Construction Energy & Utilities

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Enactment of SB 785 Clears Caltrain Electrification for Design-Build

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has signed California Senate Bill (SB) 785. As my colleague Nancy Smith has observed, enactment of SB 785 is a major step forward for the State of California, because now many more...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders 10/14 (Six Petitions Granted)

Because there are no opinions and no grants in the Supreme Court's order list this morning, this is a good opportunity for me to do the promised post on the petitions granted in the October 3, 2014 order list. ...more

Call Before You Dig: North Carolina's New "Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Act" Takes Effect October 1, 2014

This past session, the North Carolina General Assembly replaced the existing Underground Damage Prevention Act with the Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Act, which took effect on October 1, 2014....more

Four bills broaden the appeal of IFDs as a funding mechanism for local infrastructure, environmental mitigation, private...

Four bills affecting infrastructure financing districts, a funding mechanism for infrastructure and development projects that benefit the broader community, were recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. IFDs, created in 1990,...more

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Energy Tax Reform

Tax reform has been a hot topic as of late, particularly for the energy sector. On September 17, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee continued the focus on energy tax reform by holding a hearing on “Reforming America’s...more

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to Streamline Permitting for 20,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

On September 23, 2014, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”), US Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) released the Draft...more

FERC approves Maryland LNG project

A proposed Maryland natural gas liquefaction facility won a key federal approval yesterday, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP to build the Cove Point Liquefaction Project in...more

Easements Made Easier: Building Pipelines with the Power of Eminent Domain Under the Natural Gas Act

Any person or entity seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline and successful in obtaining a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may exercise the power of eminent domain to...more

Federal grants support microgrids

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded over $8 million in funding for 7 microgrid projects. Will microgrids play an increasing role in the U.S. electricity industry?...more

Obrascon Huarte Lain SA v Her Majesty's Attorney General for Gibraltar: A rare look at the FIDIC form of contract

Introduction - Mr Justice Akenhead's judgment in the case of Obrascon Huarte Lain SA v Her Majesty's Attorney General for Gibraltar[2014] EWHC 1028 (TCC) provides judicial guidance on the interpretation of certain key...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Energizing Transmission Construction in the Electric Industry

With so many personal gadgets needing daily recharging, desktop hard drives running 24 hours a day, and DVRs recording movies that run while we’re asleep, do you wonder where all that electricity is coming from? The next big...more

EPA Reinforces Standards to Use "Representative Data" After Sierra Club

On January 22, 2013, in Sierra Club v. EPA, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that addressed some Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program issues. Following this...more

IRS Clarifies and Expands "Beginning Construction" Tests for Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit

In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service established two “beginning construction” tests – a physical work test and a 5% safe harbor test – to determine eligibility for the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit...more

IRS Releases New Guidance on Beginning of Construction

The IRS recently released Notice 2014-46 (the Notice) which provides welcome guidance to tax equity investors and developers on the construction of wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and certain hydropower and marine...more

IRS Comments on its PTC Start of Construction Guidance

On August 20, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) held a webinar to discuss Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-46, which clarified the rules for wind projects to be grandfathered for production tax credit...more

Notice 2014-46 Provides Additional Guidance on Eligibility of Wind and Other Renewable Energy Facilities for the PTC or the ITC

On August 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2014-46 (the “Notice”), which provides some important clarifications with respect to the requirement that construction of a project commence prior to...more

IRS Notice 2014-46 clarifies guidance for Production Tax Credits and Investment Tax Credits

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 modified the definition of certain “qualified facilities” under Section 45(d) of the Internal Revenue Code to require that the construction of such facilities must begin prior to...more

New DC Construction Codes Take Effect

Already on the forefront of green building innovation, the District of Columbia has adopted a new set of construction codes that, most notably, includes advanced energy and green construction regulations. On March 26, 2014,...more

IRS Releases New Guidance on Beginning of Construction - Aug 2014

On August 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2014-46 (the “Notice”), which clarified certain aspects of the beginning of construction requirement that must be satisfied for taxpayers to qualify for...more

IRS Issues Additional Guidance with Respect to 2013 Beginning of Construction Rules for Wind and Other Renewable Projects

The Internal Revenue Service (Service) issued Notice 2014-46 (Notice) on August 8, 2014, to provide further guidance on meeting the beginning of construction requirements for wind and other qualified facilities (biomass,...more

Additional IRS Guidance on Physical Work Test and Facility Transfers for Energy Tax Credits

The IRS has released additional guidance (Notice 2014-46) on the “beginning of construction” requirement for the renewable energy production tax credit under Code Section 45 (PTC) and energy investment tax credit under Code...more

Use of Phased Permits on the Rise

As cranes tower over Miami in the post-recession development upswing, developers are once again using phased permits to expedite construction while awaiting approval for building permits. Section 105.13 of the Florida...more

IRS Relaxes and Clarifies Renewable Energy Tax Credit Eligibility Requirements for Projects Under Construction

On August 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-46 in response to continued industry requests for clarification on several aspects of the renewable electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) under...more

"IRS Guidance Clarifies Renewable Energy Tax Credit"

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released welcome new guidance on renewable electricity production and energy investment tax credits. A notice issued on August 8, 2014, addresses when a facility or equipment maintains...more

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