On February 13, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued its “initial guidance”[1] regarding the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program (the “Program”) established by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”)[2] and codified under new Section 48(e) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) concerning “special rules for certain solar and wind facilities placed in service in connection with low-income communities.” The guidance makes strides to implement the Program required by the IRA, but it also leaves some gaps to be addressed in more guidance to come. Continue Reading IRS Issues Guidance for Inflation Reduction Act Low-Income Bonus Tax Credits

For years, domestic content requirements have been a point of pain and frustration for government contractors. Historically, these regimes typically come in the form of the proverbial stick – that is, provide products and/or services that meet these country of origin requirements, or risk severe consequences (the billions in False Claims Act Trade Agreements Act settlements speak for themselves). But through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress has taken a unique approach by authorizing the Department of Treasury to use country of origin as a carrot – offering certain energy facilities bonus tax credits for meeting specified “domestic content” requirements. To create this new carrot, Congress relied heavily on the Government’s prior experience with domestic content regimes – pulling predominantly from the Federal Transit Authority’s (“FTA”) “Buy America” regulations, but with a Buy American Act twist. In doing so, Congress has left the renewable energy industry with more questions than answers on the applicability of the bonus tax credit to their facilities.Continue Reading Domestic Content Requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act: Basic Requirements, Qualification Analysis, and Lingering Questions

The U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”) recently released a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking input from industry to help the federal government develop strategies for the procurement of carbon pollution-free electricity (“CFE”) in accordance with Executive Order 14057’s goal of achieving 100% CFE for the federal government by 2030. The RFI seeks to gather information about the “availability of CFE in the retail electricity market and ways for the Federal Government to incentivize additional production and delivery of CFE.”Continue Reading GSA Issues Request for Information on Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity

In the closing weeks of 2022, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB” or “Board”) approved its final 2022 Scoping Plan, which sets forth a detailed roadmap to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in order for the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, with an interim goal of achieving a reduction in GHG emissions of 40% below the 1990 level by 2030 (the goal adopted by the State in 2017’s SB 32).Continue Reading California Air Resources Board Adopts 2022 Scoping Plan

The Green Hydrogen Economy is coming to California! 2023 is set to be a banner year for green hydrogen project development in California thanks to growing government commitment (see a brief timeline of key investments in 2022 below) and increasing demand.Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Launches California Green Hydrogen Readiness Assessment – How Prepared Are You and the State?

As previously discussed in our blog Inflation Reduction Act: Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements, the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”) restructured the tax credit system associated with qualified clean energy projects. In particular, to receive the full value of various tax credits, companies must now pay the prevailing wage rates and employ a certain number of registered apprentices in the construction, alteration, and/or repair of qualified clean energy facilities or projects as defined under the Code.Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act: Prevailing Wage and Apprenticeship Requirement FAQs and Key Takeaways from the Initial Guidance from the Treasury and IRS

On November 14, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require Federal contractors that receive annual Federal contract obligations over a specified amount to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions[1] and climate-related financial risk, and set science-based targets to reduce GHG emissions.[2] This proposed rule implements section 5(b) of Executive Order 14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk, which we previously wrote about here. The Government will consider comments from interested parties that are submitted by January 13, 2023, after which a final rule will be formulated.Continue Reading Proposed Rule Requires Contractors to Disclose Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk

The dust has settled on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) first west coast auction for federal offshore wind lease areas. The California auction for the Morro Bay and Humboldt Call Areas brought an aggregate $757,100,000 to federal coffers at a $2,028 per acre value (with variances between the areas discussed below). This per acre value is well below the results of the other BOEM auctions of 2022, New York Bight (approximately $9,000 per acre, the highwater mark in the U.S.) and Carolina Long Bay (approximately $2,800 per acre). The final figure places the final result firmly within, but on the low end of, BOEM’s pre-auction estimate of $400M – $1.6B.Continue Reading California’s First Offshore Wind Auction Finalized – Key Takeaways

The eyes of the offshore wind sector are turning with excitement to the west coast of the United States today as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducts a scheduled mock auction for the Morro Bay and Humboldt Call Areas leading into the live auction tomorrow, December 6th.Continue Reading Market Conditions Among Factors Adding Variability to Potential California Offshore Lease Outcomes