M. Curtis Whittaker has been a shareholder of the firm since 1991. Curt heads the firm’s Energy Practice Group, and is a member of the Corporate/Business Law Group. Curt works with developers, owners, operators, investors and lenders in the alternative energy area, including biomass, hydropower, wind, solar, cogeneration and alternative fuels.
While at Harvard Law School, Curt took aim at a career in the alternative energy sector by authoring a law review article on the history of hydropower regulation in the United States. From there he moved on to the Washington, D.C. office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he was the first associate hired by their newly-formed Energy Department.
After helping set up Skadden’s West Coast energy practice in Los Angeles, Curt was lured to Rath, Young by a combination of personal imperatives and the fact that the firm had been retained by Northeast Utilities in its effort to acquire Public Service Company of New Hampshire. On the heels of that successful transaction, Curt led the firm’s effort to carve out a niche in serving the sophisticated needs of the alternative energy sector.
The firm’s clients control large percentages of the nation’s biomass and landfill gas-fueled power and thermal plants, and the firm has an outsized presence in the hydropower and solar sectors. The firm has become very active in wind development, representing several projects in the first wave of commercial wind development to arrive on the East Coast.
Curt and the Energy Group work closely with the Tax Group in crafting approaches to maximize the value of the “regulatory assets” often associated with alternative energy projects, including federal tax credits and renewable energy credits.
Prior to joining the firm in 1990, Curt practiced law with Skadden, Arps, in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Aside from his work for clients, Curt privately has developed two hydropower plants, one landfill gas-fueled power plant, and large wind project. Curt has published several articles and given numerous presentations throughout the country on different aspects of the alternative energy industry.
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- Harvard Law School, J.D., 1985
- College of William & Mary, B.A., 1982
- New Hampshire
- District of Columbia
- Representing a New York lending institution in the financing of up to 20 direct use commercial solar power installations in California and New Jersey, including the development of a transaction structure that allowed for multi-party construction and term financing and allocations of federal tax credits to a third party investor
- Representing a developer in the acquisition of a biomass-fueled power plant in Maine, together with the negotiation of engineering/procurement/construct agreements and construction financing for a plant retrofit designed to enable the plant’s output to qualify for renewable energy credits in various state renewable portfolio standard programs
- Representing a Canadian power development company in the acquisition of hydropower plants located in New York and Virginia
- Representing a Colorado-based developer in the development and financing of a commercial wind project
- Assisting a Fortune 200 company in California develop an internal cogeneration plant fueled in part by landfill gas from a nearby landfill, including advising on utility interconnections and local regulations
- Analyzing a Fortune 100 company’s energy plant portfolio, and developing plans for structuring project-level financings and improving after-tax returns
- Curt was on a 3 man relay team that successfully swam the English Channel in 2014