On May 12, 2023, in Notice 2023-38 (the “Notice”), the IRS published rules intended for inclusion in forthcoming regulations regarding domestic content bonus credit amounts.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amended §§ 45 and 48 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) to provide a domestic content bonus credit amount for certain qualified facilities or energy projects placed in service after December 31, 2022, and added new Code §§ 45Y and 48E, which include a domestic content bonus credit amount for certain investments in qualified facilities or energy storage technologies placed in service after December 31, 2023.

To claim a domestic content bonus credit amount, a taxpayer must establish that the “Domestic Content Requirement” is satisfied with respect to an “Applicable Project” by certifying to the Secretary of the Treasury that any steel, iron, or manufactured product which is a component of the Applicable Project (upon completion of construction) was produced in the United States. The Notice provides guidance on what is required to meet the Domestic Content Requirement and the procedures for reporting and claiming domestic content bonus credit amounts.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which went into effect in January, it can pay to be a brownfield – a term used to refer to a property that is affected by potential or confirmed contamination. Specifically, the IRA offers incentives to renewable energy development that takes place on a brownfield site, which is included as an “energy community” under the IRA. On April 4, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Treasury published limited guidance (Notice 2023-29, Energy Community Bonus Credit Amounts under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) on the bonuses available for production and investment of energy facilities in energy communities. Unfortunately, even with the guidance, the eligibility of certain sites as brownfields remains uncertain.

The siting of renewable energy infrastructure remains a contentious issue in some communities. Throughout the United States — both on the coasts and in the Midwest — new renewable energy development pits unlikely advocates against unlikely opposition. That said, more and more State governments that are looking to grow their renewable energy industries and meet climate goals are implementing legislative solutions to these renewable energy siting issues.

On November 3, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued three notices (“November 3 Notices”) requesting public input on the climate and clean energy incentives contained in the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”). The November 3 Notices request comments by December 2, 2022, on the amendments, extensions, and enhancements of the IRA’s energy tax benefits. The November 3 Notices follow an initial set of six notices that were issued by the IRS on October 5, 2022 to seek public input on other aspects of the energy tax incentives contained in the IRA.

In Texas, title insurance forms are promulgated by the Texas Department of Insurance (the “TDI”), with policy types, premium amounts, and the issuance of endorsements being regulated by standardized procedural and rate rules. Thus, title deliverables required for debt and equity financing transactions tend to be generally uniform in Texas renewable energy transactions.

In the wake of increasing inflation and as a means of codifying several of the Biden administration’s legislative priorities, the Senate passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act on August 7, 2022 (the “Act”), by a 51-50 party-line vote. The Act, which is comprised of sweeping healthcare, energy, and tax measures, was approved by the House of Representatives on August 12, 2022, and signed into law by President Biden on August 16, 2022, creating a significant number of renewable energy sector benefits.

In order to keep pace with the federal government’s ambitious goal of permitting the production of at least twenty-five (25) gigawatts of renewable energy through projects placed on public land by 2025, the Department of the Interior (the “DOI”) recently announced several policy changes to ensure developing renewable projects on public land is attractive and affordable for third-party developers and investors.

On June 6, 2022, President Biden declared a national emergency (the “Declaration”) in relation to energy resources and temporarily extended the time of duty-free importation of solar panels and parts from Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This declaration comes in response to industry concerns over the implications, for ongoing solar energy projects, of the anti-circumvention inquiry by the U.S. Department of Commerce that was initiated on April 1, 2022. The Declaration permits the Secretary of Commerce to waive the collection of duties and other estimated duties on imported solar cells and modules from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia for the next twenty-four months, regardless of the outcome of the anti-circumvention inquiry.

Companies with ESG policies – including financing parties investing in renewable energy projects – should assess the impact of Texas Senate Bill 19 on their government contracting opportunities, and should expect and prepare for heightened state regulation of corporate firearm policies in the future.

Effective September 1, 2021, Texas Senate Bill 19 prohibits government entities from contracting with companies that have policies that restrict business with the firearms industry. The bill specifically targets banks and other financial institutions that have at least ten employees and are seeking government contracts of at least $100,000. Under the bill, such institutions are required to provide written verification that they do not have practices, policies, guidance, or directives that “discriminate” against a firearm entity or firearm trade association.