After the landmark prices received for eight offshore wind leases in the New York Bight, and with great anticipation for the upcoming December 6, 2022, lease auction for the Humboldt and Morro Bay Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) off the coast of California, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is turning its sights to the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden Administration’s announced goal of developing thirty (30) gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 now includes two WEAs in the Gulf of Mexico with the potential of producing up to 3 GW of power.

Continue Reading Offshore Wind Comes to the Gulf of Mexico

On October 21, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) published a Final Sale Notice (“FSN”) for commercial leasing for wind power on California’s Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). Specifically, the FSN announces a list of eligible bidders, deadlines, lease stipulations, and financial terms and conditions for an auction of five leases within the Humboldt Wind Energy Area (“WEA”) and Morro Bay WEA. We highlighted these elements of the FSN and discussed bid credits in prior blog posts. Here, we summarize several aspects of the FSN which stem from the California Coastal Commission’s consistency determinations for both WEAs.

Continue Reading California Offshore Wind Lease Sale Announced by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

One of the most noteworthy features of the October 18th Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the PACW-1 offshore lease auction – which will be the first west coast auction held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – is the availability of “multi-factor” bid credits. The multi-factor approach will allow bidders to earn credits for activities BOEM hopes to stimulate, including making commitments to domestic workforce training and supply chain development as well as entrance into community benefit agreements (CBAs) addressing the impacts of offshore development on local stakeholders. Up to 30% of the cash value of their bid is available to bidders in the form of bid credits, a not insignificant figure given both government and market estimates of potential lease values.

Continue Reading Bid Credits Intended to Stimulate Local Coordination and Development in Upcoming California Lease Auction Add New Wrinkle to Bid Strategies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently published a proposed rule revising regulations that authorize permit issuance for eagle incidental take and eagle nest take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (the “Act”). In addition to retaining the individual permits already available under the Act, the new rule proposes creation of a “general” permit for qualifying wind energy and power line infrastructure projects.

Continue Reading U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes New Regulations Creating General Eagle “Take” Permits for Certain Wind Energy and Power Line Infrastructure Projects

On October 18, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) will hold an auction to sell five offshore wind energy leases in federal waters off the California coast, with two off the coast of Humboldt and three off the coast of Morro Bay. PACW-1 is the first sale of offshore wind leases on the west coast of the United States, and the first to support the development of floating offshore wind projects anywhere in the US. The auction follows the record-breaking New York Bight auction and the Carolina Long Bay auction, both held earlier this year.

Continue Reading California Offshore Wind Auction

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) published a proposed rule listing the tricolored bat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The tricolored bat occurs in portions of 39 states, including Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, which contain a significant concentration of utility-scale wind projects. In combination with the Service’s proposed “endangered” designation for the northern long-eared bat, the new proposed rule could complicate wind energy project permitting across the country.

Continue Reading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Listing Tricolored Bat as Endangered Under Endangered Species Act

Offshore wind development off the California coast took another step closer to reality on August 10, 2022 with the California Energy Commission’s release of a report setting maximum feasible capacity and megawatt goals for 2030 and 2045. The report constitutes a milestone in the planning process prescribed by AB 525, which requires that the Commission “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits” for 2030 and 2045.

Continue Reading California Energy Commission Releases Milestone Offshore Wind Energy Report and Sets Maximum Feasible Capacity and Megawatt Planning Goals for 2030 and 2045

On August 7, 2022, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376) (the “Reconciliation Bill”) on a party line vote with the deciding vote cast by the Vice President. The Senate’s passage of the Reconciliation Bill likely satisfies the requirements for a Proposed Change in Tax Law, as defined under most tax equity financing documents. However, in general, those agreements require that only adverse Proposed Changes in Tax Law be reflected in the Base Case Model in advance of a Funding Date. In general, changes that affect the tax capacity of an investor are not within the scope of a Proposed Change in Tax Law but, as discussed below, even if the corporate alternative minimum tax were considered an adverse change, as finally adopted the AMT should not have a material adverse impact on tax capacity.

Continue Reading Tax Law Changes in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376)

U.S. state and federal lawmakers, as well as federal regulators, are increasingly focusing on the role of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in ongoing efforts to combat climate change and to facilitate the transition from carbon-based fossil fuels.

Continue Reading Lawmakers and Regulators Examine Role of Blockchain Technology in Energy Transitions

The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided $1.2 trillion in federal funding for infrastructure, including approximately $384 million to support California EV infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (“NEVI”) formula program. This sum supplements significant State investments, bringing California funding dedicated to expanding EV Infrastructure to nearly $3 billion through 2026.

Continue Reading A Quick Guide to EV Charging Infrastructure Funding and Incentives in California