BBJ Group’s renewable energy development team provides the expertise to meet local, state, and federal environmental permitting requirements and the transactional due diligence expertise needed to protect buyers and lessees. Our experience includes greenfield and brownfield (e.g., “brightfield” solar) sites that generate local-use, community-scale, and utility-scale electricity. We work with solar and wind developers, large and small, to obtain the necessary permits and approvals.
A typical scope of work involves an initial Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to investigate prior land use and to identify possible hazardous and petroleum constituents; desktop and field-based jurisdictional water determinations to identify wetlands, streams, and other aquatic features; cultural and historical feature reviews and field assessments; and desktop ecological, threatened, and endangered species assessments. If prior use of the property indicates the possibility of legacy contamination, we can perform Phase II ESAs to define the nature and extent of the contamination. We can also complete the required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments if federal funding is involved.
Our brownfield experience will prove valuable when negotiating purchase and lease agreements to protect new owners and lessees from prior contaminant liabilities. We have the expertise to identify legacy contamination, navigate the application and investigation phases, negotiate brownfield voluntary agreements, and design solar arrays – for example – to overcome land use restrictions (e.g., penetration of a landfill cap).
Brownfield sites include industrial manufacturing plants, municipal solid waste landfills, construction and demolition debris landfills, coal ash impoundments and landfills that have been properly closed, retired coal-fired power plants, and reclaimed coal mines. The absence of trees and consistent ground slopes – and sometimes convenient connectivity to the electrical grid – can make such sites very attractive for solar development. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) also encourages brownfield developments by providing investment tax credits (ITCs).
BBJ Group uses its expertise to help owners and lessees maximize electricity production, avoid sensitive features, minimize the time required for state and federal permits, and maximize tax credit potential.