April 12, 2021

Volume XI, Number 102

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April 09, 2021

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Clean Energy Stands to Win Big with Biden Administration’s Proposed Infrastructure Plan

On March 31, 2021, President Biden released his $2 trillion infrastructure plan (the “Infrastructure Plan”) intended to target grid modernization, energy efficiency, and renewable energy development as part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to achieve a net-zero emissions power sector by 2035, and net-zero economy by 2050. In response to the recent Texas power crisis, the Infrastructure Plan proposes a $100 billion investment to modernize the electric grid with at least 20 GW of high-voltage capacity power lines. The Biden Administration also proposes creation of a Grid Deployment Authority at the Department of Energy to leverage existing rights-of-way and support creative financing tools to encourage high-voltage transmission lines.

The Infrastructure Plan proposes a 10-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. The Biden Administration also proposes creation of an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) aimed at cutting electricity bills and electricity pollution, increasing competition in the market, incentivizing efficient use of existing infrastructure, and leveraging the carbon-free energy provided by nuclear and hydropower resources. Electric vehicle (EV) development is a key aspect of the plan, with an investment of $174 billion toward building a network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, replacing 50,000 diesel transit vehicles, and electrifying at least 20 percent of the school bus fleet.

Environmental justice issues remain at the forefront of the Biden Administration’s agenda, with the Infrastructure Plan proposing a $5 billion investment in remediation and redevelopment of Brownfield and Superfund sites in disadvantaged communities. Consistent with this effort, the Infrastructure Plan proposes a $10 billion investment in public land and water conservation, community resilience, and advancing environmental justice through a new Civilian Climate Corps. The Infrastructure Plan also calls for retrofitting residential, commercial, and municipal buildings to be energy efficient and electrified and a $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources and clean transportation. The Administration hopes to stimulate the fossil-fuel industry workforce by allocating $16 billion toward plugging orphan oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines.

Building on the themes from President Biden’s clean energy plan, he is calling for a $35 billion investment in climate and innovation research and development. This effort includes launching ARPA-C to develop new methods for reducing emissions and building climate resilience, a $5 billion increase in funding for other climate-focused research, and $15 billion in demonstration projects such as utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, EVs, floating offshore wind, and biofuel products.

The Infrastructure Plan faces Congressional hurdles and lengthy debate in the coming months.

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©2021 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 98
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Andrew Kaplan Energy Attorney
Partner

Andrew Kaplan focuses his practice on providers of energy storage, demand response, ancillary services, and electricity and gas transmission and supply, both in the wholesale and retail markets. He regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, SPP and ERCOT), and many state public utility commissions. Andrew has won significant rulings before FERC that helped to pave the way for growth among leaders in the energy storage industry....

617-488-8104
Jared S. des Rosiers energy attorney Pierce Atwood
Partner

Jared des Rosiers' practice focuses on complex energy regulatory, infrastructure development and siting, and litigation matters before the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and state and federal courts around the country.

In each case, Jared strives to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for success in collaboration with his clients and then to efficiently implement that plan through advocacy, negotiation and creativity.  When litigation is necessary, Jared uses discovery, witness preparation, motion practice, and trial, as...

(207) 791-1390
Kayla Grant  energy regulatory attorney Portland ME
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Kayla Grant is an experienced energy regulatory attorney with a strong interest in energy policy and regulation. Kayla capitalizes on her prior experience as an attorney advisor to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) administrative law judges to advocate for clients in utility ratemaking and electric transmission matters. This includes advising clients on issues related to FERC jurisdiction, cost-of-service and formula transmission rates, electric utility tariffs, and RTO/ISO markets. Kayla also assists clients with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability...

207-791-1228
Paul Connolly Energy Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm
Special Counsel

Paul Connolly serves as special counsel in Pierce Atwood's Energy Practice Group. He has a unique background in energy and utility law that includes experience in the public sector as well as the private sector as in-house and outside counsel. This experience in all aspects of energy and utility law provides significant benefits to Paul's clients as they navigate the regulatory and permitting process.

Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Paul was the Vice President and General Counsel for Iberdrola USA, Inc. (formerly Energy East Corporation and now AVANGRID). Earlier in his career, Paul...

617.488.8126
Valerie L. Green Pierce Atwood Partner DC  Energy Energy Infrastructure Project Development  Finance Litigation
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Valerie Green focuses her practice on natural gas, electricity, renewable energy, and regulatory and compliance issues involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other administrative agencies. Clients rely on Valerie’s responsiveness, attention to detail, and deep knowledge of regulatory process and precedent in proceedings involving administrative litigation, compliance audits and investigations, and in appellate litigation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Valerie’s focus on coalition and consensus building in situations involving...

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