Overview

Burns & Levinson specializes in managing the challenging and diverse legal needs of clients in the energy and cleantech industry as they navigate complex regulations and requirements in the energy and renewable energy space. We serve as both outside general counsel to energy companies and special counsel in project development, transactional, intellectual property and regulatory matters.

Our team has a wide range of skills and experience to help clients structure and form their businesses, protect sensitive technologies, and site, permit, finance, construct, and develop energy projects. We also have experience in obtaining tax incentives, drafting and negotiating power purchase agreements, real estate leases, commercial agreements, and equipment contracts, evaluating energy services performance contracts, and implementing sound tax strategies.

Our depth of knowledge and experience as a full-service law firm complements our energy practice experience and allows us to provide our energy/cleantech clients with experienced attorneys in corporate, intellectual property, finance, securities, environmental, regulatory litigation and tax matters.

Our attorneys routinely provide advice on a wide array of energy projects, including biofuels, demand response, clean coal, solar, thermal, water, energy storage and wind. Our client base is exceptionally diverse, and includes clean and renewable energy developers, power producers, power purchase agreement providers, property managers, real estate owners, hospitals and universities, manufacturers, municipalities, investors, venture capitalists and lenders, among others. We work with clients on energy efficiency, zero energy and green design for new residential construction projects, and our attorneys represent companies providing software for the management of energy, energy conservation retrofitting and cogeneration facilities. We have substantial experience working with new carbon capture technologies, automobile ignition and transmission systems that increase gas mileage and reduce emissions, as well as web-based energy trading and discount electricity and propane sales.

Financing is an essential component of any energy project development and our team uses a multidisciplinary approach, strategic planning, and creative thinking to offer practical advice to help our clients effectively navigate project finance requirements. We coordinate, advise and work with investors, lenders, financiers, and developers to capitalize on financing and tax incentives, assist in preparing and reviewing letters of intent and term sheets, draft and review documentation, identify and analyze risks, ensure compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, and prepare legal opinions.

We represent independent power producers, including fossil fuel, waste-to-energy and renewable power facilities. We advocate on behalf of generators in regulatory and legal proceedings and assist them in legal, financial, and regulatory matters in this highly competitive marketplace. In conjunction with other practice groups, the Energy/Cleantech Group represents generators in acquisitions, human resources, property tax, labor and employment issues, environmental compliance and other legal matters. We have represented generators and renewable energy companies in complex proceedings involving project development, siting, competitive procurement and property taxation.

Our attorneys actively practice before federal and state agencies and tribunals in Massachusetts and other states, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US Environmental Protection Agency, United States Patent and Trade Office, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Public Utility Commission, Rhode Island Public Utility Commission, Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board, Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Council, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and similar agencies throughout the Northeast. We work with a robust network of local counsel, including the Law Firm Alliance, to provide legal services to many of our renewable energy clients throughout the country.

Experience
  • Counsel to a large equity fund developing, acquiring and financing over 30 MWs of solar facilities in Massachusetts; responsible for due diligence, regulatory advice, risk assessment, and transaction documentation.
  • Counsel to a large developer and financier with respect to due diligence and financing of approximately 10 MWs of solar facilities in Massachusetts.
  • Counsel to prominent bank in debt financing the development and operation of solar facilities on a well-known big box retailer in Massachusetts; responsible for due diligence, risk assessments, regulatory advice and transaction documentation.
  • Counsel to a developer of large on-campus co-generation facilities at UMass Amherst.
  • Counsel to a solar development company in connection with the acquisition and financing of $20 million in PV facilities in North Carolina in a complex multiparty transaction involving equity and debt financing, deal structuring, tax implications, and drafting and review of purchase and sale, credit, investment and operating agreements.
  • Counsel to a utility-scale grid-side 20 MW solar PV facility in Wisconsin, which included drafting and negotiating complex power purchase, site lease, interconnection, REC purchase and sale, master cooperation, and PV panel supply agreements.
  • Counsel for a public company that designs commercial retrofits of energy efficiency lighting.
  • Counsel for company with innovative technology for energy saving diesel engine designs and biomass co-generation systems.
  • Counsel to numerous banks providing debt financing to solar, renewable developers and emerging technologies.
  • Counsel to private schools and public colleges with respect to solar photovoltaic development on their campuses.
  • Counsel to national independent power producer with respect to a combined wind and solar development in Massachusetts (approximately 4 MWs) providing advice regarding permitting, metering, QF status and interconnection.
  • Counsel to clients involved in transactions regarding the applicability of investment/production tax credits for solar, wind and biomass projects.
  • Counsel to independent power producers and renewable energy companies in numerous proceedings before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the Department of Energy Resources regarding mergers and acquisitions, competitive procurement, renewable portfolio standards, net metering, and the applicability of long term contracts for renewable generation related to solar and wind facilities.
  • Counsel to a Rhode Island municipality with respect to a lease of a hydroelectric facility and co-generation facility installation.
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