Overview

Join leading attorneys and industry experts in wind, solar and storage for two days of the latest developments affecting renewable energy in Texas and nationwide. The Renewable Energy Law Conference blends law, economics, technology, finance, tax and regulatory policy, and is aimed at industry participants, legal and financial advisors, and key legislative and regulatory policymakers and staff.
 
2016 highlights include:

  • Keith Martin, returns with a lively update on developments at the federal level affecting the renewable energy market.
  • A discussion on the controversial aspects of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan including its legal context, the compliance options it affords, its potential costs and benefits, its effect on the nation’s energy mix, and some of the practical and legal issues it raises.
  • Andy Bowman of Pioneer Green Energy, LLC explores the major shifts in the energy markets and how they are affecting Texas, during the Wednesday Luncheon Presentation.
  • Dan Woodfin, Director of System Operations for ERCOT, will discuss the proposed Future Ancillary Services framework, the driving factors for the change, the current state of the proposal, and its interaction with the future development of renewables in ERCOT
  • Case law and legislative updates from Texas and beyond that impact renewable energy policy
  • Networking opportunities with program faculty and attendees during Tuesday evening’s Networking Reception

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.
All times are Central Time Zone.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Tuesday Morning, Feb. 9, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Zeina El-Azzi, Blue Earth Inc. - Austin, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Registration
    Includes continental breakfast.

  • 8:50 am
    Welcoming

  • 9:00 am
    0.75 hr
    What's New With Federal Incentives
    A lively update on developments at the federal level affecting the renewable energy market. An unusually large number of issues of interest to independent generators are in play with the IRS, including the network upgrade payments to utilities to relieve grid congestion, prepaid power contracts, solar inverted leases, series LLCs, and targeted partnership allocations. Congress will have decided whether to give developers more time to start construction of new projects to qualify for production tax credits. The solar companies were pressing to convert their 2016 deadline to complete projects into one merely to start construction. What is the outlook for further extensions?  What issues are coming up in transactions?

    Keith Martin, Chadbourne & Parke LLP - Washington, DC

  • 9:45 am
    1.00 hr
    EPA Clean Power Plan Review
    With well over 4 million comments, EPA’s  Clean Power Plan is nothing if not controversial. Discuss some of the aspects of the plan that have made it so controversial including its legal context, its assumptions, the compliance options it affords, its potential costs and benefits, its effect on the nation’s energy mix, and some of  the practical and  legal issues it raises.

    Moderator:
    Jeff Civins, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Kathleen Spees, The Brattle Group - Cambridge, MA
    David B. Spence, The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX

  • 10:45 am
    Break

  • 11:00 am
    0.50 hr
    Current and Trending Environmental Issues for Wind Energy
    The landscape for wind energy is undergoing change on many fronts—some are generally believed to have a positive impact (such as the Clean Power Plan) and others are viewed as increasing risk and uncertainty (such as the status of permits for species impacts including birds and new requirements for noise impacts). Explore these and other trends in the industry.

    Lisa Montgomery Shelton, Andrews Kurth LLP - Austin, TX

  • 11:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Distributed Solar Models
    Explore the different regulatory and market models that have been utilized to implement distributed solar generation.

    Moderator:
    Tuan Pham, PowerFin Partners - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Karen Poff, Austin Energy - Austin, TX
    Maura Yates, MP2 Energy - Houston, TX

  • 12:15 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

  • Tuesday Afternoon, Feb. 9, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Brent Stahl, Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP - Austin, TX
  • Luncheon Presentation
  • Thank You to Our Luncheon Sponsor
    Andrews Kurth LLP

  • 12:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    The European Experience
    Review retroactive amendment of feed-in tariff guarantees in Spain, Italy, and other European states; domestic and international remedies for investors; and the implications for the renewable energy industry in North America and elsewhere. 

    Kevin D. Mohr, King & Spalding - Houston, TX

  • 1:05 pm
    Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.75 hr
    Water and Mineral Issues in Solar Development
    Discuss the California law perspective upon water and development interactions, focusing on the issues of securing water rights for solar development, as well as the impacts of severance of rights. Issues related to the potential conflicts and resolutions between solar development and mineral rights and activity in Texas will also be discussed.

