Energy & Clean Tech Connections: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News

September 2012

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In the September edition of Energy & Clean Tech Connections, we’ve gathered recent information from a wide variety of sources in an effort to keep you abreast of what’s new in the world of clean energy. We draw your attention to the latest industry developments, news from local governments to Capitol Hill, grant opportunities, and upcoming events.

This month, we would like to congratulate our client, NanoSteel, of Providence, RI on their recent Series C financing round, which was supported by General Motors Co.’s venture unit, EnerTech Capital and Fairhaven Capital Partners. NanoSteel has designed a light, high-strength, cost-effective type of steel that GM hopes to use to make cars lighter, without sacrificing safety. For more information, please see the Wall Street Journal article that announced the deal.

Earlier this month, ML Strategies hosted the joint Northeast Energy & Commerce Association and Environmental Business Council event, “New Opportunities for Renewable Energy Projects,” at our Boston office. The seminar focused on the recently enacted legislation in Massachusetts that expands incentives to produce electricity through the development and financing of wind, hydro, solar and anaerobic digestion projects. The well-attended seminar, moderated by former DOER Commissioner and ML Strategies’ David L. O’Connor, featured insights from key legislators, project developers, utility managers and financiers who described the details of the new legislation and offered their assessments of its impact on the regional marketplace for renewable energy.

Additionally, we look forward to participating in EnerNOC’s third annual EnergySMART Conference in Boston from October 1 to 3, 2012. Topics to be covered include the bottom-line impact of energy efficiency measures, evolving demand response markets, energy procurement strategies, and how to leverage existing energy management systems. We hope to see you there.

We are also pleased to announce that the authors of The Clean Tech Revolution have returned with the next definitive book on the clean-tech industry. In Clean Tech Nation, Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder combine lively storytelling with expert analysis, to provide a compelling call to action and an outline of the sector’s latest technology, policy, and financial tools. Mintz Levin has been a long-time partner of Clean Edge — the research and advisory firm where Pernick is the Managing Director and Wilder the Senior Editor. Clean Tech Nation presents valuable findings and recommendations so we are pleased to encourage our network to get a copy. To learn more about the book, and see if you can attend an event where Ron and Clint will be speaking, please check out www.cleantechnation.com.

On Capitol Hill this month, the House adjourned September 21 and the Senate adjourned early the following morning until after the elections. Congress will return shortly thereafter to begin a lame duck session during which debates over tax extenders, energy efficiency legislation, defense reauthorization, the farm bill, and more will take place.

During the brief September work period, both the House and Senate passed a six-month continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 117) to keep the federal government funded through March 27, 2013. Despite a last minute effort to fund the Department of Energy’s weatherization program, the legislation maintains a roughly 60 percent cut in program funding, leaving about $70 million that was included in last December’s omnibus funding legislation for fiscal year 2012.

Due to divisions between the parties over the severity of cuts to the food stamp program, the House adjourned without voting on either a full farm bill or any short-term extension. The current 2008 farm bill expires September 30. The expiration will not immediately end commodity and food stamp programs, but a number of conservation and energy programs will be unable to enroll new participants as of October 1. The House may take up the measure when it returns November 13, though it could be delayed until early next year. The Senate passed its version of the five-year farm bill (S. 3240) in June.

With Congress departing for final campaigning before the November elections, most legislative negotiations will have to wait until the lame duck session. At the end of the year, House and Senate leaders will discuss the expiring production tax credit, a per gallon tax credit for cellulosic biofuel, and a number of other energy provisions. Other issues that may receive attention during the lame duck session include energy efficiency legislation, defense reauthorization—particularly the Navy’s use of biofuels—and the Farm bill, which includes an energy title and expires at the end of the month.

