Renewable Energy

Overview

Renewable energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the energy industry. Traditional energy companies and renewable energy companies alike are exploring renewable alternatives to oil and gas and are constantly innovating newer technologies to more reliably harvest renewable energy. Liskow & Lewis is proud to have assisted some of these companies in this growing market. The Firm has the first-hand knowledge and experience that is needed to adequately guide developers through the complex issues that arise in renewable projects involving solar energy, wind energy, and carbon capture and sequestration. Liskow is capable of assisting clients during every phase of renewable energy projects, from acquisition, financing, title insurance and permitting matters, all the way to decommissioning.

Liskow has the extensive background that is needed to guide clients through the fast-growing world of renewables. The Firm is nationally recognized in energy law and was recently noted in Chambers USA 2021 for being known for its “Outstanding reputation for its longstanding prominence in the oil and gas market.”

Onshore Renewable Energy

Over the last decade there has been a substantial shift towards renewable energy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2008, the US had approximately 0.34 gigawatts of solar capacity. That capacity has jumped to over 97 gigawatts, enough to power 18 million homes. Wind energy has seen similar growth. According to the US Energy Information Administration, wind energy accounted for only 1.3% of utility scale electricity generation. As of 2020, that number has increased to 8.4%. With the growing number of companies striving to reach carbon neutrality, carbon capture and sequestration is likewise expanding rapidly.

These renewable energy projects are multi-faceted and require coordination across multiple practice areas. Liskow & Lewis has an experienced team of attorneys that understands the various phases of these projects and the need for a coordinated approach. 

Offshore Renewable Energy

With a Biden administration goal of 30 gigawatts of wind capacity by 2030, offshore wind is entering an ambitious growth period in the United States with capacity and projects envisioned off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, the regulatory landscape is new and still developing. 

Liskow & Lewis attorneys are well situated to handle all aspects of development for offshore wind projects and operations, from initial siting and permitting through project finance, construction, and operations. Our team has decades of experience with the legal issues surrounding the complexities of offshore project permitting and development—both on the federal Outer Continental Shelf and in state waters.

In many aspects, the statutes and regulatory frameworks that apply to offshore oil and gas projects also apply to renewables projects. We are experienced and work day-to-day with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) leasing and operational permitting issues, as well as compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and various Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requirements.

Onshore Experience

Clients rely on our legal team to guide them through the many complex and often unchartered phases of an onshore renewable project. In Louisiana and Texas, the Firm has handled land rights acquisition and title insurance underwriting, financing, taxation, asset acquisition/divestiture, construction, right-of-way/expropriation, regulatory issues and environmental matters for renewables projects.

Recent and ongoing examples of our Firm’s representative matters include:

  • Regularly advise solar developers in the acquisition and build-out of solar farms and leasing projects, including the negotiation and drafting of leases, options, servitudes and other land interests, title review and title insurance underwriting matters, and analyzing the effect of state and local law on the development and long-term operation and viability of solar projects.
  • Provide regulatory advice to renewable energy companies in matters such as project permitting and carbon emission compliance.
  • Counseled the developer of a major water storage and solar energy project in California regarding California Environmental Quality Act compliance and other environmental land use matters.
  • Collaborated with a major oil and gas client in its development of a carbon sequestration project in Louisiana, and handled a carbon capture and tertiary recovery project for a utility client in Texas.

Offshore Experience

More and more, energy companies are considering adding offshore renewable projects located on the Outer Continental Shelf to their project portfolios. Liskow & Lewis has leveraged its oil and gas expertise in dealing with OCS issues to establish an offshore renewables team to assist clients with key issues that can arise during the permitting, development, construction, and operation of these projects, including:

  • General project structuring, construction financing, tax credits, and other general business advice
  • Company qualification to hold renewable energy leases or grants
  • Acquisition of OCS leases, rights-of-way, and rights-of-use and easement
  • Permitting and regulatory issues concerning lease acquisition, planning, and construction
  • BOEM and BSEE financial assurance requirements
  • Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation contracting, including Jones Act issues
  • Transportation (vessel and helicopter), Maintenance, and Services contracting, including indemnity and insurance requirements
  • Regulatory issues associated with ongoing operations
  • Disputes and administrative appeals related to regulatory orders, contractual matters, and ongoing operations  
  • Regulatory issues associated with decommissioning

Recent and ongoing examples of our Firm’s representative matters include:

  • Provide advice concerning regulatory requirements applicable to offshore wind projects 
  • Advise clients on applicability of Jones Act requirements to renewable energy projects offshore
  • Advise energy company on regulatory issues related to carbon capture and storage offshore  

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