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Elias B. Hinckley

Partner
+1.202.778.9091
Fax +1.202.778.9100
Elias Hinckley is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He focuses his practice on assisting clients navigating a changing energy, tax, and financial landscape by efficiently and creatively structuring deals.

He incorporates tax, policy, and market insight to solve complex financing challenges for renewable energy companies, private equity, hedge funds, tax equity investors, real estate investors, independent power companies, and public utilities. He has been at the forefront of the development of several novel and innovative financing structures for the clean energy industry.

He has experience representing clients across energy sectors, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, hydroelectric, batteries, fuel cells, energy efficiency, demand response, electric transmission, natural gas, and advanced coal.

Previously, Mr. Hinckley led the energy practice at another international law firm and was the head of the alternative energy practice for Deloitte USA for several years. He is also an adjunct professor of international energy policy and markets at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Achievements

  • The Legal 500 United States, 2014 and 2016

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, PowerGen International Financial Forum Advisory Committee
  • Director of Energy Finance, Our Energy Policy Foundation
  • Contributor, Energy Trends Insider
  • Board of Directors, Clean Energy Leadership Institute
  • Board of Advisors, The Energy Collective
  • Mentor, The Cleantech Open

Speaking Engagements

  • Financing Power Projects to 2020 and Beyond, PowerGen International, Orlando, FL (December 15, 2016)
  • Update on Clean Imperative and Sectoral Response in the US Power Industry, ABA Annual Meeting (September 8, 2016)
  • Acting on the Water-Climate Change Nexus, Center for Water Security and Cooperation Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2016)
  • Navigating the New Financing Landscape for Clean Energy, New York, NY (April 5, 2016)
  • Buyer Perspectives in Secondary Market Transactions, Solar Asset Management (March 17, 2016)
  • Successfully Financing Power Projects in the Developing World, PowerGen International, Las Vegas, NV (December 10, 2015)
  • Project Financing in a Resilient Future, Solar Focus, Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2015)
  • Distributed Energy Opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic, Solar Energy Industries Association, Washington, D.C. (November 5, 2015)
  • Financing Projects Under New York's 'Reforming the Energy Vision', New York, NY (October 1, 2015)
  • The Cutting Edge of Project Finance, New York Energy Week: Solar Breakfast New York, NY (June 18, 2015)
  • Financing & Tax Challenges with Solar + Storage Projects, SEIA Finance & Tax Seminar, New York, NY (June 2, 2015)
  • New Frontiers: Leveraging Credit Enhancements and other Tools for International Development, PowerGen International, Orlando, FL (December 10, 2014)
  • Energy Future: Bridging the Gap, Wharton Energy Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 14, 2014)
  • New York Energy Week Solar Breakfast, New York, NY (June 16, 2014)
  • Policy, Programs and Partnerships, S&W Startup Series, Boston, MA (May 1, 2014)
  • Alternative Financing and Insurance Strategies for Solar, New York, NY (April 17, 2014)
  • Impact of EPA's New-Source Carbon Regulations on Power Plants, UBS Teleconference (January 17, 2014)
  • Deconstructing Power Purchase Agreements: How to Build up Good Indexation, Termination and Force Majeure Clauses to Avoid Litigation or Arbitration International Bar Association Annual Conference (October 8, 2013)
  • Innovation: Changing the Future of Alternative Energy, Deloitte Alternative Energy Seminar, Phoenix, AZ (September 2013)
  • Financing Distributed Energy, PowerGen International, Orlando, FL (December 2012)
  • Financing Demand Response, PLMA Spring Conference, New York, NY (May 2012)
  • Successfully Financing Clean Energy Projects on Tribal Lands, Renewable Energy Projects in Indian Country (May 2012)
  • Capital in Renewable Energy Deals, Cleantech Financing Roundtable, New York, NY (March 2012)
  • Government Perspectives on Policies, IP & Green Tech Incentives, Accelerating Commercialization & Promoting Global Innovation, Alexandria, VA (June 2011)
  • International Renewable Energy Policy, World Renewable Energy Congress, Linkoping, SE (May 2011)
  • The Future of U.S. Energy Policy, EUEC 2011, Phoenix, AZ (February 2011)
  • Why Utility Companies Don’t Buy Renewable Energy Companies, EUEC Phoenix, AZ (February 2011)
  • The Great Pace Controversy, ABA webcast (November 2010)
  • Future Transactional Opportunities and Challenges, Midwest Wind Summit, Brookings, SD (October 2010)
  • Sustainable Practices in 2010 – What Private Companies and the U.S. Government Are Doing and Why, Washington, D.C. (March 2010)
  • Carbon Markets and Financing, EUEC 2010, Phoenix, AZ (February 2010)
  • Using Policy to Successfully Finance Clean Energy Projects, EUEC 2010, Phoenix, AZ (February 2010)
  • Renewable Energy Financing: Gaining the Edge for 2010, Webcast (January 2010)
  • Methods to Improve Geothermal Project Development, Geothermal Energy Utilization Associated with Oil and Gas Development, Conference, Dallas, TX (November 2009)
  • The History of U.S. Energy Policy, U.S. Dept. of State International Visitor Leadership Program, Washington, D.C. (February 2009)
  • Utilities’ Ownership of Wind Projects, Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit 2009, San Diego, CA (February 2009)
  • Financing Issues, Geothermal Finance Workshop, New York, NY (July 2008)
  • U.S. Department of Energy Cost-Sharing Program for Exploratory Geothermal Drilling, Geothermal Finance Workshop, New York, NY (July 2008)
  • Integrated Renewable Energy Financing, Annual American Wind Energy Association Conference, Houston, TX (June 2008)
  • Managing Energy Construction Risk, Deloitte Energy Conference, Washington, D.C. (May 2008)
  • Renewable Energy Incentives and Their Treatment, SNL Exnet 23rd Annual Utility Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 2008)
  • Utilities’ Ownership of Wind Projects, Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit, San Diego, CA (February 2008)
  • Navigating the US Alternative Energy Market, Global Energy and Resources Meeting, Dubai, U.A.E. (November 2007)