In other news, on September 14, 2012, the House approved, on a largely party-line vote of 245 to161, the No More Solyndras Act (H.R. 6213). The measure would end a Department of Energy loan guarantee program but would allow billions of dollars in pending loan guarantee applications for nuclear and fossil energy projects to continue. The legislation would prohibit the agency from making new commitments for loan guarantee applications after 2011, but about 50 pending applications could still be considered. The program has $30.5 billion in authority for nuclear and fossil energy projects, and about $4.5 billion remains for renewable energy projects. For more regulatory updates, please see ML Strategies’s weekly Energy and Environmental Updates.

In upcoming events, we encourage you to attend the 4th Annual Marine Renewable Energy Technical Conference, which will take place October 30-31, 2012, and feature technical presentations on research relating to wave, tide, ocean and river current, offshore wind, environmental monitoring, policy and regulations, industry lessons learned, and more.

Finally, please mark your calendars for November 11-13, 2012, when the Savannah International Clean Energy Conference (SICEC) 2012 will be held in Savannah, Georgia. The conference will bring together top influencers and leaders to discuss, debate, and explore the significance and global impact Energy Independence will have on clean energy, clean technologies, and economic growth. Also, Mintz Levin’s Energy & Clean Technology Chair, Thomas R. Burton III, will be featured as a speaker during the conference. For more information on upcoming events, please consult our “Events” section below.

We hope that you enjoy this month’s edition of the newsletter. For the most up-to-date information on federal legislation and programs, read the most recent ML Strategies Energy & Environment Update.

Mintz Levin’s Monthly Innovator Profile

Designed as a “finishing school” for people seeking employment in Boston’s technology start-up sector, the Boston Startup School offers a six-week educational session to develop the skills necessary to acclimate and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment. The idea for the program grew out of the awareness that most start-ups provide newcomers with little formal training regarding human resources, recruiting, and professional development. The Boston Startup School hopes to combat this by providing four tracks of study – marketing, product design, software development, and sales and business development – taught by 50 volunteer instructors at the Harvard Innovation Lab. In August 2012, the program completed its first session with a graduating class of 72 students and a hiring rate greater than 50%. We look forward to seeing what the Boston Startup School has in store for the future!

 

In This Edition

In the News: United States

In the News: Europe and Asia

Government Financial Assistance

Privately Sourced Financial Grants

Federal and State Happenings

Legal News

Events

 

In the News: United States

Tim Healy Honored as CEO of the Year by the Mass Technology Leadership Council

Globe Newswire – September 14, 2012

More Info »

Corporate Venture Activity Rebounds After Slump in Deals and Dollars

Xconomy – September 20, 2012

More Info »

Blackstone to Buy Vivint for more than $2B

Bloomberg – September 19, 2012

More Info »

A New Use for Shale Gas

WSJ – September 17, 2012

More Info »

Primus Green Energy Nears Fuel Deal with Airline, CEO Says

Bloomberg – September 14, 2012

More Info »

FirstSolar Beats Chinese by Making Sun Power Predictable

Bloomberg – September 13th, 2012

More Info »

Honest Buildings Raises First Venture Round for Green Building Data

GigaOM – September 11, 2012

More Info »

Energy Startup Powers Up, Reaches $100M in Revenue

Mass High Tech – September 10, 2012

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Even with RFS, Ethanol Can’t Escape Drought Impact

Greentech Media – September 10, 2012

More Info »

US Solar Market Spikes With 742 MW in Solar Installations in Q2 2012

Greentech Media – September 10, 2012

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Fueled by Cheap Chinese Panels, U.S. Solar Use Soars

WSJ – September 9, 2012

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Obama Re-pledges Renewables Commitment as E&Y Reports US Falling Behind

Renewable Energy – September 7, 2012

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Oregon Clean Fuel Standard Could Drive Growth in Biofuels Industry

Clean Edge – September 7, 2012

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US May Fight Solyndra Tax Breaks in Bankruptcy Plan

Reuters – September 7, 2012

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Obama and Romney Divided on Clean Energy Policy

Environmental Finance – September 6, 2012

More Info »

VC Interest in Cleantech by Sector over the Last Decade

BostInno - September 6, 2012

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China Speeding U.S. Solar-Dumping Case as Election Nears: Energy

