The Second Circuit Court of Appeals sent a clear message to secured creditors with its recent decision, Ring v. First Niagara Bank, N.A. (In re Sterling United, Inc.),1 that in the case of a collateral description in a financing statement for blanket liens covering all of a debtor’s assets — less is more.

With the Obama administration coming to an end, January 2017 marks the beginning of a dramatic wholesale conservative shift in federal public policymaking. Starting with the swearing-in of the 115th Congress on January 3rd, and followed by President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, the legislative and executive branches promise a robust schedule of

Originally posted in Troutman Sanders Environmental Law and Policy Monitor

On December 14, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) finalized revisions to its regulations for nonpurposeful (or incidental) take of eagles and eagles nests under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“Eagle Act”).  According to FWS, the rule is intended to balance clean energy development and eagle conservation goals.  FWS acknowledges the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand wind energy development and how the accompanying growth has impacted eagles, but emphasizes its belief that wind energy development does not pose a disproportionate risk to eagles as compared to other activities that may incidentally take eagles.  FWS’s revisions are clearly drafted with the wind industry in mind.
Continue Reading Fish and Wildlife Finalizes Helpful Revisions to Eagle Take Permit Regulations

Last week the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued its opinion in Alta Wind I Owner Lessor C et. al. v. United States (“Alta Wind”) (available here). The court awarded the plaintiffs over $200 million in damages relating to underpaid Section 1603 grants for six different wind projects, five sold in sale-leaseback transactions and one sold in an outright sale to an unrelated party. As described below, the opinion addresses a number of fundamental issues relating to the determination of qualifying basis for Section 1603, ITC, and depreciation purposes.
Continue Reading Alta Wind Addresses Fundamental ITC and Depreciation Issues for Renewables

On August 1, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission approved the state’s plan to achieve fifty percent of its generation needs from renewables.  In so doing, New York joins a handful of other states (including California Hawaii and Vermont) with ambitious clean energy goals at or above the fifty-percent mark.

Continue Reading NY Approves Goal for 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

from Washington Energy Report

On July 21, 2016, FERC issued a declaratory order related to a qualifying facility’s (“QF”) right to sell its capacity and energy pursuant to a legally enforceable obligation under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”). Specifically, FERC held that: (1) regardless of whether a QF has previously sold its renewable energy credits (“RECs”) under a separate contract, a QF has the right to sell its output pursuant to a legally enforceable obligation (“LEO”), and (2) regardless of whether a QF has participated in a request for proposal, a QF has the right to obtain a LEO.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Declaratory Order on QFs’ PURPA Rights

From Washington Energy Report

On June 16, 2016, FERC revised the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) and the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (“SGIA”) to require wind generators to design their facilities to be capable of providing reactive power at their points of interconnection as a condition of interconnection. As a result, going forward all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators, including wind generators, must be able to provide reactive power as a condition of interconnection.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Rule Eliminating Exemptions for Wind Generators from Reactive Power Requirements

On May 5, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-31, which updates its prior guidance to reflect the extension of the beginning of construction deadline for the PTC and ITC made by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act).

Continue Reading IRS Updates “Beginning of Construction” Guidance to Reflect PATH Act Extension of the PTC and the ITC

Oregon governor Kate Brown has signed into law the popular Oregon Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan. This landmark piece of legislation, among other things, (i) completely phases out the supply of electricity from coal fired generation facilities for Oregon utility customers, (ii) increases the renewable portfolio standard in Oregon and (iii) establishes a community solar program statewide. 
Continue Reading Oregon Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan signed into law