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Energy Strategies

Tribal, Municipal and Other Governmental Energy Development

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Godfrey & Kahn assists government entities with developing and implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies.

The combination of Godfrey & Kahn’s strong working relationships and experience in the state and local governmental and Indian Nations space, along with our deep renewable energy experience, allows us to provide valuable counsel to state, municipal and Native American governmental clients addressing clean energy and sustainability issues.

Our Energy Strategies Practice Group has advised the state of Wisconsin and Wisconsin agencies on critical clean energy policy matters. We have also assisted state and local entities in the development of renewable energy and large energy efficiency projects.

Our renewable energy engagements on behalf of Native American governmental entities have generated especially significant economic environmental and energy benefits. We have worked with Indian tribes on the development of renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, biomass and biogas energy facilities, large energy efficiency installations and with purchases of renewable energy credits and green power.

We have helped Indian tribes successfully apply for competitive U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other grants for use in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities and have combined those incentives with renewable energy tax credits and other incentives to dramatically lower the cost of these green energy projects. In many cases, this has allowed our tribal clients to build projects with no upfront capital expenses and significant energy cost savings. We have also assisted our Indian Nations clients in the evaluation and development of alternative energy investment opportunities, both on reservations and elsewhere.

Jon Anderson

Anderson, Jon E.

Shareholder
Madison
608.284.2610608.284.2610
John Clancy

Clancy, John L.

Shareholder
Madison
414.287.9256414.287.9256
Brian Pierson

Pierson, Brian L.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9456414.287.9456
Sarah Schenck

Schenck, Sarah R.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9694414.287.9694
Lynelle John

John, Lynelle R.

Paralegal
Milwaukee
414.287.9632414.287.9632

Representative Experience

Tribal Energy Development

Bio-Digester Construction
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in the construction of a bio-digester on land adjacent to the tribe’s hotel/casino. The bio-digester processes food waste to produce a gas that is burned to produce fuel for a 2 MW generator facility. The successful strategy included obtaining a $2.8 million competitive DOE grant and combining the grant funds with renewable energy tax credits as well as other state and federal funding to significantly lower the cost of the project.

Carbon Footprint Assessment
Godfrey & Kahn represented a federally recognized tribe in a confidential matter to provide an assessment of the tribe’s energy and carbon footprint, generated by human activities at all of its facilities and mobile sources, and then made recommendations for reducing their footprint through a combination of conservation, capital improvements and renewable energy strategies.

Community-Scale and Government Building Solar Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in the construction of a 1 megawatt, community scale solar project servicing over a dozen tribal government buildings on the Tribe’s reservation and on urban tribal trust lands. The successful strategy included obtaining a competitive $1.4 million DOE grant and enlisting investors to combine grant funds with renewable energy tax credits and short term energy cost savings to cover the entire cost of the project.

Community-Scale Solar Facility Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in the installation of over 600 kilowatt (kW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) community-scale solar facilities that will create eleven jobs and provide clean energy to numerous low income tribal members’ residences and buildings on the tribe’s reservation. The successful strategy included obtaining a $1 million competitive DOE and enlisting an investor to combine grant funds with renewable energy tax credits and funds advanced against the short-term energy savings to finance the entire project cost.

Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Project
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in a project involving the energy efficient rehabilitation of 96 homes and addressing significant indoor air quality issues. Electrical energy represents a very significant and recurring cost for tribal residents of a very high energy cost state. The project is expected to collectively save residents approximately $34,016 annually. The successful strategy includes obtaining a$600,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant (FY 2016) and structuring the project to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional state energy efficiency incentives.

Energy Efficient Lighting Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in the installation of a large scale energy efficient lighting project at a Tribe’s casino/hotel parking structure. The successful strategy included obtaining a $500,000 competitive DOE grant and combining it with significant state funding to fund the vast majority of the project.

Government Building Solar Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in the installation of 615 kW of solar PV to serve 15 tribal governmental buildings. The successful strategy included obtaining a $1 million competitive DOE grant and enlisting an investor to combine grant funds with renewable energy tax credits and funds advanced against short-term energy savings to finance the entire project cost. The project is projected to save the Tribe over $2 million over the 30 year life of the systems and provide significant job and training opportunities for tribal members.

Housing Unit Solar Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe’s housing authority in the installation of solar systems on 61 housing units which will result in an annual savings of $525 per household. The total savings from the project across all 61 households is approximately $32,000 and as future energy cost rise the savings will be even greater. The successful strategy included obtaining a $600,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant and soliciting a tax investor to finance additional costs.

Housing Unit and Elder Apartment Solar Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe’s housing authority in the installation of solar facilities on approximately 50 individual housing units, reducing energy costs for tribal families on average by almost $700 per year. The successful strategy included obtaining a$600,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant and enlisting an investor to combine grant funds with renewable energy tax credits and funds advanced against short-term energy savings to cover the entire project cost.

Low Income Housing Solar Installation
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe’s housing authority in the installation of over 300 kilowatts of solar power for a low income housing complex on the tribe’s reservation. The successful strategy included obtaining a $600,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant and enlisting an investor to combine grant funds with renewable energy tax credits and funds advanced against short-term energy savings to finance the entire project cost.

Renewable Energy Investment
Godfrey & Kahn represents an Indian tribe in connection with analyzing available investment opportunities in renewable energy projects.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Grant Development
Godfrey & Kahn assisted Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in obtaining grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of the Interior for the development of a large-scale wind facility within the Standing Rock reservation and in developing cost-effective strategies for wind development.

Municipal and Other Governmental Energy Development

Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming
Godfrey & Kahn represented an Indian tribe in connection with its role as a member of the Governor of Wisconsin’s Task Force on Global Warming.

Public Service Commission Wind Siting Advisory Panel
A Godfrey & Kahn shareholder and member of our Practice Group was appointed to represent the public with respect to advising the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin regarding rules for local governmental restrictions of wind generation facility siting.

State of Wisconsin Renewable Energy
Godfrey & Kahn acted as a special consultant for the State of Wisconsin on reviewing the responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy. This RFP was designed to meet the new state law requiring 20% of all state of Wisconsin facilities energy needs be met by qualified renewable energy.

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