Bloomberg – September 5, 2012

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For a Look at the Future of U.S. Energy, Go to Texas

Triple Pundit – September 5, 2012

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CSP Gains a Foothold on US East Coast

Renewable Energy – September 5, 2012

More Info »

DOE Announces Five New Solar Research Investments

Clean Edge – September 4, 2012

More Info »

Natural Gas and Renewable Energy Dominate US Electricity Additions in 1st Half of 2012

Clean Technica – August 29, 2012

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Renewable Electricity Nearly Doubles with Obama in Office

Clean Technica – August 29, 2012

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Non-Hydro Renewable Energy Nears 6% of US Electrical Generation

Clean Edge – August 29, 2012

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Final US Fuel Economy Standards Set

WSJ – August 28, 2012

More Info »

Ocean Power Technologies Gets First FERC License for Wave Power Station

Clean Edge – August 28, 2012

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Military Spending on Biofuels Draws Fire

NYTimes – August 27, 2012

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In the News: Europe and Asia

The Reign of Residential PV in Japan

Cleantechnica – September 21, 2012

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UK Electric Car Sales Soar

Cleantechnica – September 20, 2012

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China’s New Energy Source?

DailyFinance – September 19, 2012

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China Creates Carbon Calculator to Show Effect of Energy Policy

Bloomberg – September 17, 2012

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Ireland Eyes Renewable Power Exports to UK by 2017

Reuters – September 13, 2012

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Hindustan Zinc, Ambuja Ordered to Pay Fines on Failing to Meet Renewable Purchase Obligations

Cleanbios – September 13, 2012

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Germany’s Clean Technology Industry to More Than Double by 2025

Renewable Energy – September 11, 2012

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Independent Panel Calls on Nations to Address Carbon Market “Crisis”

Energy Efficiency – September 11, 2012

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Solar Energy Trade Wars – Enough is Enough

Financial Times – September 11, 2012

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Solar and Biomass Important Cornerstones for UK Energy Security

Smart Meters – September 10, 2012

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China pushes wind power, but no quick payoff for producers

Reuters – September 10, 2012

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Germany and Denmark Top the 2012 Global Green Economy Index

Clean Edge News – September 10, 2012

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Asia-Pacific Forum to Cut Import Duties for Green Technologies

NYTimes – September 7, 2012

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China Price War Draining Jobs in Germany’s Solar Valley: Energy

Bloomberg – September 7, 2012

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332 MW Wind Project for Germany (Part of a 996 MW Offshore Wind Farm)

Clean Technica – September 7, 2012

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The US and China’s Thin-Film PV Firms’ Impact on India’s Solar Industry

Greentech Media – September 7, 2012

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Hypocrisy Seen in European Solar Industry

WSJ – September 6, 2012

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Chinese Solar-Panel Exporters Face the Threat of EU Tariffs

Renewable Energy – September 6, 2012

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Germany Economic Minister to Press on With Energy Plans

Reuters – September 4, 2012

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Morgan Stanley Arm Bets Big on China Energy

WSJ – September 4, 2012

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Hitachi Zosen–Led Group Plans $1.5 Billion Offshore Wind Farms

Bloomberg – September 4th, 2012

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Vestas to Cut 1,400 Jobs as Prospects Darken

Reuters – August 22nd, 2012

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China’s Largest Solar Power Farm Approved—To Be Built By GCL-Poly Energy, World’s Largest PV Polysilicon Producer

Clean Technica – August 28th, 2012

More Info »

China to spend $372 billion on cutting energy use, pollution

Reuters – August 22nd, 2012

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Government Financial Assistance

Grants

Renewable Energy Incentives for Homes & Businesses

More Info »

Tax Incentives and Rebates

Federal

Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit

More Info »

Federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit

More Info »

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

Expiration Date: December 31, 2016

More Info »

Federal Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

Application Deadline: January 1, 2006 – December 31, 2013

More Info »

