Uncategorized
Subscribe to Uncategorized's Posts

Key Takeaways | Standalone Storage and ITC: Storage Finally Gets to Stand Alone

The passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) is a long-awaited and critical win for standalone energy storage system projects. On September 7, during the latest webinar in our Navigating the New Energy Landscape series, McDermott Partners Carl Fleming and Philip Tingle hosted Chris McKissack, CEO of GlidePath, and Caitlin Smith, senior director of regulatory, external affairs and ESG at Jupiter Power, for a discussion on the new investment tax credit (ITC) for standalone energy storage under the IRA and its impact on the energy storage market.

Below are key takeaways from the discussion:

1. Impact of the IRA on business models: The developers and operators who have been following a sniper approach to storage projects for years are certainly benefiting from the tax credits provided by the IRA to the standalone storage business. The IRA puts experienced participants in the standalone storage business on a level playing field, further justifies their existing business plans and provides a stronger booting for opportunities already in the pipeline. With the introduction of the standalone ITC, we expect to see an increase in competition and new participants in the business, as well.

2. Impact of decoupling from wind and solar: Before the IRA, there was always a question about whether a storage system could be coupled with or located near a production tax credit (PTC) project (such as a wind project) and be eligible for the ITC independent of wind or PTC resources. The IRA answered the question, and the answer is yes. Under the IRA, energy storage market participants are now able to decouple battery storage from other renewable projects, as the requirement to charge 75% of the time from solar is removed when paired with other technologies. This gives energy storage projects the ability to operate more optimally and capture additional revenue or savings. From a commercial perspective, it has yet to be seen whether the potential storage assets will be truly standalone with separate revenue and ITC monetization or whether transferability will be the primary source. The storage business is much more than its buy low and sell high mentality; it is a new and flexible resource that helps with congestion, stability and voltage support and can respond in less than three seconds.

3. Impact of the IRA on standalone storage, transmission and project development: The ITC and its reduction of 30% to the capital cost of equipment will further increase the viability of storage to enable developers to offer grid services to utilities at attractive prices. This is crucial to replacing the country’s fleet of fossil fuel plants because it integrates the increasing amounts of wind, solar and hydropower that is being transmitted hundreds of miles without jeopardizing grid reliability. The IRA provides incentives for storage projects to site and plug in the energy communities and to construct and build out the storage capacity [...]

Continue Reading




Key Takeaways | Renewables Tax Takeaways from the Manchin-Schumer Deal on Taxes, Climate and Energy

On August 1, McDermott Partners Philip Tingle and Heather Cooper hosted a webinar to address the climate bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which unexpectedly came back on the table on July 27. Click here for a summary of the bill.

Below are key takeaways from the presentation:

  • Last week’s surprise Congressional bill incorporates many of the same features we saw in last year’s Build Back Better bill, including an extension of the existing PTC and ITC, to be replaced by a technology-neutral PTC and ITC available for any energy producing projects or storage technology with net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Those new credits would remain in place without phase down until at least 2032.
  • If enacted, taxpayers need to consider how the proposal impacts their pipelines. Taxpayers may no longer need to worry about “begin construction” for purposes of locking in the tax credit phase-down under the current law, but will still need to think about “begin construction” rules vis a vis the new wage and apprentice requirements, and also think about placed-in-service dates for purposes of eligibility for the new domestic content bonus and transferability provisions.
  • The bill doesn’t offer the much-desired direct pay feature for most projects, but offers a transfer optionality that could dramatically change how facilities are financed. Developers will need to consider how the transfer mechanism impacts timing of getting paid for the credits, stranded depreciation, tax basis step-up valuations, and the discount rate for selling the credits, and whether it still makes sense in some cases to bring in tax equity.
  • There are lots of different incentives scattered throughout the bill and market players will need to carefully assess how these incentives may refocus how and where they build projects. For instance, new credits for storage and hydrogen, and significant credit boosts for projects in low-income, coal and other traditional energy communities.



Three Takeaways: Tensions in the Renewable Energy and Environmental Markets


McDermott recently hosted Jonathan Burnston, Managing Partner of the energy sector financial services firm Karbone, for a discussion of recent developments affecting environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, renewable energy and carbon offsets.

