Quarterly Clean-Tech Law Alert
Legal Insight for the Clean-Tech Community
Clean Edge has teamed up with Mintz Levin to provide key legal updates for the clean-tech community on a quarterly basis. The following articles and legal updates were written by Mintz Levin. See contact information at the bottom of this message if you have legal questions regarding these updates or would like to learn more about Mintz Levin services.
Cleantech Ecosystems: Why Massachusetts and California are Ahead of the Rest
By Tom Burton and Billy Najam
With the financial system in shambles, unemployment rates high, and a clean energy-conscious president looking to revamp the U.S. economy, the U.S. government has significantly increased investment in the cleantech sector in an effort to jump-start American innovation and spark green job creation. As proven pioneers in creating fertile ecosystems for cleantech businesses to grow, Massachusetts and California have been able to capitalize on this increased investment.
Biomass Power Encounters A New Regulatory Forest
By David O’Connor and Christian Termyn
Longstanding assumptions about the role that biomass power will play in meeting our nation’s renewable energy and climate change goals may soon undergo dramatic revision. If so, the consequences could be profound. Twenty-nine states as well as the District of Columbia have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that credit biomass as a renewable fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that biomass power generation could supply 14% of energy consumed in the U.S. by 2030.
Overview of Energy Savings Performance Contracts
By Daren Graham
Energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) are partnerships between energy services companies (ESCOs) and their customers for the purpose of financing and implementing cost-saving energy efficiency improvements. An ESCO’s principal service under an ESPC is the development, design, engineering, and installation of projects that reduce the energy and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs of customers’ facilities. These projects typically include a variety of measures customized for the facility and designed to improve the efficiency of major building systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting systems. When they enter into ESPCs, ESCOs typically commit to their customers that the energy efficiency projects will satisfy agreed-upon performance standards upon installation or achieve specified increases in energy efficiency.
Court Upholds Composite Permit for Nation’s First Utility-Scale Off-Shore Wind Project
By Ralph A. Child
The popular and trade press justly touted the late-August decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to uphold a composite state permit for the transmission facilities for the nation’s first utility-scale off-shore wind project—Cape Wind’s project in Nantucket Sound. While the decision was far from the final hurdle the Cape Wind Project must overcome, it largely ended any issues of state and local permitting for the project.
SEC Compliance in an Era of Climate Change: What You Need to Know
By Sahir Surmeli, Esq.
This presentation by Sahir Surmeli, co-chair of Mintz Levin’s Energy and Clean Technology practice group, at the 2010 EnergySMART Conference, analyzes trends associated with public company climate change disclosure, investor calls for additional disclosure and the SEC’s Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change.
Energy and Environment Update
By David Leiter and Sarah Litke
After introducing a flurry of final energy bills and passing a Continuing Resolution that will fund the government through December 3rd, Congress adjourned until after the midterm elections.
Yet even in a short week, a number of energy pieces continued to move forward, putting pressure on leadership to address some clean energy initiatives when they return for the lame duck session November 15th. Though the schedule will be tight, there are a number of possible energy contenders for inclusion in expiring tax cuts legislation, a tax extenders package, or an omnibus appropriations bill.