Renewable Energy Attorney in Houston, Texas
Texas has longstanding legislation (SB20 2005) that sets a goal for the state to obtain 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. As part of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the Texas legislature set a goal for the installation of renewable energy technology in the state of 10,000 megawatts (MW) by 2025. The legislature also set a target for 500 MW of non-wind renewables.
In addition, the current administration in Washington, D.C. is aggressively pushing for the creation of non-fossil-fuel energy alternatives and offering various incentives through its Inflation Reduction Act and other laws and regulations.
The need for reliable renewable energy sources was brought home in the winter of 2021 when a storm created power outages. Wind turbines became frozen, and even natural gas power generation was disrupted, affecting as many as 5 million Texas homes.
If you are looking to get involved in the Renewable Energy Industry or already are in or around Houston, Texas, contact me with all your legal questions at Deborah Hubbs, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC.
I have worked in multiple oil and gas basins in the Lower 48 and multiple foreign jurisdictions. I am the co-author of Land and Leasing published by the University of Texas Petroleum Extension. I have roots in the power industry, and as an attorney, I understand all its legal ramifications.
My firm proudly serves clients in Houston, Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County, Texas.
Renewable Energy in Texas
According to the Texas Comptroller, Texas leads the nation in energy production and energy consumption. In 2021, the Lone Star State produced more energy than any other state, amounting to almost 12 percent of the nation’s total production. In addition, Texas that year was the largest producer of oil at 43 percent, natural gas at 25 percent, and wind-powered electricity at 26 percent.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s electric grid operator, oversees an electricity infrastructure comprised of more than 1,030 generating units and about 53,000 miles of transmission lines. The challenge that ERCOT and the state face is that electricity is hard to store, so it must be generated in anticipation of demand.
Both solar and wind power are subject to the whim of Mother Nature. Solar power generation tends to peak in the afternoon, and wind power in the evening and early morning.
In addition to leading the nation in a wind-powered generation, Texas is also a leader in solar power due to its vast and diverse geography. However, due to the need to expand the transmission grid, ERCOT often asks both wind and solar suppliers of electricity to shorten production when generation exceeds transmission capacity.
Specific Matters that I Focus On
The Renewal Energy Industry is growing, with incentives from state and federal authorities, and new needs arising because of global conditions, including the current war in Ukraine, which has strained Europe’s ability to produce or obtain energy.
As mentioned earlier, I have my roots in the energy industry, and I represent investors, developers, entrepreneurs, independent producers, venture capital, and private equity firms in matters involving renewable energy.
In regulatory matters, Texas has created a Renewable Energy Credit Program. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are available based on the verified total production of a megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy and more in increments.
A microgenerator is an entity that produces less than one MWh of energy. An aggregator is one that produces two or more MWhs. Both are required to register with and be overseen by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) as well as ERCOT. I can help with registering and complying with these two government bodies.
On top of regulatory concerns, there are also land use and permitting challenges. You may find a piece of land for your new generating source, whether wind, solar, geothermal, cogeneration, or other, but local zoning laws may pose an obstacle. There are also permitting issues.
Moreover, financing can also become a roadblock. I can help with enterprise and venture structuring to put all the monetary pieces in place so your project can move forward. You will also face contracts for engineering, design, and operations. You will want to make sure those contracts project all your best interests and your rights as well. From my experience, I can compose or review any contract to ensure that you are properly protected, and your goals are being honored.
You may be looking at a merger or acquisition (M&A) to enter or expand your presence in the industry. I also have experience in overseeing M&A, where matters can become complicated. Let me examine or create your binding documents, including your letter of intent and purchase agreement, whether you are the acquirer or target company.
Furthermore, you will need to comply with state and federal energy regulations and also with the IRS. In fact, under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which was really an energy bill, new tax standards have been enacted.
Dispute Resolution and Litigation in the Industry
Inevitably, disputes will arise over contracts and other issues once a business is in operation, even in the Renewable Energy Industry. As an experienced Renewable Energy Attorney, I can help you resolve disputes and if necessary, represent you and your interests in any ensuing legal confrontation.
Renewable Energy Attorney Serving Houston, Texas
At Deborah Hubbs, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC, I have experience in all matters related to business law, coupled with my background in the energy industry. I am well prepared to aid you with all your concerns and needs in the Renewable Energy Industry. If you’re in or around Houston, Texas, reach out immediately with whatever goal or issue you have. I’ll be there to help you chart the best path forward in this emerging and exciting industry.