Sara E. Bergan
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 373-8819 Direct
(612) 373-8881 Fax


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Practice Areas




Sara E. Bergan


Sara Bergan is an energy law attorney who works primarily with renewable energy and cleantech clients on project development, project finance and energy and environmental regulatory matters.

In advising her clients, Sara is able to tap into her background and experience working on energy policy issues. Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Sara served for several years as the executive director of the Great Plains Institute, a Midwest non-profit that brokers consensus energy and climate policy decisions among diverse stakeholders.

Representative Work

Energy Regulatory

  • Assist wind developer clients in obtaining or extending regulatory approvals such as certificates of need and site permits for large scale energy facilities in Minnesota.
  • Drafted and filed comments to the Midwest Independent System Operator's most recent queue reform on behalf of wind industry trade groups in the Midwest.
  • Regularly assess how tariff changes in the Midwest ISO and Cal ISO markets affect different wind and solar clients.
  • Prepared, filed and defended qualifying facility ("QF") status for clients with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") and assessed state PURPA laws for several clients with QFs.
  • Prepared federal market based rate applications for power marketing and power generation entities.
  • Helped energy developer clients navigate state electric franchise systems – as well as opportunities for direct sales and net-metering – in Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon and Texas.

Energy Transactional

  • Assisted client with a complex $60 million tax equity financing for a pair of solar facilities in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
  • Assisted client with the acquisition and tax equity financing for a 12.8 MW solar facility located in Long Island, New York.
  • Assisted client with the tax equity, construction and permanent debt financing for two portfolios of solar projects in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
  • Conducted regulatory due diligence related to the acquisition of several wind and solar facilities and a major western state high voltage transmission project.
  • Assist clients in drafting and amending key renewable energy contracts such as power purchase agreements and renewable energy certificate sales agreements.

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Member, Oregon State Bar Association
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Advisory Council Member, North Central Region Sun Grant Initiative


  • "Care in the Community" (coauthor), pv magazine, Sept. 2015
  • "Spring in Minnesota: Will the Groundbreaking Value of Solar approach mean ground is broken on solar gardens?," pv magazine, March 28, 2014
  • "Minnesota Aims for Grand Solar Bargain" (coauthor), pv magazine, May 5, 2014
  • "Federal court uncovers utility sector secret: electrons don’t follow rules," Intelligent Utility, May 19, 2014
  • Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy, Third Edition, Stoel Rives LLP, 2014
  • The Law of Biorefineries and Advanced Biofuels (coauthor), Stoel Rives LLP, 2012
  • Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy (coauthor), Third Edition, Stoel Rives LLP, 2011
  • "EPA Develops and Fortifies Renewable Fuel Standard with Proposed 2012 Rule" (coauthor), Oregon Insider, 2011
  • "EPA Releases Draft 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards" (coauthor), Oil Price Information Service, 2011
  • "Densification: Associated Legal Challenges and Opportunities" (coauthor), Biomass Magazine, Nov. 2011
  • Case Study: A Wind Development Project in the State of California, Stoel Rives LLP, June 2011 (PDF- available in English and Chinese)
  • Contributor, Stoel Rives Renewable Energy & Climate Policy Law Blog

Media Commentary


  • University of Minnesota School of Law, J.D., 2010, magna cum laude
    Donald G. Marshall and Stone Scholarship Recipient
  • Princeton University, M.P.P., 2006
    Robertson Family Scholarship Recipient
    Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A., Environmental Studies, 1997, cum laude


  • Minnesota
  • Oregon

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