June 25, 2022

Volume XII, Number 176

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June 24, 2022

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June 23, 2022

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Renewable Energy Summit 2022 – Renewable Energy in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest

Foley recently sponsored the eleventh annual Renewable Energy Summit in Madison, Wisconsin. The event’s 2022 theme was “All Roads Lead to Clean Energy.” Approximately 600 people attended the conference either in person or virtually. Attendees at the event included representatives from state and local government, including the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes, financial institutions, energy project developers and advisors, and renewable energy tech companies. Speakers at the event highlighted the convergence of methods, technologies, people, and scale at the intersection of Wisconsin’s energy transformation as larger solar and wind power projects ramp up across the state.

The summit convened renewable energy developers, equipment manufacturers, financing parties, consultants, advocates and policy makers to discuss recent developments in the renewable energy industry in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest, as this part of the country continues to see increased project development and attention.  Speakers continued to highlight the significant year-over-year growth of the renewables market in this region, particularly for utility-scale solar in Wisconsin.  Further, the summit highlighted the significant work happening in this region with respect to energy efficiency in the built environment through tools like Property Assessed Clean Energy (or PACE), as well as the upcoming wave of investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  See here and here for Foley’s recent highlights of these trends.

Foley associate BJ Dworak spoke on the panel, “Stacking Capital for Renewable Energy in Wisconsin”, alongside Timothy DenHerder-Thomas of Cooperative Energy Futures and Kurt Reinhold of Legacy Solar Co-op.  The session was moderated by Jason MacDuff of Greenpenny.  The panel discussed the importance of mitigating risk early and making a project more financeable from the beginning of its development.  Focusing on due diligence and ensuring the proper contracts are in place from the beginning will avoid the need to go back and fix issues flagged by financing parties down the road, which would inevitably add cost and delay.  The panel also discussed current issues facing the industry when it comes to financing projects.  Costs of systems and interest rates are both on the rise, and some lenders have responded by increasing terms to up to 20 years in order to make payments more tenable for borrowers.  Other issues include the availability and accessibility of tax credits.  The panel discussed evolving trends in financial institutions’ underwriting and due diligence processes, including in the community solar space and the importance of engaging all stakeholders in crafting of governmental policies.

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 41
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About this Author

R. Lynn Parins Energy Lawyer Foley
Senior Counsel

Lynn Parins is a senior counsel and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and Energy Industry Team. His practice focuses on the intersection of finance, real estate and renewable energy development, as he assists sponsors, developers and investors to navigate the project financing of predominantly solar, wind and other sustainability improvements to real property. Lynn has extensive experience leading clients through complex credit and project development structures for large...

608.258.4339
Bryan Dworak, Foley Lardner Law Firm, Finance and Energy Attorney
Associate

Bryan J. Dworak is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and Energy Industry Team.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Dworak served as a student attorney for the Duke Law Community Enterprise Clinic, as a judicial intern for the Honorable Stephani W. Humrickhouse, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and as a legal intern for the Wrongful Convictions Clinic at the Duke Center for Criminal Justice and Professional...

414-319-7211
Associate

Rikaela Greane is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and Energy Industry Team. Rikaela advises energy market participants on project finance, development and acquisitions, including for multiple utility-scale projects. She also assists clients with a range of energy project documents, including power purchase agreements, REC agreements and construction contracts.

Rikaela also has significant experience with state and federal energy...

608-258-4268
Sarita R. Olson Business Law and Finance Attorney Foley & Lardner Milwaukee, WI
Associate

Sarita (Sadie) Olson is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP in its Business Law and Finance Practice.

Prior to joining Foley, Sadie was a research assistant for Dean Joseph Kearney at Marquette University Law School. During law school, Sadie was a legal volunteer and Student Advisory Board member for the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and was inducted into the Pro Bono Society. She was also a member of the Marquette University Law Review, served on Marquette’s Moot Court Executive Board, and was a member of the 2018 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition winning team. In 2018...

414.297.5179
Hilary Vedvig, Environmental attorney, Foley Lardner
Associate

Hillary Vedvig is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is a member of the Environmental Regulation Practice.

Ms. Vedvig was a summer associate with Foley where she worked on environmental, real estate, insurance and renewable energy projects. She also worked during the prior two summers for the Ombudsperson Institute of Kosovo, Pristina, Kosovo, as a legal advisor and for the European Human Rights Advocacy Center, London, UK, as a legal intern.

608-258-4263
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