Parker Poe has a proven track record in the renewable energy industry. Whether you are looking to develop renewable projects, acquire or sell individual projects or portfolios, navigate regulatory requirements, or address permitting obligations, our team understands the commercial issues driving success in the renewable industry.
We advise on projects across a range of technologies and locations, with a particular focus on solar and wind projects in the Southeast. We have represented developers on portfolios of renewable energy projects ranging in value from tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. Our clients include some of the biggest independent power producers in the U.S., international solar and wind energy companies, and several large American utilities. We also represent investors in renewable energy projects, entities providing loans and credit vehicles for those projects, and commercial and industrial businesses seeking renewable energy resources.
Our attorneys “have a wealth of experience and provide insightful solutions,” as one client told Chambers USA, which develops rankings using in-depth interviews and objective research. Clients have also told Chambers we are “on the leading edge of what is going on in the industry” and are “a thought leader for clients and policy makers in this space.”
We have attorneys and paralegals with extensive experience drafting and negotiating site control documents for renewable energy facilities. We routinely assist developers in the preparation of form leases, options, and purchase agreements for markets across the U.S. Real estate members of our Energy Team represent developers in the negotiation of site control documentation with both individual and corporate landowners.
We understand the development cycle of facilities across many markets and work with clients to educate counterparties and their lawyers to come to a ﬁnanceable, reasonable site control agreement. We also understand the nuances of title work for renewable energy projects, working with clients to mitigate risk early in the land acquisition phase, all the way through divestiture or ﬁnancing.
We routinely assist developers in modeling anticipated property taxes (real and personal) for projects across the Southeast and beyond. We leverage our strong understanding of markets and our economic incentives and site selection subsidiary, Parker Poe Consulting, to evaluate incentive structures, assist in new market and site selection, and negotiate incentive agreements, including fee-in-lieu of tax (FILOT) agreements, payment-in-lieu of tax (PILOT) agreements, and bonds for title incentive agreements.
For example, we have successfully worked with multiple developers to obtain FILOT agreements in counties across South Carolina, including the negotiation of the incentive amounts with county representatives and the drafting of the required documentation. Given the volume of FILOT agreements we have handled across South Carolina, we often have a good sense of the level of incentive a county may be willing to give and the view of the county toward solar and other renewables in general. We are also actively working with a number of developers on tax incentive agreements in Georgia and Alabama. In North Carolina, we have successfully negotiated and advised developers on tax incentive structures for wind energy projects.
We have signiﬁcant experience securing land use and zoning approvals for generating facilities, predominately utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy facilities, including rezoning petitions, use permits, variances, special exceptions, and land disturbance permits from multiple jurisdictions across the Southeast. We routinely provide zoning ordinance analysis and counsel in advance of permit applications.
Our team is equally adept and successful in obtaining entitlements for both small facilities impacting single parcels of 10 to 20 acres with one landowner and large facilities impacting multiple parcels over thousands of acres with multiple landowners. We understand the importance of developing a community engagement strategy that is based on the unique characteristics of each project and the community in which it is proposed to be constructed.
We regularly appear before state commissions and work with staff and regulators. We have obtained numerous certiﬁcates of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for solar and wind facilities and certiﬁcates of environmental compatibility and public convenience and necessity (CECPCN) for transmission lines from the NC Utilities Commission, prosecuting hundreds of applications for facilities regulated as small power producers or merchant plants.
As those applications move forward, we assist clients in resolving environmental issues that arise through the review process, addressing any citizen complaints that may arise, and responding to data requests from regulators or intervenors. We also represent clients at any public and evidentiary hearings that may be required, in addition to ensuring compliance with notice and publication requirements.
Additionally, we monitor utility commission dockets and stay abreast of regulatory changes. Our team provides fact-based analysis of proceedings in the Carolinas and Georgia to renewable energy clients entering or active in the Southeast.
We have environmental attorneys with deep experience navigating state and federal laws impacting the development of energy generating facilities. We routinely assist in the evaluation of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, ensuring compliance with ASTM standards, consult on solutions to the identiﬁcation of recognized environmental conditions, counsel on the scope of and review Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, and review wetland delineation reports. We also advise on unanticipated discovery plans and spill prevention and control plans, and we counsel on a myriad of environmental issues that arise during site diligence, construction, and operations.
Our environmental attorneys assist with formal and informal consultation with federal and state regulatory agencies and with obtaining U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits and approvals (nationwide and individual permits), state agency permits and approvals, and local permits and approvals. We are adept at evaluating risk and potential compliance issues, as well as negotiating creative solutions and settlements where violations and penalties are issued by environmental agencies.
Our team includes corporate, tax, and commercial contract attorneys with extensive experience representing developers in the acquisition, disposition, and ﬁnancing of renewable energy projects, both individually and in portfolios across multiple states ranging in value from several million dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. We have established processes for handling diligence on state and federal permits, real estate and material contracts, as well as negotiating transactions.
Our team regularly advises on tax equity structures (partnership ﬂip, inverted lease, and sale-leaseback) and is experienced in closing construction, permanent, and back leverage debt facilities. We also advise on power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, engineering procurement and construction agreements, and other commercial contracts.
We have experience lobbying on Capitol Hill and before state legislatures on issues that are critical to the renewable energy industry. We have also lobbied members of federal and state executive departments and agencies. We partner with renewable clients to devise legislative strategy and draft bills to help advance their interests.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV)