Creighton Boggs and I were part of a skills session on drafting and negotiating Power Purchase Agreements at the Energy Bar Association 2019 Mid-year Energy Forum last Wednesday, October 16, at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Washington, DC. This two-day conference of lawyers and law professionals was a discussion of a wide range of issues from climate change to utility operations and legal topics.
On the second day, along with the other panelists, we joined in an interactive approach to training lawyers how to negotiate a distributed energy power purchase agreement (PPA). During the first part of the session we role-played as attorneys and clients to set the stage for a PPA negotiation, including a discussion of transactional terms and an overview of fundamental motivations behind the PPA instrument, such as the customer’s ability to avoid capital commitments and the developers ability to qualify for preferred tax treatment. The panel then walked through a term sheet with the audience using a Q&A approach to go through the key provisions of the PPA from the perspective of a developer and a customer, and, finally, focused on a few key PPA terms, comparing customer-friendly provisions to developer-friendly ones to provide participants with the background necessary to negotiate a distributed energy PPA.
This turned out to be a great session, with plenty of audience engagement and participation. We noted the increasing presence of junior attorneys in the panels over the two days, indicating that this part of the law is a good gateway for young practitioners looking to have a career path to a growing industry practice. If you are interested in more on the sessions, you can try looking for #EBA19EnergyForum in your favorite social channels.
As always, should you have any questions about energy regulation, energy resource development or other legal matters, you can call any of our energy lawyers to chat.