Additional Information

Publications

  • Renewable Energy Procurement: Trends, Outlook & Strategy, AltEnergyMag.com (November 1, 2016)
  • Corporate America's Huge Appetite for Clean Energy, The Energy Collective (October 3, 2016), Seeking Alpha (September 30, 2016)
  • The Future of Electricity Markets? Corporations Directly Buying Renewable Power, EDGE Advisory (September 29, 2016)
  • Tax Equity Update September, EDGE Advisory (September 29, 2016)
  • Opening the Floodgates for U.S. Clean Energy Deployment, Power Finance & Risk (July 15, 2016), Energy Trends Insider (July 27, 2016), Seeking Alpha (July 28, 2016)
  • Business, Politics and Climate Change, Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story (January 14, 2016)
  • Energy and Real Estate are Colliding, The Energy Collective (June 9, 2015)
  • The IMF Just Destroyed The Best Argument Against Clean Energy, Seeking Alpha, NASDAQ.com (June 9, 2015)
  • Historic Moment: Saudi Arabia Sees End of Oil Age Coming and Opens Valves on the Carbon Bubble, Energy Post (January 22, 2015)
  • What is the Future of OPEC?, World Economic Forum (January 15, 2015)
  • Everything Has Changed: Oil, Saudi Arabia, and the End of OPEC, The Energy Collective (January 9, 2015)
  • Adapting to Plug-Ins, The Economist (October 4, 2014)
  • Opening the Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Energy Management, The Energy Collective (August 19, 2014)
  • Cracking the Code on the Business of Energy Management, Energy Trends Insider, Seeking Alpha (August 2014)
  • Forget the Death Spiral: Electric Vehicles Offer a Major Growth Opportunity for Utilities, Greentech Media (July 22, 2014)
  • The Great Electric Company Growth Opportunity, Seeking Alpha, NASDAQ.com (July 16, 2014)
  • Distributed Energy: Understanding and Mitigating Commercial and Regulatory, Risks American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) (June 24, 2014)
  • America’s Market Based Economy Must Have a Price on Carbon Dioxide Emissions, CleanTechnica (June1, 2014)
  • Barclays Just Threw Gasoline on the Fire that is the Battle Between Utilities and the Solar Industry, Energy Trends Insider, Seeking Alpha, The Christian Science Monitor (May 28, 2014)
  • Climate Change and the American Economy, The Hill (May 21, 2014)
  • Texas is the American Leader in Energy – So How Can Its Electricity Markets be Such a Mess?, Breaking Energy, Energy Trends Insider (May 2014)
  • The Future Of America's Power Markets?, Watch Texas Seeking Alpha (May 13, 2014)
  • Wind Developers Tap Hedging Contracts to Spark Next Texas, Boom SNL Financial (April 16, 2014)
  • Winter Price Volatility Viewed as Start of Multiyear Trend, Not One-Off Experience, SNL Energy (April 16, 2014)
  • Securitization: The Future of Solar Finance, The Energy Collective (November 6, 2013)
  • The Solar Industry is Red Hot – Will it Get Hotter?, Energy Trends Insider (October 22, 2013)
  • Massachusetts Solar Market Shifts Toward Smaller Projects, Banker & Tradesman (October 14, 2013)
  • Why Utility Downgrades Are a Big Deal, Breaking Energy (September 13, 2013)
  • Uncertainty and Investment in Electric Generation Don’t Mix: the Real Danger to the Coal Industry, Energy Trends Insider (August 22, 2013)
  • Lessons From the Beginning of the End of America’s Coal Industry, Breaking Energy (August 21, 2013)
  • The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Obama's Climate Plan, Energy Trends Insider (June 27, 2013)
  • Court Ruling: A Boost for Renewables or Can of Worms?, The Christian Science Monitor (June 15, 2013)
  • Water May Reshape Energy Industry, The Christian Science Monitor (May 19, 2013)

