who helps renewable energy clients navigate structured deals within a complex regulatory framework. She has broad experience helping renewable energy clients through the development, procurement, construction, and acquisition/divestiture stages. Although she has worked on wind, solar, storage and other renewable energy projects of all sizes, she has focused primarily on utility scale projects and has particular experience in community-based or shared solar programs.
Rich Bonnifield focuses his practice on energy law, including electricity, nuclear and natural gas matters. He has a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by electric and gas utilities that operate in a heavily regulated industry. Rich provides strategic legal and regulatory advice on rates, corporate structure, transactions, tariffs and reliability matters. He assists electric and gas utility clients with the development and implementation of regulatory, ethics and reliability compliance programs, procedures and training.
Thomas Braun is a partner in Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources group who has broad experience in matters involving environmental and energy issues at the federal, state, and local levels. Thomas works strategically and finds creative solutions to matters involving (1) management, remediation, and redevelopment of contaminated properties (brownfields), (2) siting, permitting, and development of large commercial facilities, (3) due diligence in corporate and real estate transactions, and (4) regulatory compliance and response to enforcement actions.
Riley Conlin is an associate in the firm’s Energy Development Group and focuses his practice on regulatory matters at the state and federal levels.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Riley was an associate and a law clerk for a litigation firm in Minneapolis, a student attorney for the University of Minnesota Business Law Clinic, and completed multiple clerkship and summer associate positions while in law school.
Sarah Stauffer Curtiss helps clients understand and comply with environmental and land use laws, navigate complex permitting processes, and develop compliance solutions that enhance business opportunities. On Oregon land use matters, Sarah helps clients secure permits from local governments. She has worked with city and county planning departments throughout Oregon, and regularly represents clients before local governing bodies and the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
Kate D’Ambrosio is an attorney in the Energy Development group. She has experience in regulatory compliance and enforcement defense in energy and environmental law, and in litigation matters related to the trading, ownership, and transportation of energy commodities.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Kate was an associate with Bracewell LLP in Washington, D.C., where she also served as a summer associate. While in law school, Kate worked as a law clerk for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and as a legal intern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Civil Division.
Bo Harvey is a partner in Stoel Rives’ Energy Development practice. He represents energy clients and financial institutions in connection with a wide variety of matters. He has particular expertise in negotiating and structuring energy hedges, swap and derivative transactions, and providing related regulatory advice concerning the Dodd-Frank Act and Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations. In addition, he counsels clients with respect to the structuring of power purchase and offtake agreements generally. More broadly, he also represents energy developers in connection with the development, acquisition, and sale of renewable energy projects.
Seth Hilton, a partner in Stoel Rives’ Energy Development group, focuses his practice on energy regulation and litigation, representing clients before a variety of energy regulatory agencies in California, including the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission, as well as in stakeholder proceedings at the California Independent System Operator. His clients include developers of thermal and renewable generation, energy storage developers, transmission developers, energy service providers, and investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities. Seth also represents energy clients in state and federal court and has significant experience in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation.
Jason Johns advises independent power producers, utilities, investors, and large users of gas and power resources with matters arising in power markets and state and federal energy regulatory arenas. Jason appears regularly in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in negotiations at the ISO/RTO level, where he represents independent power developers and utilities. His experience includes negotiating major facility contracts, such as interconnection, transmission, and power purchase agreements; prosecuting disputes at FERC; and counseling and defending clients on issues related to regulatory compliance.
Sarah Johnson Phillips is a partner in the firm’s Energy Development practice group, where she focuses on energy project development; buying, selling and financing energy projects; and energy regulatory matters. She advises large wind and solar project developers on permitting and real estate matters, including obtaining major project permits, negotiating leases and easements, and title work. She also has particular experience working on distributed solar and community-shared solar projects, including negotiating offtake agreements, leases, financing arrangements, M&A transactions, interconnection agreements, and regulatory matters.
Chad Marriott serves as counsel to sponsors, owners, and investors, as well as commercial and industrial customers, in the development, sale, acquisition, and financing of renewable and thermal energy projects throughout the United States. His breadth of experience in finance, M&A, and state and federal utility regulation keeps him actively engaged as a member of Stoel Rives’ Energy Development team.
Alex Mertens is a partner in the Corporate practice group and co-chair of the Energy & Natural Resources Industry Group. Alex is experienced in renewable energy finance matters and advises project sponsors, financial institutions, and investors on issues concerning the acquisition, development, financing, and sale of renewable energy projects. Alex regularly advises clients on structuring and negotiating tax equity partnerships, cash equity investments, construction and term loan financings, note purchase agreements, development loan facilities, joint ventures, and M&A transactions.
Andrew Moratzka focuses on litigation of various utility- and energy-related issues. Drew represents iron mines, paper companies, refineries, steel manufacturers and other large industrial customers in electric and gas rate cases and various regulatory matters at the state and federal level. He also represents independent power producers. In these roles, Drew regularly appears before state public utilities commissions and administrative law judges. Drew also has experience arguing energy-related and bankruptcy-related issues at the appellate level.
Brian Nese practices in the Energy Development group and the Renewable and Thermal Energy Initiatives. Brian focuses his practice on representing renewable energy project developers, owners and operators in drafting and negotiating various project documents, including engineering, procurement and construction agreements, operation and maintenance agreements, balance of plant agreements, supply agreements, and real property agreements. He also assists project developers with mergers and acquisitions, financings, and related due diligence.
Allison Smith focuses her practice in environmental and energy law. Her experience includes CEQA and land use litigation, conducting environmental due diligence, and permitting solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and gas-fired energy facilities. Allison also counsels companies on federal and state air quality and greenhouse gas regulations.