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Indian Nations

Tribal Renewable Energy Development

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Godfrey & Kahn is one of the Midwest’s leading energy law firms.

Clients include regulated utilities, corporate and private consumers, developers, manufacturers and finance sources. The firm’s Indian Nations energy law practice reflects our tribal clients’ Seven Generations environmental ethic based on respect for the natural world and responsible stewardship of water, air and other natural resources on behalf of future generations. Due to their sovereign status, our tribal clients have energy development opportunities which are not available to non-Indian developers. Helping them take advantage of these opportunities is our goal. Our tribal practice focuses on:

  • Assistance in structuring business entities and transactions to take advantage of investment tax credits (ITCs) for renewable energy projects and combining ITCs with other financing sources, including Indian Community Development Block Grants (ICDBG), US Department of Energy (DOE) Tribal Energy Grants, Indian Housing Block Grants and other private and public sources;
  • Assistance with applications for large ICDBG and DOE and other grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects;
  • Assistance in connection with the sale of valuable tribal carbon credits in the mandatory California market as well as voluntary markets;
  • For-profit energy generation opportunities, including identification of potential sources of generation (wind, forest waste, landfill methane, etc.), market feasibility assessment, identification of financing sources, potential tax and other legal advantages, business entity structure (corporations, LLCs, joint ventures, etc.), facility construction and compliance;
  • Helping tribes reduce tribal energy costs through adoption of green construction standards, energy audits and other tools used to reduce tribes’ carbon footprint;
  • Establishment of a “Seven Generations” legal infrastructure, including enactment of an environmental code limiting greenhouse gas emissions, establishment of green building codes and adoption of green procurement policies;
  • Inter-governmental affairs, including preparation of position papers, participation on state and regional energy boards and commissions, and negotiation with government officials to assure that the tribal perspective is taken into consideration in the establishment of standards to limit greenhouse gas emissions.


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