A recent Texas case, Lyle v. Midway Solar, S.W. 3d, 2020 WL 7769632 (Tex. App. Ct., El Paso 83rd Dist. 2020), addressed a challenge that many solar developers wrestle with: how to handle mineral owners. The El Paso Court of Appeals clarified this complex issue and demonstrated the importance of properly addressing the minerals on a site prior to developing a project.

Key Takeaways for Renewable Energy Developers:

This is an important case that renewable energy developers can look to in assessing the minerals on a project site. First, the court actually acknowledged that Texas was a leader in energy and produced the largest share of oil and gas, but that public policy favors adding renewable energy sources into the State’s energy portfolio, which is a great development for renewable energy developers. This case focuses on the conflict between the surface/solar owner and mineral owner/developer, which is always an issue especially for solar developers. The opinion does not address any fact-specific analysis that must be performed when applying the accommodation doctrine, but it 1) does help confirm that the accommodation doctrine does apply when the deed/contract does not address the uses of the surface, 2) sets when the application of the accommodation doctrine should be used, and 3) shows the importance of obtaining any agreements from the proper parties before filing them of record.
Continue Reading Mineral Owner vs. Solar Company: New Texas Case Addresses Key Issue

On February 5, 2021, House Democrats reintroduced the GREEN Act. The GREEN Act extends federal tax credits for renewable energy and expands them to include new storage technology.

Key provisions include:

  • extending the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy at 30% through 2025 before phasing down to 26% in 2026, 22% in 2027 and then 10% from there;
  • extending the 30% investment tax credit for offshore wind property through 2026;
  • preserving the wind production tax credit’s 60% phaseout level through 2026;
  • extending the production tax credit for marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities through 2026; and
  • providing for a 30% investment tax credit for energy storage technology.


Continue Reading New and Expanded Clean Energy Tax Incentives on the Horizon

By the time the March 8, 2019 bill filing deadline for the 86th Texas Legislature passed, many bills concerning the electric industry had been filed. Storage, cybersecurity of the electric grid, and capital project tax abatements are among the energy issues Texas lawmakers are considering. This reviews the major filed bills before the current Texas Legislature.

Continue Reading 86th Texas Legislature to Consider Bills Concerning Cybersecurity and Storage, Among Other Electric Industry Issues

In the latest of the eight-part Renewable Energy Projects Webinar Series, Husch Blackwell’s Chris Reeder and Linda Walsh will discuss the federal and state regulatory approvals often required for typical wind and solar energy projects. They will address the circumstances under which such regulatory approvals are required and the timing needed to apply for

President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt confirms that the Trump administration and its appointees will not continue to support attempts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address climate change.  Pruitt, who has referred to the debate regarding global warming as “far from settled,” has filed several lawsuits against EPA challenging regulations that limit such emissions from the coal, oil, and natural gas industries, including an EPA rule implementing the Clean Power Plan by requiring states to
Continue Reading Scott Pruitt’s Appointment as Head of EPA Unlikely to Reverse Trends in Energy Generation

Energy storageMassachusetts took a significant step to acknowledge that effective and efficient renewable energy storage – the commercial capture of renewable energy to offset demand at a later time – can aid in the growth of wind and solar power and save ratepayers money. Massachusetts may become the third state to adopt a renewable energy storage mandate, following in the footsteps of California and Oregon. In August, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill, titled “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity,” that gives the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) the ability to mandate what the energy storage targets.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Takes Big Step Towards Increasing Energy Storage

ecological power plantAs noted in our March 24, 2016 client alert discussing possible opportunities under Cuba’s 2030 renewable energy plan (and published by Windpower Engineering & Development’s website here), new rules by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) permit U.S. companies to travel to Cuba without a license to perform market research, conduct marketing efforts and perform preliminary contract negotiations.

Now, scheduled flights to Cuba resume after more than 50 years, allowing interested U.S. businesses to begin networking and establishing relationships in Cuba while they wait for the licensing program and portfolio projects to take shape.
Continue Reading Renewable Development Eased by Lifting of Cuba Flight Ban