Municipalization: Traditional and Creative Legal and Financial Approaches

Baird Brown and Christopher Berendt, partners at Law Firm, Drinker, Biddle & Reath

Presentation Synopsis

A Sustainable Municipal Utility is an energy utility structure that: seeks to achieve sustainability and reliability in meeting community energy needs, prefers energy efficiency and demand-side management to increased energy sales, and promotes renewable energy before fossil fuels. It must be smart, not inflexible. Baird Brown and Chris Berendt, lawyers with Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, LLP, will discuss forming, operating, and financing a municipal sustainability utility including issues to be managed and opportunities generated. In particular they will consider both traditional and creative New Energy Economy structuring options and processes, the overall operating framework, tax-exempt and tax-advantaged finance, the ability to foster energy efficiency, distributed generation and distributed storage, smart tariffs and environmental markets, and the ability to partner with both the for profit and non-profit sectors to achieve overall goals. The Drinker-Biddle Team will help the audience: (I) Learn how a Boulder Sustainable Energy Utility can enable affordable citizen installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency. (II) Explore how Boulder can pay for local energy development focusing on long-term sustainable infrastructure and financing. (III) Understand how running a local energy utility in pursuit of quality service, reliability and sustainability, not profit, can attract significant private sector investment.

Speaker Bios

C. Baird Brown is a partner in Drinker Biddle and Reath, LLP’s Environmental and Energy Practice Groups. His practice includes the development and financing of power plants, waste disposal and recycling facilities, toll roads, and other infrastructure projects. Baird currently focuses on renewable energy including wind, solar, biomass, tidal, geothermal, and biofuels. He represents state and local sustainability agencies charged with promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and green infrastructure. Baird is also active in climate change issues including trading of renewable energy credits and carbon credit.

Christopher B. Berendt is of counsel to the firm’s Environmental & Energy Practice Groups and heads the Environmental Markets Team. He concentrates his practice on the design and operations of the compliance and voluntary environmental markets, counseling clients on the creation and capture of environmental asset value on matters ranging from market/regulatory development and strategy through investments, transactions, project development and financing. Chris has more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental markets. Chris is well-versed in the current condition of the United States power markets, including the latest developments regarding Renewable Portfolio Standards (state programs and federal RES/CES proposals), the Renewable Energy Certificate and Energy Efficiency Certificate markets, standard offer service/feed-intariffs, as well as carbon and criteria emissions market positioning. Some of the most significant actors on the supply and demand sides of the energy and environmental markets rely on his due diligence regarding environmental asset and risk disposition.

Presentation Video

Video presentation by Baird Brown and Chris Berendt here.

Presentation Power Point

DrinkerBiddleReath Boulder presentation