Preti Flaherty offers the First Light program to support and commercialize solar energy by helping solar start-ups, existing solar companies, communities, and citizen groups develop solar projects or utilize solar energy. Through this program, our attorneys will help you understand and navigate the legal, regulatory, policy, and market challenges and opportunities involved with harnessing the power of the sun.
What Will Preti Flaherty’s First Light Do for You?
If you are a start-up or a small business in New England, Preti Flaherty will offer its Preti Launch Pad services to you, followed by a face-to-face meeting with one or more of the firm’s energy attorneys to discuss your solar idea, for up to 4 hours, free of charge. The meeting will provide you with a detailed introduction to the legal, regulatory, legislative, and market frameworks within which a solar project must be developed. Depending on your solar idea, topics may include:
- Business Formation and Consulting – We help our renewable energy clients form business entities and develop solid business plans to help them achieve their growth objectives.
- Community Solar – We advise our clients on shared ownership net energy billing arrangements, as well as community solar project development and operation.
- Permitting and Regulatory Issues – We advise our clients on matters including grid interconnection, net metering, tariffs, community solar, and renewable portfolio standard qualification.
- Power Purchase Agreements, Leases, and Alternative Structures – We prepare, negotiate and secure commitments to buy energy, capacity, and renewable energy credits from our clients’ renewable energy projects, as well as solar equipment leases and alternative business structures for project development.
- Renewable Energy Project Finance – We work with traditional lenders and alternative sources of capital such as VC funds to finance projects, as well as secure federal, state, and local funds for renewable and energy efficiency projects.
- Real Estate and Lease Agreements – We negotiate and draft documents fostering mutual benefits among project developers, landowners, and community stakeholders.
- Energy Policy Analysis – We help clients understand, navigate, and shape regional and federal energy policy related to renewable resources, energy efficiency, and demand response, grid modernization, and storage.
- Project Acquisition, Operation and Sale – We develop strategies for implementing due diligence, acquisition, operation and sale of renewable energy facilities.
Preti Flaherty believes that solar may offer more technical, environmental, and economic potential than any other resource. We routinely advise our clients on renewable energy matters, but we perceive today as a critical inflection point for solar in particular. The reasons are fairly clear: sunlight is ubiquitous; large central station generators and transmission lines are harder to permit; the grid is becoming “smarter” and empowering consumer choice and behavioral change; climate change is a real threat; and solar technologies are rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient.
Perhaps this is why no disruptive energy technology has incited in recent years greater recalcitrance from some utilities than solar. Across the country, utility- and oil-backed groups have waged strategic campaigns to “kill or control” solar. Not all utilities, however, have resisted, and in fact some have embraced solar in a genuine attempt to become 21st century utilities: acting as platforms to connect and enable solar, efficiency, and consumer behavioral change, as better alternatives to always building more wires and selling more electricity.
Why Preti Flaherty?
From our roots in New England, Preti Flaherty’s First Light team has national experience in energy and environmental policy, electric grid interconnection, energy project siting and approvals, electric rate and tariff negotiation and litigation, net metering and behind-the-meter independent power production, and energy project finance, as well as maximizing the value of environmental attributes, like renewable energy certificates, and renewable energy tax incentives or credits.
Preti Flaherty’s energy group was formed in 1980 in response to a specific circumstance: utilities were discriminating against independent power producers and renewable energy generators by preferring their own generators. Through the days of PURPA, Preti attorneys established national precedent on fair interconnection rights, avoided cost contracts, behind-the-meter generation, discriminatory stand-by rates and exit fees, and demand response. Our attorneys have helped restructure the energy industry, establish RTOs, and reform energy and capacity markets—all to help clients overcome utility resistance, regulatory uncertainty or inertia, political indifference, and other obstacles to commercializing their renewable energy ideas and providing revenue security.
This experience – coupled with our ongoing work on climate policy and renewable energy – makes Preti Flaherty uniquely qualified to offer the First Light program to connect people, businesses, and institutions with solar energy.