About Sara

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.

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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

  • Represented SoCore Energy in gaining approval for its potential acquisition of equity interests in 22 community solar garden development projects in Minnesota, subject to certain conditions, which upon completion will produce up to 140 megawatts of renewable energy. The projects are being acquired as part of bankruptcy proceedings for renewable energy company SunEdison.
  • 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.
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Honors & Activities

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

Insights & Presentations

  • Balancing solar development and preservation of agricultural lands in the Midwest” (co-author), pv magazine, Aug. 27, 2019
  • “Community Solar Land Use, Permitting, and Zoning” (moderator), Community Solar Power Summit, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 18-19, 2019
  • “Community Solar” (co-author), Chapter 9, “Monetizing the ‘Green’ in Green Power: Renewable Energy Certificates” (co-author), Chapter 10, The Law of Solar - A Guide to Business and Legal Issues, Stoel Rives LLP, Fifth Edition, 2017 (formerly Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy)
  • Purchasing Power” (co-author), pv magazine, Jan. 2017
  • What’s Ahead For Community Solar In 2017?” (co-author), Solar Industry Magazine, Dec. 2016
  • Care in the Community” (co-author), pv magazine, Sept. 2015
  • Federal court uncovers utility sector secret: electrons don’t follow rules,” Intelligent Utility, May 19, 2014
  • “Minnesota Aims for Grand Solar Bargain” (co-author), pv magazine, May 5, 2014
  • “Spring in Minnesota: Will the Groundbreaking Value of Solar approach mean ground is broken on solar gardens?,” pv magazine, March 28, 2014
  • Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy (co-author), Stoel Rives LLP, Fourth Edition, 2014
  • The Law of Biorefineries and Advanced Biofuels (co-author), Stoel Rives LLP, 2012
  • Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy (co-author), Stoel Rives LLP, Third Edition, 2011
  • “EPA Develops and Fortifies Renewable Fuel Standard with Proposed 2012 Rule” (co-author), Oregon Insider, 2011
  • “EPA Releases Draft 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards” (co-author), Oil Price Information Service, 2011
  • “Densification: Associated Legal Challenges and Opportunities” (co-author), 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

Related News & Publications

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