State

California Self-Generation Incentive Program

More Info »

California Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems

Expiration Date: December 31, 2012

More Info »

Massachusetts Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

More Info »

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center: Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program – Micro Wind

More Info »

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center: Commonwealth Solar II

More Info »

Energy Efficiency Programs Offered by Massachusetts Utilities

More Info »

Massachusetts RPS Solar Carve-Out

More Info »

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Privately Sourced Financial Grants

BIRD Energy: U.S.-Israel Joint Renewable Energy Grants

More Info »

Executive Summary Deadline: September 23, 2012

Final Proposal Deadline: October 23, 2012

New Generation Energy Grants, Loans & Microloans (Ongoing)

More Info »

GE Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid

More Info »

The Energy Foundation Grants (Ongoing)

More Info »

The Carbon Trust: Entrepreneurs Fast Track

More Info »

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Federal and State Happenings

Energy Department Launches SunShot Prize Competition to Install Solar Energy Systems at a Fraction of Today’s Price

Energy.gov – September 12, 2012

More Info »

State Clean Energy Finance Banks: New Investment Facilities for Clean Energy Deployment

Brookings – September 12, 2012

More Info »

California Community Solar Bill Dies in Assembly Committee

Cleantechnica – September 3, 2012

More Info »

DOE Funds Five New Solar Projects

Smart Meters – August 31, 2012

More Info »

US Sets Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards

NYTimes - August 28th, 2012

More Info »

EOG Says U.S. Fracking Rule to Cost $1.5 Billion a Year

Bloomberg - September 7th, 2012

More Info »

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Legal News

Energy and Environment Update

ML Strategies – September 16, 2012

More Info »

EPA Raises Biodiesel Mandate for Refiners Under Program

Bloomberg – September 14, 2012

More Info »

Energy and Environment Update

ML Strategies – September 9, 2012

More Info »

Energy and Environment Update

ML Strategies – August 26, 2012

More Info »

U.S. House to Vote on “No More Solyndras” Act

Solar Novus Today – September 10, 2012

More Info »

CSAPR: What Will EPA Do Now?

Power Engineering – August 30th, 2012

More Info »

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Events

September

Renewable Energy Markets 2012

September 23 – 25, 2012
Washington, D.C.

More Info »

Algae Biomass Summit

Denver, CO
September 24 – 27, 2012

More Info »

GreenGov Symposium

Washington, DC
September 24 – 26, 2012

More Info »

Optimizing Wind Power O&M

Chicago, IL
September 24 – 26, 2012

More Info »

Flexible Transmission and Distribution

San Francisco, CA
September 25 – 26, 2012

More Info »

Renewable Energy Finance Forum West

San Francisco, CA
September 27 – 28, 2012

More Info »

October

EnergySMART 2012 Conference

Boston, MA
October 1 – 3, 2012

More Info »

Cleantech Open Northeast 2012 Regional Awards Gala

Boston, MA
October 9, 2012

More Info »

4th Annual Renewable Energy Technology Conference Exhibition

Washington, D.C.
October 17 – 19, 2012

More Info »

U.S. Solar Market Insight

San Francisco, CA
October 29 – 30, 2012

More Info »

4th Annual New England Marine Renewable Technical Conference

Providence/Warwick, RI
October 30 – 31, 2012

More Info »

Advanced Energy 2012

New York, NY
October 30 – 31

More Info »

November

Catalyzing Cleantech: Where are the opportunities for funding?