    Gregory S. Friend, Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP - Austin, TX
    Kristen Castaños, Stoel Rives LLP - Sacramento, CA

  • 2:05 pm
    0.75 hr
    Policy Updates, Texas and Beyond
    Explore how Texas and other states are treating renewable energy policy and what factors are driving their decisions.

    Charlie Hemmeline, Texas Solar Power Association - Austin, TX
    J. Christopher Hughes, Husch Blackwell LLP - Austin, TX
    Susan Williams Sloan, American Wind Energy Association - Austin, TX

  • 2:50 pm
    1.00 hr
    Transmission Development for Renewable Energy
    Learn about the current issues in electric transmission related to the development and operation of renewable energy projects. With a review of the renewable development forecast, transmission planning, cost allocation, congestion, state regulatory decisions,  federal energy policy and market drivers.

    Bill Bojorquez, Hunt Transmission Services, LLC - Dallas, TX
    Cary J. Kottler, Clean Line Energy Partners LLC - Houston, TX
    Warren Lasher, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. - Austin, TX

  • 3:50 pm
    Break

  • 4:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Future Ancillary Services in the ERCOT Market
    ERCOT has proposed a major change to the current 1990s-era ancillary services framework to meet evolving system needs and facilitate the use of new types of resources to meet those needs efficiently using market-based tools. Discuss the proposed Future Ancillary Services framework, the driving factors for the change, the current state of the proposal, and its interaction with the future development of renewables in ERCOT.

    Dan Woodfin, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. - Taylor, TX

  • 4:30 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Here But For the Grace of God Go You: Why the Texas Lawyer's Creed Matters to You
    Learn how to be the opposing counsel your profession needs without compromising your ethical duties to your client—an autobiography of 4 family deaths in 11 months.
     

    Mark McPherson, Attorney at Law - Dallas, TX

  • 5:15 pm
    Adjourn to Reception
    Thank You to Our Reception Sponsor

    Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria, LLP 

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Wednesday Morning, Feb. 10, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Susan Williams Sloan, American Wind Energy Association - Austin, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Conference Room Opens
    Includes continental breakfast.

  • 8:30 am
    1.25 hrs
    Trends in Buying and Selling Renewable Energy:  Commercial, Industrial, and Wholesale Transactions
    The market for the purchase and sale of renewable energy is constantly evolving, as new customers and transaction structures become more prominent.  Review the role of long-term structured PPAs and hedges in the procurement of renewables by investor owned, municipal and regional utilities. Examine the growing importance of commercial and industrial (C&I) demand for renewable energy from both offsite and on-site sources. 

    Moderators:
    William H. Holmes, K&L Gates LLP - Portland, OR
    Shalini Ramanathan, RES Americas - Austin, TX
    Panelist:
    Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy an EDF RE Company - Brooklyn, NY
    Andrew Dickson, Duke Energy Renewables - Austin, TX

  • 9:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Yieldcos Update
    An update on how yieldco structures are being used to finance renewable energy projects. Discuss yieldco effects on project values and consolidation, legal and tax issues, and whether cost of capital and interest rate trends will impact the use of yieldcos. 

    Moderator:
    Robert Sternthal, CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities, LLC - New York, NY
    Panelists:
    Terence Grant, Marathon Capital, LLC - San Francisco, CA
    E. Ramey Layne, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Houston, TX

  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Improving the Marketability of Your Project: Tips and Pitfalls
    Beyond the economics of a project, there are key contractual and development issues that will be analyzed during the due diligence process. Gain insight into how lawyers review and evaluate project documents, tips on how to best showcase your renewable energy project, and examples of potential pitfalls that an investor or buyer is trying to avoid.  
    This presentation has moved to Wednesday at 2:50 p.m.