Financing Experience

  • Advised an investment fund on equity and tax equity investments using partnership flip structure to make investments into a portfolio of distributed solar projects throughout the eastern United States.
  • Advised the tax investor in a series of solar investments in the Texas market using partnership flip transaction structure.
  • Designed a first-of-its-kind tax equity structure for an investment company to facilitate the integration of tax equity investment into a municipality’s solar program for low-income housing.
  • Advised private equity fund on project acquisition and project financing for wind farm that was repowered, including tax equity structuring and re-qualification for Production Tax Credits.
  • Developed storm-water mitigation revenue contract, providing basis for attracting project finance investment for green infrastructure, on behalf of a private equity and development fund.
  • Advised tax investor with project financing and tax investment into a fleet of electric vehicles, using miles-as-a-service contracts with a municipality as the revenue basis for investment.
  • Advised a fund on tax investment into portfolio of solar assets in Northeastern U.S. markets designing and delivering an inverted lease transaction structure.
  • Advised real estate investment fund on tax equity structuring to allow for disposition of real estate portfolio, which was host and off-taker for portfolio of solar systems.• Advised on development of crowd-funded debt portfolio and structured investments to integrate these loans into partnership flip tax equity transactions for portfolio of solar projects.
  • Advised private debt fund on hybrid investment vehicle combining debt and tax equity investments in solar projects.
  • Advised a solar development company on novel financing platform for replicable small-scale solar installation deal structures, including optimization of structure for incorporating nontraditional tax equity investments.
  • Provided tax equity structuring and related support to off-shore wind developer supporting project development off the coast of New Jersey. 
  • A dvised one of the world’s largest security and technology companies on financial and tax structures available for multibillion dollar investment in utility-scale solar projects.
  • Developed a heating and cooling supply agreement and ownership structure to allow realization of grant and tax benefits necessary to allow a pipeline of geothermal heat-pump installations to be financeable for equity and tax equity investors.
  • Reviewed and redesigned a novel financing structure for the development and ownership of a portfolio of wind companies by a private equity fund.
  • Advised the owner of the largest geothermal facility in the United States on a variety of tax and finance concerns and considerations associated with ongoing operations, expansion, and repowering of facilities.
  • Advised a large European utility on solar energy investment's in the U.S. market, including tax and renewable energy certificate financing.

M&A Experience

  • Advised solar developer and independent power company on recapitalization and sale of controlling interest to a consortium of private equity investors.
  • Advised leading solar monitoring company on sale of company to a subsidiary of a publicly traded global information and data service company.
  • Provided due diligence review for a syndicate of investors buying sponsor position in large portfolio of solar projects consisting of inverted lease and partnership flip transaction structures.
  • Advised on the purchase, construction, and sale of series of portfolios of utility scale solar projects for hedge fund.
  • Advised on the purchase, development, and construction of portfolio of anaerobic digestion biomass electric generating facilities for a hedge fund.
  • Advised private equity fund on acquisition of sponsor equity position in portfolio of landfill waste electric generating facilities.
  • Advised on the sale of majority interest in small independent power company to private equity syndicate.
  • Performed due diligence for a power generation corporation's turbine and other equipment contracts associated with the sale of a partially constructed generating facility.
  • Performed due diligence supporting the purchase of a controlling interest in a portfolio of three wind farms by the infrastructure fund of a major U.S. bank.

Policy and Program Experience

  • Drafted revised carbon capture legislation to allow for tax credit transferability on behalf of a private equity firm to support development and construction of a multibillion dollar advanced coal facility.
  • Advised global NGO on development of solar investment programs for Mexico, Philippines, Uruguay, and Pakistan under the National Appropriate Mitigation Action framework.
  • Assisted a wind turbine manufacturer, solar developer, and advanced auto manufacturer with applications for U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program.
  • Supported the largest natural gas company in the world by providing policy and market analysis on developments in the United States and the impact of the changing policy and market landscape on its business both in the United States and globally.
  • Advised on Treasury Grant application and audit defense for U.S. based wind turbine manufacturing company.
  • Led the application and review process for direct funding support from U.S. government to expand domestic solar manufacturing capacity.
  • Drafted revised biomass gasification legislation to allow for the production of pipeline quality biogas to be included within the Production Tax Credit.

Other Legal Experience

  •  Designed model documentation for renewable energy development company to use as platform for entering corporate virtual power purchase agreement market.
  • Acted as outside general counsel for several years for Texas based wind developer with development pipeline of more the 3000MW of on- and off-shore wind projects in the ERCOT market.
  • Provided contract modifications for an independent power company for a turbine supply agreement, which allowed for an independent power company to realize more than $100 million in accelerated tax benefits.
  • Reviewed turbine supply contracts, and other major component system contracts for a fleet of approximately thirty gas-fired combined cycle plants.
  • Assisted a large regulated U.S. utility to determine rate consequences of direct ownership of wind farm versus contracting for power through power purchase agreements with third-party power providers by analyzing relative value of tax credits under each scenario.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreement for large industrial customer and host of two multi-megawatt photovoltaic solar facilities.