Three takeaways from this week’s webinar below:

      1. Interest in ESG investing is unlikely to fade. ESG indices have performed relatively well in the COVID-19 environment and the concerns that motivate ESG investing are not going away.
      2. ESG investing is different from reducing emissions or pursuing carbon neutrality. Positive returns from ESG investments do not themselves reduce emissions or mitigate the impacts of climate change.
      3. Corporate interest in becoming “carbon neutral” is also likely to continue. Due to recent economic disruptions, there may be some delays in achieving some previously announced commitments. However, the pressures and concerns that have motivated the interest in carbon neutrality remain powerful forces.

Listen to the full webinar.

To begin receiving Energy updates, including invitations to the Renewables Roundtable and Q&A Webinar Series, please click here.

Access past webinars in this series.




IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Energy Savings Performance Contracts

On January 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Rev. Proc. 2017-19, 2016-6 I.R.B. (the Rev. Proc.), providing a safe harbor under which it will not challenge the tax treatment of an Energy Savings Performance Contract Energy Savings Agreement (ESPC ESA) as a service contract under Section 7701(e)(3). While the application of the guidance is limited to the ESPC ESA context, the Rev. Proc. nonetheless provides potential insight into the IRS’s views of other power purchase agreements for the purchase of renewable energy generally.

Read the full article.




Final Regulations Define ‘Real Property’ for REITs: Considerations for Renewable Energy and Transmission Assets

On August 31, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US Department of the Treasury issued final regulations (Final Regulations) under section 856 of the Internal Revenue Code to clarify the definition of “real property” for purposes of sections 856 through 859 relating to real estate investment trusts (REITs). The Final Regulations largely follow proposed regulations issued in 2014 (Proposed Regulations) by providing a safe harbor list of assets and establishing facts and circumstances tests to analyze other assets.

Read the full article.




The Third Piece of EPA’s Clean Power Plan: GHG Emission Limits for Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for “new” and “existing” power plants have received substantial media attention, but regulated parties should also be aware of the third piece of EPA’s self-styled “Clean Power Plan”:  Proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits for “modified” and “reconstructed” electricity generating units (EGUs).

EPA proposed CO2 limits for “modified” and “reconstructed” EGUs on June 2, 2014, the same day it issued its proposed regulations for existing power plants, but it did not release its proposed regulatory text for those limits until several days later.  The proposed regulatory text is now available on EPA’s website, and power plant owners and operators should scrutinize it carefully – it amends the proposed regulatory text that EPA released in January 2014 in connection with its proposed limits for “new” power plants.

As defined in EPA’s regulations, “modified” units are existing units that undergo a physical or operational change that results in an increase in their hourly rate of air emissions, while “reconstructed” units are existing units where components have been replaced to such an extent that the fixed capital cost of the new components exceeds 50 percent of the fixed capital cost that would be required to construct a comparable entirely new facility, and it is technologically and economically feasible to meet the emission standards set by EPA.

Under EPA’s June 2 proposal, neither modified nor reconstructed steam units would have to install carbon capture and storage technology or meet the more stringent CO2 emission standards that EPA has proposed for newly constructed units.  Instead, those units would be required to meet an emission standard based on a combination of best operating practices and equipment upgrades (to improve the unit’s efficiency).  Modified gas turbines would be required to meet the corresponding emission limits for new gas turbines.

More specifically, the proposal would set different standards of performance for different types of units, as follows:

  • Modified fossil fuel-fired EGUs (i.e., utility boilers and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units):  the source must meet a EGU-specific emission limit (a) determined by the EGU’s best historical annual CO2 emission rate from 2002 to the date of modification, plus an additional 2 percent emission reduction, or (b) determined depending on whether the modification occurs before or after the EGU becoming subject to a Clean Air Act Section 111(d) state plan.  For option (a), the limit must be at least 1,900 pounds of CO2 per net megawatt-hour (lb/MWh-net) for sources with a heat input exceeding 2,000 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/h), or 2,100 lb/MWh-net for sources with a heat input of 2,000 MMBtu/h or less.
  • Reconstructed fossil fuel-fired EGUs:  sources with a heat input exceeding 2,000 MMBtu/h must meet a limit of 1,900 lb/MWh-net, and sources with a heat input of 2,000 MMBtu/h or less must meet a limit of 2,100 lb/MWh-net.
  • Modified or reconstructed natural gas-fired stationary combustion turbines:  sources with a heat input exceeding 850 MMBtu/h must meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of [...]

    Continue Reading



STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES

Ranked In Chambers USA 2022
GCR 100 global elite