    Becky H. Diffen, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Austin, TX
    Materials By:
    Megan Ceder, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Houston, TX

  • 11:30 am
    Pick Up Lunch

  • Wednesday Afternoon, Feb. 10, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Charlie Hemmeline, Texas Solar Power Association - Austin, TX
  • Luncheon Presentation
  • Thank You to Our Luncheon Sponsor
    Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

  • 11:50 am
    0.75 hr
    Texas’ Transforming Energy Market: Big Changes Underway
    Major shifts in energy markets—historic and persistent low natural gas prices, relentless drops in the price of solar generation and the steady march forward of wind in high resource areas—are transforming the energy space worldwide and here in Texas. Explore how these shifts are each affecting Texas today, what challenges and opportunities they present and what we can expect in the near future.

    Andy Bowman, Pioneer Green Energy, LLC - Austin, TX

  • 12:35 pm
    Break

  • 12:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Renewable Energy Case Law Update 
    Review recent court decisions involving renewable energy.

    Jacob P. Arechiga, Jackson Walker L.L.P. - Austin, TX

  • 1:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Texas Property Tax Incentives
    A review of Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code dealing with value limitation agreements, including failed legislation, the new form agreement, and rules. Briefly discuss Chapters 312, 380 and 381 of the Local Government Code.

    Renn G. Neilson, Baker Botts L.L.P - Houston, TX
    Robert Wood, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Austin, TX

  • 1:50 pm
    1.00 hr
    Islanding the Grid - Getting to 100%
    Islanding the grid is dynamically disaggregating the grid to eliminate cascading failures while maintaining power to everyone. As a country, we are at the beginning of being able to see how and why to have such a capability. Explore challenges of cost, regulations, and technology, but also technical benefits in reliability in critical infrastructure protection and financial benefits from minimization of failure related opportunity costs.
     

    Jeffrey Mikulina, Blue Planet Foundation - Honolulu, HI
    Gene Preston, IEEE - Austin, TX

  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Ethics of Negotiation: Are You Smarter than a First-Year Associate? (Part 2)
    When it comes to ethics in negotiations, it's anything but anything-goes. Could a tiny white lie here and a teeny puffing there mean the difference between getting the deal done and getting disbarred? These questions and more are answered. Are you smarter than a first-year associate?
    This presentation has moved to Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.

    Wilson Chu, McDermott Will & Emery - Dallas, TX
    Barrett R. Howell, K&L Gates LLP - Dallas, TX

