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Renewables Tax

Demand for clean, renewable energy is growing rapidly. As a leading law firm in the energy space throughout its 100-year history, V&E continues to develop innovative structures that maximize tax incentives, helping clients invest to meet this demand.

V&E’s Renewables practice has been ranked “Band 1” by Chambers USA (2019—2020) in the publication’s newly created Power & Renewables (Transactional) category.

With tax-incentivized renewable energy projects, a significant part of the economic value derives from federal and state tax credits designed to spur development. V&E’s renewables tax team has deep experience with these ever-changing incentives. Equally important, we know the market.

In the energy space, the only constant is change. Since its inception in 1917, V&E has been the go-to law firm for innovative energy companies and their investors. As the energy industry and its technology have evolved, we’ve been right there with our clients, helping them stay ahead of the game. In particular, the development of infrastructure to support the production, storage, transportation and distribution of energy has always been capital intensive. Complex — and often uncertain — tax rules have evolved to incentivize energy investment. V&E has led the way in pioneering business and tax structures allowing energy companies to raise needed capital, such as master limited partnerships, REITs, production payments, and tax-incentive driven finance.

We’ve been leaders in clean and renewable energy from the beginning. Following the oil price shocks of the 1970s and 1980s, interest in renewable energy spiked. When one of V&E’s major clients wanted to be an early mover in developing multi-turbine wind farms in California in the mid-1990s, they turned to us to help them navigate the complexities involved with a new production tax credit regime. V&E tax attorneys were involved every step of the way, helping create and refine the tax equity model structure for wind projects. We’ve been refining the model ever since, applying it to solar, biofuel, carbon capture, and other clean and renewable energy projects.

As the clean and renewable energy landscape evolves for developers and investors, V&E continues to develop tax-efficient structures to meet the objectives of each project’s stakeholders.

In addition to advising investors, sponsors and developers in greenfield projects, we have represented numerous investors in mergers and acquisitions involving existing renewable and clean energy projects. Below are just a few of the notable projects we’ve been involved in.

Experience Highlights

  • Goldman Sachs Renewable Power (a $4 billion fund), in its:

    • Approximately $350 million acquisition from Marina Energy, a subsidiary of Southern Jersey Industries, of its solar portfolio comprised of 76 distributed solar energy projects with total capacity of 204 MW
    • Acquisition of a 142-MW portfolio of solar power generation assets from a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation
    • Acquisition of a series of solar projects developed by a major utility company
    • Ongoing investments, acquisitions and finance arrangements in renewable energy projects
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Fund of The Carlyle Group in the formation of a joint venture with Alchemy Renewable Energy, LLC (ARE), a renewable energy developer and tax equity arranger, together with the acquisition of certain operating and development-stage solar projects from ARE

  • A private equity special situations fund in its:

    • Approximately $1 billion back-levered acquisition (by way of a joint venture) of a portfolio of wind and solar assets from a global conglomerate
    • Acquisition of interests in 16 wind energy projects through a joint venture with the subsidiary of a global banking institution
    • Various acquisitions and divestitures of tax equity and other interests in solar assets
  • Goldman Sachs’ Alternative Energy Investing Group in the formation of a joint venture with TELOS Clean Energy to develop, construct, own, and operate distributed solar power projects

  • Underwriters to Sunnova Energy International Inc., a residential solar and energy storage service provider, in its $168 million initial public offering of common stock

  • Pattern Energy Group in a series of strategic transactions that include a $724 million long-term commitment by an investment entity managed by Riverstone

  • A private equity fund in a $100 million acquisition of a portfolio of solar assets from a major utility 

  • eSolar in connection with a transaction with NRG Energy, Inc. for the development of three solar thermal power plants totaling up to 500 MW in the U.S

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