Practices/Industries

Energy Project Development

"More than just providing outstanding legal services, Sutherland has been a trusted business adviser to our project team…” - associate general counsel, Fortune 500 chemical company

Sutherland understands the market drivers behind successful energy project development and addresses all financial, regulatory and legal issues.

Sutherland lawyers assist clients in developing, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining a wide range of energy related facilities and infrastructure. We understand project development, project financing and project infrastructure across all sectors of the energy market including production, transportation, distribution and marketing. We have a particular proficiency with fossil fuels (coal-fired and natural gas-fired peaking and combined cycle facilities), LNG and gas transmission facilities, combined heat and power (CHP)/cogeneration facilities, hydroelectric facilities, nuclear energy assets and all types of renewable generation including wind, solar (both ground mount and rooftop facilities, and both photovoltaic and concentrated), geothermal, waste-to-energy, biomethane projects, biomass, biofuels, fuel cell, energy storage and other evolving technologies.

Our project finance experience includes structuring and negotiating an array of financing transactions, including traditional interim and permanent debt financing, equity financing, tax-exempt bond financing, ECA and multilateral finance, non-and limited- recourse project financing, PPP, leveraged and synthetic leases and other structured vehicles. We represent developers, utilities and their nonregulated subsidiaries, investors, sovereigns and financial institutions in the sourcing and negotiation of senior, mezzanine and subordinated project loans, corporate credit financings, domestic and international private placements, Rule 144A offerings, public bond offerings, lease financings, construction and term loan financings, bridge financing and operating lines of credit. We also enjoy broad experience with the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture federal loan guarantees and various tax and tax-equity advantaged structures involving monetizing tax credits, cash grants, production tax credits and clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs).

Domestically, Sutherland counsels clients in federal, state and local regulatory matters related to the development of energy projects and energy infrastructure, including preparation of applications for approvals or exemptions from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and issues related to the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005, the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Our lawyers have experience with various independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) rules and regulations, including California ISO, Midwest ISO, ISO New England, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Southwest Power Pool.

Internationally, we assist clients in cross-border financings and project development, particularly in Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean Basin, coordinating our efforts with long standing local counsel relationships and networks.

Why Sutherland

Energy Experience. Our energy industry experience enables us to help our clients find solutions to development, financial and regulatory hurdles they may encounter in pursuing energy projects.

Range. Sutherland’s experience across sectors has a meaningful impact on our work for energy clients, whether they are developing a large scale ground-mount photovoltaic solar facility on U.S. federal lands, structuring a joint ownership arrangement for the development and construction of a baseload electric generating facility or identifying new methods to simultaneously monetize various environmental attributes and tax credits from a waste to energy facility.

Complete service. Our attorneys regularly engage in project development and financing activities on behalf of developers, sponsors, equipment suppliers, cooperatives, industrials/commercial end users, construction contractors and lenders at all stages of project development. We use energy industry lawyers rather than corporate or transactional generalists, and we manage projects and financings across all segments of the energy sector with equal ease.

Tax savvy. Our energy project development and finance team includes federal and state tax lawyers intimately familiar with energy transactions. Because our approach is energy-industry focused, our team can structure projects and related project arrangements to maximize tax efficiency.

Comprehensive team. Sutherland’s cross-disciplinary team of lawyers are positioned to advise clients in ancillary issues in energy and energy infrastructure projects and financings including; mitigating bankruptcy risk, antitrust, environmental and natural resources matters, corporate and securities, labor and employment, employee benefits, intellectual property, tax and real estate issues.


Nuts and Bolts

  •  Facility permitting
  •  Design
  •  Site control
  •  Licensing
  •  Procurement
  •  Joint ownership
  •  Construction
  •  Financing arrangements
  •  Service arrangements
  •  Contracts for equipment supply, fuel supply/feedstock and transportation, water and wastewater
  •  Operations and maintenance (O&M)
  •  Engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contracts
  •  Build-own-transfer (BOT) and design-build-own-operate and maintain (DBOOM) arrangements
  •  Environmental attributes

Take Action

At Sutherland, energy project development clients work with attorneys who understand the intricacies and market drivers of the energy industry; lawyers well-versed in the different energy sources, technologies, regulations and special tax-code treatment of energy companies.

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

click to watch Videocast: Perils for Businesses in Communicating with Customers via Telephone or Text—Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Videocast: Perils for Businesses in Communicating with Customers via Telephone or Text—Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Washington, DC
Erin Corbin Meszaros, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Atlanta, GA
© 2014 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.
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