Palo Alto, CA
November 1, 2012

More Info »

2012 Global Forum: The Academy Awards of Cleantech

San Jose, CA
November 8 – 9, 2012

More Info »

Savannah International Clean Energy Conference

Savannah, Georgia
November 11 – 13, 2012

More Info »

VERGE @ Greenbuild

San Francisco, CA
November 12 – 13, 2012

More Info »

Total Energy USA Conference

Houston, TX
November 27 – 29, 2012

More Info »

Environment and Energy Breakfast Series: Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, MA
November 29, 2012

More Info »

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Thomas R. Burton III
Member
Chair, Energy & Clean Technology (Boston)
617.348.3097
TRBurton@mintz.com

Brady Berg
Member
Corporate & Securities (San Francisco)
415.432.6003
BBerg@mintz.com

Evan M. Bienstock
Corporate & Securities (New York)
212.692.6869
EMBienstock@mintz.com

Travis L. Blais
Tax (Boston)
617.348.1684
TLLBlais@mintz.com

Ralph A. Child
Member
Environmental (Boston)
617.348.3021
RChild@mintz.com

Tania Rodrigues Cleary
Member
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.4890
TRCleary@mintz.com

Jordan M. Collins
Director of Government Relations
ML Strategies (Washington)
202.434.7462
JMCollins@mlstrategies.com

Julian Crump
Managing Partner, Member
Intellectual Property (London)
+44 (0) 20 7776 7302
JCrump@mintz.com

Daniel I. DeWolf
Member
Co-chair, Venture Capital &
Emerging Companies Group
Corporate & Securities (New York)
212.692.6223
DDeWolf@mintz.com

Rajdeep S. Dhaliwal
Project Analyst (Boston)
617.348.4835
RSDhaliwal@mintz.com

Meryl J. Epstein
Member
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.1635
MJEpstein@mintz.com

Gregory S. Fine
Member
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
627.348.3003
GSFine@mintz.com

Susan L. Foster, Ph.D.
Member
Corporate & Securities (London)
+44 (0) 20 7776 7330
SFoster@mintz.com

Jeremy D. Glaser
Member
Corporate & Securities (San Diego)
858.314.1515
JDGlaser@mintz.com

Irwin M. Heller
Member
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.1654
IHeller@mintz.com

Brian P. Hopkins
Member
Intellectual Property (New York)
212.692.6803
BPHopkins@mintz.com

Jonathan L. Kravetz
Member
Chair, Securities Practice Group
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.1674
JLKravetz@mintz.com

Carl A. Kukkonen III
Member
Intellectual Property (San Diego)
858.314.1535
CAKukkonen@mintz.com

Cynthia J. Larose
Member
Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.1732
CJLarose@mintz.com

David J. Leiter
President‚ ML Strategies‚
Washington‚ DC
ML Strategies (Washington)
202.434.7346
DJLeiter@mlstrategies.com

Audrey C. Louison
Member
Corporate & Securities (Washington)
202.434.7380
ALouison@mintz.com

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Corporate & Securities (Boston)
617.348.1833
JMcCourt@mintz.com

Jeffrey A. Moerdler
Member
Real Estate, Communications, Environmental (New York)
212.692.6700
JAMoerdler@mintz.com

David L. O'Connor
Senior Vice President for
Energy & Clean Technology
ML Strategies (Boston)
617.348.4418
DOConnor@mlstrategies.com

Jeffrey R. Porter
Member
Environmental (Boston)
617.348.1711
JPorter@mintz.com

Mark J. Riedy
Member
Corporate & Securities (Washington)
202.434.7474
MJRiedy@mintz.com

Jennifer Sacco Smith
Real Estate (Boston)
617.348.1678
JSaccoSmith@mintz.com

Chuck A. Samuels
Member
Federal/Energy Efficiency (Washington)
202.434.7311
CASamuels@mintz.com

Paul J. Scapicchio
Senior Vice President
of Government Relations
ML Strategies (Boston)
617.348.3031
PJScapicchio@mlstrategies.com

Gabriel Schnitzler
Member
Real Estate (San Francisco)
415.432.6004
GSchnitzler@mintz.com

Donald W. Schroeder
Member
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617.348.3077
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Amarynth Sichel
Project Analyst (Boston)
617.348.4873
ANSichel@mintz.com

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Director of Government Relations
Energy Policy Specialist
ML Strategies (Washington)
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Corporate & Securities (Boston)
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Corporate & Securities (Boston)
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Corporate & Securities (Boston)
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Environmental (Boston)
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