The Energy and Project Finance Group at Bingham has significant experience in all aspects of the development, financing, operation and acquisition, and disposition of major energy, clean-technology, infrastructure and other projects that are financed on a non-recourse or limited recourse basis. We have closed hundreds of transactions involving power projects and other industrial and infrastructure facilities with an aggregate value in excess of $40 billion. Our lawyers advise banks, financial institutions, project sponsors, governmental entities, equity investors, infrastructure funds, and multilateral and bilateral agencies in a wide variety of complex financing structures.
We have deep and experienced multidisciplinary teams that provide every kind of legal support and service necessary to develop, construct, finance, purchase or sell major projects of all types. We can provide experienced legal advice on all stages of a project, from site identification, permitting and environmental issues to the development and finance of a project to a sale of the project or, if required, financial restructuring.
Bingham’s Energy and Project Finance Group has been recognized over the years for its industry achievements. Most recently, lawyers in our group represented Astoria Energy II in connection with the gas-fired electric generation facility in New York City, which was named 2009 Americas Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance International (January 2010). Our group also represented GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) on the Noble NY II Wind transaction, and Energy Investors Funds (EIF) and Kleen Energy Systems, LLC on the Kleen transaction, both of which were named 2008 Deals of the Year by ProjectFinance (March 2009). The Noble NY II Wind transaction also was named as a 2008 Best Renewables Deal by Power Finance & Risk (April 2009) and 2008 Americas Renewables Deal of the Year by Project Finance International (December 2008).
Our team was recognized for participating in two 2007 Deals of the Year by ProjectFinance for its representation of GE EFS on the Noble NY Wind transaction and its representation of EIF on the Calypso transaction. The Noble Wind deal also was named 2007 Americas Environmental Deal of the Year by Project Finance International. The group has also been recognized for its work on the Astoria Energy project, named as the 2004 Deal of The Year by both Project Finance International Yearbook 2005 and ProjectFinance (March 2005). The group was also named to the Top 10 Legal Advisers of North American Project Finance Deals, July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004 (Project Finance Yearbook 2004), and the Top 20 Legal Advisers of Renewable Project Finance Deals, July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004 (Global Power Report 2004).
Broad Transactional Experience
Transactions have involved acquisitions and dispositions of operating project assets (including power plants and multistate, integrated pipelines), leveraged and cross-border leases, portfolio sales, Rule 144A and high yield debt offerings, project and tax-exempt bonds, minority interest financings, mini-perms and conduit structures. The group also works with related practice areas throughout the firm to help clients resolve legal and business issues quickly, creatively and cost-effectively.
Lawyers in the group have represented clients in connection with virtually every kind of power project. They are now assisting project sponsors and financiers in developing innovative structures for new generation and transmission facilities and in restructuring projects throughout the United States. Their assignments have included greenfield developments, competitive bids and acquisition financings. We also represent power technology development firms and hosts in connection with a wide range of alternative energy, environmental and information systems applications and distributed generation projects.
The group has also represented clients in connection with a broad range of non-power projects, including petrochemical, water, wastewater, solid waste and other industrial and infrastructure facilities. Additionally, Bingham lawyers have assisted project sponsors and governmental entities with respect to U.S. public-private partnerships and privatizations related to energy savings arrangements, transportation, water/wastewater treatment and waste processing facilities.
Lawyers in the Energy and Project Finance Group have significant experience in the development, siting, permitting, construction, financing, operation, divestiture and acquisition of wind power, solar power, bio fuels and other renewable energy projects in the United States and abroad. This includes full regulatory, tax, land use, real estate and environmental capabilities on behalf of project sponsors, owners, tax and strategic investors and lenders.