  • 3:35 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Jacob P. Arechiga

Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Austin, TX

Bill Bojorquez

Hunt Transmission Services, LLC
Dallas, TX

Andy Bowman

Pioneer Green Energy, LLC
Austin, TX

Kristen Castaños

Stoel Rives LLP
Sacramento, CA

Megan Ceder

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Houston, TX

Wilson Chu

McDermott Will & Emery
Dallas, TX

Jeff Civins

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Austin, TX

Andrew Dickson

Duke Energy Renewables
Austin, TX

Becky H. Diffen

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Austin, TX

Gregory S. Friend

Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP
Austin, TX

Terence Grant

Marathon Capital, LLC
San Francisco, CA

Charlie Hemmeline

Texas Solar Power Association
Austin, TX

William H. Holmes

K&L Gates LLP
Portland, OR

Barrett R. Howell

K&L Gates LLP
Dallas, TX

J. Christopher Hughes

Husch Blackwell LLP
Austin, TX

Cary J. Kottler

Clean Line Energy Partners LLC
Houston, TX

Warren Lasher

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.
Austin, TX

E. Ramey Layne

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Houston, TX

Keith Martin

Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Washington, DC

Mark McPherson

Attorney at Law
Dallas, TX

Jeffrey Mikulina

Blue Planet Foundation
Honolulu, HI

Kevin D. Mohr

King & Spalding
Houston, TX

Renn G. Neilson

Baker Botts L.L.P
Houston, TX

Tuan Pham

PowerFin Partners
Austin, TX

Karen Poff

Austin Energy
Austin, TX

Gene Preston

IEEE
Austin, TX

Shalini Ramanathan

RES Americas
Austin, TX

Lisa Montgomery Shelton

Andrews Kurth LLP
Austin, TX

Susan Williams Sloan

American Wind Energy Association
Austin, TX

Kathleen Spees

The Brattle Group
Cambridge, MA

David B. Spence

The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Robert Sternthal

CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities, LLC
New York, NY

Jacob Susman

OwnEnergy an EDF RE Company
Brooklyn, NY

Robert Wood

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Austin, TX

Dan Woodfin

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.
Taylor, TX

Maura Yates

MP2 Energy
Houston, TX

Planning Committee

Zeina El-Azzi—Co-Chair

Blue Earth Inc.
Austin, TX

Brent Stahl—Co-Chair

Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP
Austin, TX

Steven Baron

Baron Consulting and Legal Services
Austin, TX

Lisa Chavarria

Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP
Austin, TX

Becky H. Diffen

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Austin, TX

Sarah Christine Fernandez

E.On Climate & Renewables
Chicago, IL

Gregory S. Friend

Stahl, Bernal, Davies, Sewell & Chavarria LLP
Austin, TX

Michael G. Grable

Lone Star Transmission, LLC
Austin, TX

Richard Gruber

Thirdpath Advisors, LLC
Austin, TX

Ann A. Hawkins

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Houston, TX

Charlie Hemmeline

Texas Solar Power Association
Austin, TX

William H. Holmes

K&L Gates LLP
Portland, OR

Monty Humble

Brightman Energy LLC
Austin, TX

Michael J. Jewell

Stratus Energy Group
Austin, TX

Byron Kentor

SunPower Corporation
Austin, TX

Stephen Krebs

OwnEnergy
Houston, TX

Tim N. Libson

Trintek Energy Consulting, Inc.
Austin, TX

Diana M. Liebmann

Haynes and Boone, LLP
San Antonio, TX

Bonnie McMurtry

Andrews Kurth LLP
Houston, TX

Mark Sanders

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association
Austin, TX

Susan Williams Sloan

American Wind Energy Association
Austin, TX

Gregory J. Smith

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Randy Sowell

Lionshare Advisory Services
McCamey, TX

Lacey Watson

Husch Blackwell, LLP
Austin, TX

Adam Wenner

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Washington, DC

Roderick E. Wetsel

Wetsel, Carmichael & Allen, LLP
Sweetwater, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
A Texas MCLE Reporting Form will be included in your course materials. Please complete and return to the registration desk and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas, or you can self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the conference to keep for your records.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state before taking the program to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
UT Law CLE conferences are considered "qualifying" courses, not certified by TDI. Such qualifying courses may be used for credit.

Qualifying courses are insurance courses that are: (A) offered for credit by accredited colleges, universities, or law schools; or (B) part of a national designation certification program; or (C) approved for classroom, classroom equivalent, or participatory credit by the continuing education approval authority of a state bar association or state board of public accountancy; or (D) certified or approved for continuing education credit under the guidelines of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

Continuing Education Credit Information for Agents and Adjusters

Agent/Adjuster Continuing Education Forms
 
This course will qualify for self-reporting credits with PELS (TX Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors) - please see the education form log below to keep track of your credits in the case of an audit. When you select this credit type in the webcast, you will receive a downloadable Certificate of Attendance with date and course information for your records.

https://pels.texas.gov/downloads/TBPE_CEP_Log.pdf
https://www.trec.texas.gov/sites/default/files/pdf-forms/CE_CLE-0.pdf

Use this link to obtain the TREC MCE form for self-reporting your TREC credit.  UT Law CLE will provide a Certificate of Attendance at the conference.

Key Dates

Austin – Feb 9-10, 2016 – Radisson Hotel and Suites, Austin-Downtown
Conference Concluded
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Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Feb 3, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Feb 3, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Feb 3, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Feb 3, 2016

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Feb 5, 2016

Venue

speaker

111 E. Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX
512.478.9611 (reservations)

Accommodations

$179 room rate good through January 8, 2016 (subject to availability). 
Reserve your room online
 

Parking Information

Daily Self-Parking:  $3
Overnight Self-Parking: $8
Daily Valet Parking:  $26

Our Sponsors

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