McGuireWoods Team Talks Energy With Corporate Counsel Business Journal

August 19, 2021

McGuireWoods partners Brian Kelly and Michael Woodard and associate Emilie McNally were interviewed in the May/June issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal.

The team discussed the economic and regulatory climate for renewable energy and how the Texas power grid failure, the pandemic and the Biden administration’s energy priorities affect the outlook.

One of the biggest opportunities for renewable energy companies will come from redeveloping former coal-fired power plants. Kelly, leader of McGuireWoods’ energy industry team, said that while the shutdown of coal has benefits from an environmental perspective, the energy and resiliency benefits brought by these facilities need to be partially offset by additional generation development.

The team also discussed how to keep clean energy projects moving ahead in the near future. “One of the most important keys to advancing the offshore wind industry is to start building,” said Woodard, chair of the firm’s M&A and Energy Transactional Department. “The technology is getting better and cheaper with time, and as more projects are built, the more experienced and efficient we will become in designing, developing and constructing offshore wind projects.”

One major factor impacting the industry in the near-term is the Biden administration’s energy priorities, and how those priorities will impact renewable energy development. “Even if President Biden can’t win support from Congress, his administration will still be able to advance renewable energy policies through executive orders and other, federally focused projects and strategies (including the development of solar and wind projects on federal lands and waters) and will continue to lean on growing support from the private sector,” McNally said.