We have represented clients in connection with the negotiation and documentation of:
- Ownership and financing structures designed to take advantage of production tax credit, tax incentives and grants associated with renewable energy projects
- Project development and construction
- Acquisitions and divestitures
- Debt and equity financing
- Joint development agreements
- Real property rights, royalties, environmental assessments, risks and remediation
- Federal, state and local regulatory and permitting issues
- Federal and state energy regulation and exemption, market-entry, and FERC acquisition and portfolio compliance requirements
- Joint ventures
- Equipment supply and turnkey design, engineering and construction contracts
- Power purchase and energy hedge agreements
- Warranty, operation and maintenance, and facility management agreements
- Interconnection and transmission agreements
- Special regulatory issues relating to renewable energy facilities
- Fund financings of multinational projects
- Equipment finance
- Equity and corporate structuring
- Project documentation and structuring
- Tax credits and tax credit transactions
Significant International Experience
In the international arena, lawyers in the group have worked on projects and structured transactions around the world. They have advised both U.S. and international clients regarding transactions in Europe, Asia and Africa and have extensive experience in Latin American countries, particularly Brazil and Mexico. Bingham lawyers who are fluent in Portuguese and Spanish assist in negotiating and drafting documents in these transactions. Their international project work has included due diligence investigations of generation and distribution assets sold in privatizations and private transactions.
In addition, our lawyers have assisted project lenders and sponsors in evaluating financing risks associated with electric and natural gas deregulation, re-regulation and utility insolvencies. They have provided regulatory advice in connection with asset and corporate acquisitions and reorganizations, electric and gas rate-making and market conduct issues, ISOs and RTOs, holding company strategies (including exemptions and registration) and power sales, trading and tolling agreements. Lawyers in the group have participated in major federal and state regulatory proceedings involving generators, transmitters, natural gas suppliers, power marketers and traditional utilities. The group’s lawyers have served on staff or in appointed positions with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Real Estate Project Development
Bingham lawyers can provide every kind of legal support and service necessary to develop, construct and finance real estate projects, brownfields projects and projects involving military bases. The firm's strengths in environmental, land use and real estate, combined with the project development and financing skills of the Energy and Project Finance Group, enable us to advise on the entire range of issues involved in the development of these projects. Please see our Real Estate Project Development Practice page for more information.
The Energy and Project Finance Group also works with related practice areas throughout the firm to help clients resolve legal and business issues quickly, creatively and cost-effectively. Our strengths in these practice areas enable us to offer our clients significant experience in all areas over the life of a project, from the initial development efforts through project permitting, contract formation and financing and subsequent events such as an acquisition, sale or restructuring. Some of these related practice areas are described below.
Environmental. Our environmental lawyers frequently assist with environmental due diligence and permitting issues with respect to projects. Bingham maintains one of the largest environmental practices in the nation, with over 75 lawyers who focus on environmental law.
Real Estate. Our Real Estate Group provides assistance on a broad range of real estate-related project issues, including the acquisition, construction and financing of real estate used for projects.
Land Use. Our land use lawyers frequently assist with due diligence and documentation of complex project approvals and development agreements, and have extensive experience in this area that includes working on more than 1,000 projects across the country. We play an active role in obtaining land use entitlements for our clients’ projects. Sophisticated clients recognize that our involvement in discussions with public entities and potentially adverse citizens’ groups leads to identification of preventive measures and resolution of issues that might otherwise create costly development delays and litigation.
Financial Restructuring. Through our Financial Restructuring Group we operate one of the world's leading restructuring and insolvency practices. This experience, combined with our work on the development and financing of projects, enables us to provide representation in connection with debt restructurings involving project entities. In addition to representing debtors and creditors and creditor committees in bankruptcy cases and workouts, we regularly provide advice to project participants in connection with the acquisition of assets from troubled companies and vendors and customers dealing with troubled companies. For more information regarding our experience in connection with project restructurings and workouts, please click on the left hand column above for “Project Restructuring.”
Construction and Project Finance Litigation. We work closely with our Construction and Project Finance Litigation Group both to implement effective and innovative solutions that keep projects moving forward and to negotiate, mediate and when necessary litigate disputes. Our Construction and Project Finance Litigation Group combines first-hand knowledge of construction and project finance with extensive negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and trial experience.