As the nation and the region continue exploring and expanding renewable energy resources, Crowley Fleck’s Renewable Energy team assists developers, lenders, and other clients in the development of renewable energy related projects and transactions, including wind energy and solar energy projects. Our Renewable Energy team is part of our broader Energy and Minerals Projects and Transactions Practice Group which allows our clients to draw on the experience and knowledge throughout the firm to assist with the many facets of renewable energy projects. Our lawyers provide a broad range of services, including due diligence, permitting on federal, state, and Indian lands, preparing transaction agreements and related documents, condemnation, acquisitions and divestitures, financing and financing opinions, and generally assisting clients on completing projects and closing transactions involving renewable energy.
Title and Real Estate Related Matters
We utilize our extensive experience in title and real estate to assist clients on the numerous land issues associated with renewable energy projects, including: surface owner leases or easements, and related land access/acquisition activity; condemnation when easements cannot be obtained, in either state or federal court; addressing conflicts with mineral estate owners, such as oil and gas or mining activity; and title review.
Permitting and Environmental
Permitting and environmental issues are central to any renewable energy project. On many projects we initially work with the client on preparation of the permit applications for state and county agencies, advise on applicable state laws and local zoning regulations, do witness preparation for public hearings, represent the client at the public hearings including witness testimony, and prepare draft orders for the permitting agencies. Our job is to shepherd the client through all aspects of these permitting processes, from initial project review to obtaining all the siting permits. We represent clients in litigation by project opponents, who challenge the siting permits our clients receive. We also work with clients on environmental issues, including NEPA and state equivalent processes for EIS or EA activity, and avian and endangered species issues, including associated litigation.
State and Local Taxes and Local Government Impact Fees
State and local taxes and fees can dramatically affect the viability of a renewable energy project. We work with clients to identify and deal with these issues, including advice on: state and local taxes or credits applicable to renewable energy projects, including property taxes; and local government impact fees, and generally assisting clients with local governments on project development activity and issues, such as county road issues that can be a major concern.
Mergers & Acquisitions
We draw on the M&A experience and knowledge throughout the firm to assist and represent clients in renewable energy transactions, whether as buyer or seller, or in connection with financing, including: due diligence including title/real estate, environmental and permitting; contract negotiation, preparation, and closing activity/documentation; and financing-related instruments and legal opinions.
Associated Transmission Lines
Transmission lines are critical to the development of a renewable energy project. We work with clients to address the numerous issues associated with transmission lines, including: acquisition of easements, and condemnation ; permitting and environmental, including state and local requirements and public service commission approvals; state and local tax issues; and financing- related instruments and legal opinions.