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Environmental/Energy Update- December 2009

December 01, 2009

Godfrey & Kahn's Environmental and Energy Strategies Team Can Help Clients Locate and Obtain Financial Incentives for their Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act") provided approximately $787 billion in government spending designed to stimulate the American economy. From that amount, billions of dollars in Recovery Act funding were allocated to the United States Department of Energy ("DOE") and other federal agencies for the purpose of supporting renewable energy and energy effi ciency projects. Recovery Act funding for these types of projects took the form of both tax incentives and direct appropriations.

Experience in Identifying and Applying for Recovery Act Funding
Godfrey & Kahn's Environmental and Energy Strategies Team has obtained signifi cant experience in all aspects of Recovery Act funding related to energy effi ciency and renewable energy projects. Our Team continuously tracks and monitors all federal and state grants, loans and other financial opportunities related to energy effi ciency and renewable energy projects, and has assisted clients in tracking, reviewing, and applying for such opportunities. In 2009 alone, Godfrey & Kahn has already assisted our clients in successfully obtaining over $1.5 million in DOE grant awards.Specifically, in 2009, our Team has taken the lead in coordinating the preparation of more than 15 energy efficiency and renewable energy-related federal grant applications, including applications for the following projects.

  • Feasibility Study for a Biomass Fuel Production and Co-Generation Facility
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements to Historical Buildings
  • Replacement of Lighting Fixtures with LED Energy Effi cient Lights at a Multi-Level Parking Garage
  • Climate Showcase Communities
  • Biomass Fuel Production and Co-Generation Facility
  • Installation of a District Ground Source Heat Pump System on Historic Property
  • Comprehensive Community Renewable Energy Plan
  • Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits (8 applications)

Experience with the Wisconsin Offi ce of Energy Independence
Godfrey & Kahn's Environmental and Energy Strategies Team has also gained a good reputation and developed a good working relationship with the Wisconsin Offi ce of Energy Independence ("OEI"). See http://energyindependence.wi.gov/. Wisconsin OEI is the state's single point of contact for entities pursing energy effi ciency and renewable energy projects and is tasked with assisting such entities to identify federal and state funding opportunities. Through its involvement with Wisconsin OEI, Godfrey & Kahn has developed a good understanding of the various funding opportunities that are available at all levels of government.

Current and Ongoing Federal and State Funding Opportunities
The large majority of current and ongoing federal and state funding opportunities generally focus on the following types of entities: (1) entities that will be placing into service an energy effi ciency or renewable energy project; (2) entities that manufacture energy effi ciency and/or renewable energy products and components; and (3) entities conducting research into innovative energy efficiency and/or renewable energy ideas. If you are an entity that is considering a project that falls into one of the above-referenced categories, Godfrey & Kahn can assist you with both identifying and applying for available funding opportunities. A few of the signifi cant current and ongoing federal and state funding opportunities include the following programs.

Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credit Program. Pursuant to the Recovery Act, the United States Department of Treasury ("Treasury") was allocated more than $2 billion to make payments to eligible persons who place in service certain "specifi ed energy property" and apply for such payments. Treasury will make payments to qualifi ed applicants in an amount generally equal to 10% or 30% of the basis of the property, depending on the type of property. Property qualifying for the grants/tax credits generally includes property that produces power from the following energy resources: wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal energy, solar energy, small irrigation power, municipal solid waste, qualified hydropower production, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy. To be eligible for the grant, construction must begin on the property no later than the end of 2010, and the property must meet certain placed-in-service deadlines, which depend on the type of property. Applications are currently being accepted by Treasury. For full details on the program, please see http://ustreas.gov/recovery/1603.shtml.

DOE Guaranteed Loan Program. DOE has issued guidelines for its Loan Guarantee Program, which is expected to provide up to $30 billion in loan guarantees and is being funded partly through the Recovery Act and partly through 2009 DOE appropriations. DOE loan guarantees currently consist of two separate solicitations separately aimed at borrowers and lenders for innovative energy effi ciency, renewable energy, and advanced transmission and distribution technologies. The fi rst round of applications were due by September 14, 2009, and November 23, 2009, respectively, for the two separate solicitations; however, DOE will issue up to seven separate rounds of funding. For full details on this program, please see http://www.lgprogram.energy.gov/.

Wisconsin State Energy Program. Clean Energy Business Loan Program. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce administers this Program, which is currently one of the primary mechanisms for the State of Wisconsin to pass through funding it has received pursuant to the Recovery Act; however, this funding is currently only available to manufacturing companies. For-profit manufacturing companies are eligible for this program, which provides a low-interest loan (2%) to assist in the fi nancing of renewable energy, energy effi ciency and re-tooling projects. For full details on this program, please see http://commerce.wi.gov/BD/BD-SEP-ARRA.html.

Contact Godfrey & Kahn for Assistance with your Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects
Godfrey & Kahn's Environmental and Energy Strategies Team is continuously tracking energy efficiency and renewable energy funding opportunities pursuant to the Recovery Act and is well positioned to assist our clients with identifying and applying for such opportunities. As demand for funding under these programs will likely far outweigh available resources, we strongly recommend to our clients that they assess their potential to apply for funding under these programs as soon as possible. For more information, contact a Godfrey & Kahn Environmental and Energy StrategiesTeam member.

Media Contact 

If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Susan Steberl, Director of Marketing, at 414.287.9556 or ssteberl@gklaw.com.

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