In the wake of increasing inflation and as a means of codifying several of the Biden administration’s legislative priorities, the Senate passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act on August 7, 2022 (the “Act”), by a 51-50 party-line vote. The Act, which is comprised of sweeping healthcare, energy, and tax measures, was approved by the House of Representatives on August 12, 2022, and signed into law by President Biden on August 16, 2022, creating a significant number of renewable energy sector benefits.

Continue Reading The Inflation Reduction Act: Green Energy Benefits

Few propositions are as much of a win-win for both the holders of mortgages and the developers of renewable energy projects as non-disturbance and attornment agreements.

First, let’s review why a non-disturbance agreement is necessary. A lot of work goes into the design and layout of a renewable energy project, including studies and tests conducted to determine the feasibility of the land.
Continue Reading Non-Disturbance Agreements: Beneficial to Both Renewables Developers and Banks

The state of Illinois continued its push to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 when, on July 14, 2022, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (LTRRPP) and finalized rules and programs established under the Climate and Equitable Job Act (CEJA), which passed in September 2021. The LTRRPP is a guidebook for CEJA’s implementation, and its approval authorizes over $1.1 billion to procure new renewable generation in Illinois over the next two years by helping to fund renewable energy projects across Illinois.

Continue Reading Illinois Commerce Commission Approves Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan

Direct pay proposals contained in the proposed Build Back Better Act promise to establish a system that would allow renewable energy developers to elect to receive ITC and PTC tax credits as a refundable credit. This would allow developers, who, under the current system, usually cannot efficiently utilize the non-refundable ITC and PTC credits due to not having sufficient tax liability to offset all of the otherwise available credits. This blog has covered the direct pay proposal in greater detail here.

Continue Reading Direct Pay: A Conversation with Shannon Maher Bañaga, Spokesperson, The Partnership for Clean Energy Investment

On June 6, 2022, President Biden declared a national emergency (the “Declaration”) in relation to energy resources and temporarily extended the time of duty-free importation of solar panels and parts from Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This declaration comes in response to industry concerns over the implications, for ongoing solar energy projects, of the anti-circumvention inquiry by the U.S. Department of Commerce that was initiated on April 1, 2022. The Declaration permits the Secretary of Commerce to waive the collection of duties and other estimated duties on imported solar cells and modules from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia for the next twenty-four months, regardless of the outcome of the anti-circumvention inquiry.

Continue Reading President Puts Hold on Tariffs and Duties On Solar Panels and Parts of Solar Panels From Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand

The solar industry is reeling from an announcement made by the US Department of Commerce (“DOC”) this week that the agency has decided to initiate country-wide anti-circumvention inquiries regarding crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, to determine whether imports into the US from those countries using parts and components from China are circumventing the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on solar cells and modules from China.
Continue Reading Department of Commerce Initiates Tariff Investigation on Imported Photovoltaic Panels, Rocking Solar Industry

Last week’s blog post on NEPA and renewable energy development discussed how NEPA intersects with legal challenges brought against wind and solar projects.  On March 9, 2022, concerned residents from the Town of East Hampton, New York filed suit to overturn the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) approval of the South Fork Wind Farm Project (South Fork Project).  In Mahoney v. Dept. of Interior, No. 2:22-cv-1305, plaintiffs allege violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act by BOEM and the Corps.
Continue Reading Property Owners Lodge a NEPA Challenge to the South Fork Offshore Wind Farm Project

Under current law, there are significant tax benefits for renewable energy projects in the United States.  These benefits include nonrefundable ITC and PTC tax credits and depreciation deductions.  From the perspective of a renewable energy developer, however, such tax benefits may be difficult to use effectively.  Currently, ITC and PTC tax credits are nonrefundable, meaning that developers with tax liability lower such credit will face difficulties effectively utilizing such excess credit.  Developers face a similar problem with depreciation deductions, as these will only operate to reduce taxable income.  If a developer does not have enough taxable income to utilize these depreciation deductions, it will be difficult to effectively utilize such excess.
Continue Reading Direct Pay Proposals in the Build Back Better Act and Observations from Industry Insiders

2021 witnessed a new but familiar competition among stakeholders for the use and enjoyment of the Outer Continental Shelf.  Last year, interested parties initiated five lawsuits against the first federally approved offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind I (located off the coast of Nantucket).  And 2022 has so far continued the trend with a new challenge to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) designation of Wind Energy Areas in the New York Bight in late January.  These legal challenges echo the arguments marshaled in numerous lawsuits across the Nation to delay or prevent oil and gas development on public lands.  Developers seeking to participate in the energy transition can learn from the experience of oil and gas development on federal lands.
Continue Reading Legal Challenges to Renewable Energy Development, and How NEPA Can Help

Tax considerations are one of the main drivers for renewable energy projects. This fall, Husch Blackwell’s Energy and Natural Resources team hosted a webinar that explored the available federal and state credits, abatements, incentives, and in some cases, specialty taxes that affect the profitability of renewable energy projects. During the program, we received a number of questions worth sharing with our blog subscribers that are navigating tax issues on their renewable energy projects. This article addresses those questions.
Continue Reading Digging Deeper: Tax Considerations for Renewable Energy Projects