While 2022 saw record commitments to renewable generation by commercial and industrial customers in the U.S., agreements with C&I customers in 2023 were affected by federal investigations into tariff avoidance, storm responses, supply chain disruptions and importation issues. Nonetheless, the outlook for growth remains promising for 2024, as corporate purchasers continue to drive the U.S. renewable markets.Continue Reading Beyond Borders: Global Corporate PPA Outlook
President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“HR 5376”) (the “IRA” or the “Act”), on August 16, 2022.Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act: Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements
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
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)
On May 18, a coalition of 235 consumer, environmental, and public interest groups penned a petition urging the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices undertaken by electric utilities, pursuant to Article 6(b) of the FTC Act, which empowers the agency to conduct a broad investigative study and request information. Sec. 6(b), 15 U.S.C. § 46(b).Continue Reading Federal Trade Commission Petitioned To Investigate Electric Utilities
On March 11, 2022, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed reverting the definition of “prevailing wage” under the Davis-Bacon Act to a definition used over 40 years ago. According to the DOL, the proposal is meant to modernize the law and “reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and planned federal construction investments.”
Continue Reading Turning Back the Clock: DOL Proposes Previous Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Definition
Introduction: On November 18, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a notice of inquiry seeking comments on various aspects of currently accepted reactive power compensation mechanisms and alternative compensation methodologies, including for those resources that interconnect at the distribution level but offer reactive power capability in support of transmission. The NOI may foreshadow FERC’s adoption for the first time of a uniform standard for reactive power compensation, displacing the current fragmented reactive power federal pricing environment.
Continue Reading FERC Seeks Comments on Potential Alternative Reactive Power Compensation Mechanisms in Reactive Power Capability Compensation, 177 FERC ⁋ 61,118 (2021) (“NOI”)
This is the first of three articles on the Solar Industry and Forced Labor. Here we focus on regulation. Articles in the coming weeks will focus on issues facing importers and their suppliers, and on investors and their requirements.
Continue Reading Clean Energy’s Messy Problem: The Solar Industry, the U.S. Government, and the Complex Task of Combatting Forced Labor
Continued commitments to renewable generation in 2021 mean that corporate purchasers remain major drivers in the development of new wind and solar power generation projects in the United States. Megawatt numbers vary depending on the source; however, there is no dispute about the significant role played by corporates. While corporate offtakers were initially focused on wind generation, corporate offtakers now regularly contract for solar generation as well.
Continue Reading Corporate Offtake Agreements are a Driving Force Behind the Shift Toward Renewable Energy in the United States
- U.S. Customs halts the import of silica-based products from made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. because the products are suspected of being produced using forced labor.
- For future imports of solar energy equipment sourced from Xinjiang, China, the United States may use Withhold Release Orders (WROs) to block entry into the United States if there is reasonable suspicion of forced labor in the supply chain.
- The renewables industry is working together and with regulators to find ways to certify its supply chains are free of forced labor.