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As global and national energy policy undergoes a revolutionary transformation, opportunities for energy generation from renewable sources—including solar, wind, geothermal, and landfill methane—continue to expand. Renewable energy companies have turned to MGKF to provide sophisticated counsel with respect to their projects.

Renewable energy portfolio standards, such as Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and New Jersey's Renewable Portfolio Standards and renewable fuel standards have led to a push for alternative energy production facilities to come on-line. Inherent in these projects are a wide variety of complex structuring and contractual issues, regulatory compliance requirements, and financial concerns. Additionally, while these projects are generally perceived as "green," they are industrial operations, and thus confront many of the same environmental regulatory concerns facing more traditional energy industries. For example, siting is often the critical issue for alternative energy projects—including "low impact" projects such as solar photovoltaic arrays or wind turbines—as local communities may challenge the siting of these types of facilities. Federal, state, and local permits may be required for the construction and operation of renewable energy facilities. Projects such as ethanol refining, waste coal combustion, or coal-to-liquids production implicate environmental regulatory issues across all media. MGKF assists clients with a variety of alternative energy projects, such as development, construction, operations and maintenance of energy generation facilities, the purchase and/or sale of the energy generated from these facilities and related environmental attributes, renewable fuel use options and projects that implement energy efficiency upgrades.

Many alternative energy and energy efficiency projects are eligible for significant federal and state financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, tax incentives or other types of financing, and significant portions of such projects are also frequently funded by more traditional debt and equity financings from various sources of capital, both public and private. MGKF has worked with clients in connection with financing their alternative energy and energy efficiency projects.

Photo © Aleksandar Todorovic |

The following are some of the representative matters MGKF has handled in the alternative/renewable energy field:

  • MGKF has assisted clients in assessing siting, permitting, developing, and addressing the regulatory issues associated with various sources of alternative energy generation, including solar, wind power, solid fuel gasification, landfill gas-to-energy, waste-to-energy, and waste coal fuel.
  • MGKF has assisted clients in permitting and developing both utility-scale solar energy facilities and community solar projects, including evaluating and addressing stormwater management requirements, waterways and wetland regulatory obligations, threatened and endangered species issues, and any necessary local approvals
  • The firm has assisted refiners with regulatory and permitting requirements associated with renewable/clean fuels, including securing permits for an ethanol production plant and providing regulatory counseling regarding compliance with the Renewable Identification Number ("RIN") program.
  • MGKF has advised commercial and industrial clients concerning the siting, development, construction, financing, and ongoing operations and maintenance of large solar photovoltaic installations at various properties, including closed landfills and Brownfields property, and other more conventional sites.
  • The firm has represented clients developing roof-top solar projects.
  • We have advised clients in matters involving the generation, ownership, purchase and sale of solar renewable energy certificates ("SRECs").
  • MGKF has drafted and counseled clients with respect to easements, leases and other access-related agreements necessary for renewable and alternative energy installations.
  • We have counseled commercial clients regarding wind farm development and the purchase of wind generated energy.
  • We have drafted and advised clients concerning solar and wind power purchase agreements and agreements between clients and the project contractor/developer.
  • We have counseled clients regarding arrangements between independent power producers and public utilities.
  • The firm has advised commercial and industrial clients and lending institutions on the availability of grants and other incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and assisted these clients with the preparation of funding applications.
  • MGKF has assisted a large fuel supplier with respect to regulatory issues associated with renewable fuels.

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