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Project financing and tax fairness

Awareness of climate change has reached a tipping point not only in public consciousness, but also in the private sector. The transition to a low-carbon economy will require massive capital investments over the coming decades to reach net zero by 2050 – and those investments are happening now.

The United States set a record in 2021 with $105 billion spent on the energy transition. Additionally, the U.S. government announced an unprecedented $80 billion pledge to support the energy transition through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to leverage significant industry investment. private sector to support the new energy economy. However, even greater investments are needed in the coming years to reduce emissions, ensure energy security and protect communities from the worst impacts of climate change.

With focused expertise in the clean energy and climate sectors, our project finance and tax equity team represents sponsors, investors, private equity firms and financial institutions in the financing of projects at all levels of the capital stack, including tax equity, cash equity, development, construction, leveraged and mezzanine financings and capital markets securitizations, including term.

Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Sections 45 and 48 of the Internal Revenue Code which provide energy tax credits for qualifying renewable energy facilities such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal power plants, as well as Section 28D for qualifying solar electricity property expenses and Section 45Q for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration.

Our representative clients and sectors

Wilson Sonsini draws on the experience of seasoned practitioners in areas where we have particular expertise, such as taxation, energy regulation, real estate, national security, technology licensing, business regulation and bankruptcy, to provide tailored legal solutions that align with our clients’ needs. Needs. We are frequently involved in novel transactions and have developed novel financing structures, many of which serve today as models for the financing of energy transition projects.

Wilson Sonsini’s Project Finance and Tax Equity team represents sponsors, investors, banks and other lenders and private equity firms in project finance, with a particular focus on the sectors of l clean energy and climate solutions, including:

  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Biomass
  • Biofuel
  • Geothermal
  • Energy Storage
  • Energetic efficiency
  • Carbon capture, use and sequestration
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure

In addition to pioneering financings of utility-scale wind and solar projects, we have developed some of the first project finance structures for assets in residential solar, energy storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicle charging and other industries focused on distributed energy resources. For example, we have completed the first project financings for the following clean energy innovators:

  • sunrun
  • SolarCity
  • Vivid Solar
  • Stem
  • Swell
  • Redaptive
  • Metrus Energy

We have also represented major active renewable energy producers such as Clearway, AES, Goldman Sachs Renewables Partners, Terra-Gen and TransAlta in tax equity and debt financings for their large-scale renewable energy projects .

In addition, our team regularly represents clients in the financing of other infrastructure projects based on innovative revenue structures, such as:

  • Transmission systems
  • Water efficiency improvements
  • Transport systems
  • Agriculture and reforestation projects
  • Water and waste treatment facilities

Because of our proven and unique ability to close energy transition deals, strategic investors, venture capitalists and major financial institutions turn to Wilson Sonsini lawyers for their general financial expertise and vast experience in all development, finance, acquisition and disposal aspects of clean energy and infrastructure projects. Our project finance and tax equity team has served as an external advisor to many of the leading financial institutions active in renewable energy finance, both with respect to debt and tax equity financings, including:

  • JP Morgan
  • Wells Fargo
  • Citibank
  • Siemens Financial Services
  • Societe Generale

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