Solar Energy

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Baker Donelson's Solar Initiative is a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys and advisors who assist clients with any kind of solar-related issue. From new companies to large energy consumers, our attorneys are entrenched in the industry and are able to anticipate solar clients' needs.

New and Current Businesses

We help researchers and entrepreneurs with their renewable energy ideas, guiding them through funding and start-up issues all the way to business opening. We help investors to fund and leverage early- to mid-stage solar companies, and help raise capital through the sale of equity or debt. We also protect clients' ownership rights in patents, trademarks and other work product.

If clients are considering business expansion, we facilitate bank and other financing, and solve construction, land use and permitting issues as well as environmental regulations. For those businesses experiencing rapid growth, we offer advice to boards of directors and stockholders on growth and exit strategies, and work with investment bankers and other professionals to meet client needs.

We provide tax and regulatory advice on the use and sale of energy credits. We proactively work with insurers to assess and mitigate business risks, including the creation of tailored programs to meet clients' compliance needs.

Manufacturing and Technology

We guide component manufacturers through the tax maze, taking advantage of incentives and the unique state-level infrastructure found within our footprint so clients can have a competitive advantage on an international level. We advise on employment concerns, including policy manuals, training procedures and labor issues. For those who need it, we facilitate outsourcing and procurement of the latest technology.

Utilities and Consumers

We work with utility-scale and dedicated production facilities across the entire spectrum of real property, financing, tax, incentives, regulatory negotiations and construction issues involved in any significant solar project.

We work with large energy consumers and traditional companies who want to fold solar energy into their strategic expansions. And we help new solar companies that need additional/excess electrical capacity to power production of their alternative energy products.

Representative Matters

  • Advised Tennessee city for city-wide deployment of solar power production facilities, including land lease negotiations and equipment licensing for third-party equipment owners/installers.
  • Outside general counsel to solar panel installation companies serving both the residential and commercial sectors; have optimized tax benefits for solar installation projects, handled financing and corporate governance issues, and negotiated EPC agreements.
  • Drafted power purchase agreements and ground lease/equipment licenses for projects ranging from 22 kWh to 25 MW nationwide, including creation of long-term specialized transaction structures to comply with local regulatory, tax and incentive issues.
  • Counseled owners on solar installation equipment leases and power purchase agreements to assist owners in maximizing the value received.
  • Patent advisor for such inventions as a portable solar generator and a solar site evaluation apparatus.
  • Trademark advisor to Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based company Sunlight Direct.
  • Represented a company in the successful capital raise of several million dollars to fund research and solar panels development.
  • Negotiated and implemented government contracts.
  • Legal advisor to a number of entrepreneurs in the stages of forming and building solar-related businesses.
  • Assisted solar manufacturers in the arrangement of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3).