Practice/Industry Group Overview
With global energy consumption and environmental challenges rising, businesses as well as nations are searching for secure, sustainable and affordable energy sources. Energy markets are unsettled and evolving, and new energy technologies are emerging daily. As businesses, governments and institutions seek strategies to manage these changes and risks, the Drinker Biddle Energy Team is assisting clients in tapping new and expanding energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and undertaking smarter energy management. And although clean energy and a sustainable economy are buzzwords today, they are a long-term commitment for us. Drinker Biddle practitioners have assisted clients with cutting-edge energy transactions as well as regulatory and stakeholder strategies for nearly three decades.
Our interdisciplinary Energy Team, lead by lawyers from Drinker Biddle’s Environment and Energy Practice Group, are also part of the core of our Environmental and Sustainability practices. The team also includes lawyers from our tax, finance, real estate, intellectual property, and regulatory and government affairs practices, which allows us to provide clients with the most appropriate representation and best equipping them to achieve desired outcomes. Just as we take a team approach internally, we are accustomed to working with our client’s team, including their technical and financial advisors, to assure the seamless integration demanded by energy projects.
Our practice covers a wide range of projects, programs and transactions including conventional power plants, clean, renewable and nuclear energy facilities, energy efficiency and smart grid improvements, as well as other infrastructure projects. We also assist with energy industry mergers and acquisitions and cleantech investments, and energy and environmental market transactions.
Our involvement with clients often begins at the earliest stages of project development. We negotiate and draft key project agreements including construction and operating agreements, as well as navigate environmental asset, permitting and regulatory issues. We structure energy and infrastructure projects for successful project financing, and develop financing documents for many types of debt and equity deals. We represent borrowers, underwriters and issuers in connection with issuance of tax-exempt and taxable municipal bonds and are actively involved in renewable energy finance, advising our clients on how to take advantage of tax credits and grants.
Our clients include colleges, universities, governments and other non-profit institutions. We have structured innovative public-private and profit-nonprofit partnerships that have allowed non-taxpayer clients to take advantage of federal and state incentives for energy projects, new infrastructure and energy-related renovations. Our lawyers have also worked on behalf of other energy end users to develop practical, cost-effective solutions for energy acquisition, consumption, environmental stewardship and management.
As the portfolio of energy generation changes, we regularly help clients pursue sustainability strategies encompassing both the old and the new. We assist clients with repurposing and repositioning traditional energy generation, and help them take advantage of new opportunities in the renewable energy arena, including wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells, tidal, geothermal and biofuels. We also work with clients as they seek to reduce energy usage and costs through energy efficiency and energy management strategies. Our Environmental Markets Team helps to recoup investments in environmental stewardship through market-based instruments, including work with carbon markets and offset programs, nutrient pollution credits, conservation banking, criteria pollutants and renewable energy certificates.