Overview

Joshua Belcher is a business attorney in Holland & Knight's Houston office. Mr. Belcher has an international, multidisciplinary practice guiding clients through mergers and acquisitions, financings, project development and energy and environmental commodities transactions, with a focus on helping companies identify and manage complex environmental and regulatory business risks.

Mr. Belcher has extensive experience in both the development and acquisition of utility-scale and customer-sited energy projects, including wind (onshore and offshore), solar (onshore and floating) and solar plus storage, renewable natural gas, biomass and combined heat and power facilities. He has a market-leading practice advising corporate buyers and project developers in the negotiation of physical and financially settled renewable power purchase agreements and environmental commodities transactions. He also represents energy companies in civil litigation and administrative proceedings.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Belcher was a business attorney for a global law firm in its Houston office.

Representative Experience

  • Advised Mayflower Wind Energy LLC as lead federal permitting and regulatory counsel in the development of the Mayflower Wind Project off the coast of Massachusetts, including providing advice in the development of the project's critical path strategy, engagement with federal permitting authorities and coordination with state and local permitting efforts and technical design and commercial contracting activities
  • Advised Shell New Energies in the 50/50 joint venture with EDF Renewables N.A., which formed Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, to co-develop the OCS-0499 lease area within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area
  • Advised several clients and their business, financial and technical advisors to develop qualifications submissions and bids in specific Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) wind energy area lease auctions on the east and west coasts of the U.S.
  • Represented a U.S. utility in early-stage joint venture negotiations with a project developer, including preparing the critical path analysis for securing required federal authorizations to construct a transmission cable in the coastal zone to connect to the onshore grid for offshore development and federal and state approvals
  • Advised on the legal strategy for securing all federal permits and authorizations for development of the Atlantic Wind Connection project, an approximately 800-mile high-voltage direct current (HVDC) "backbone" cable along the Outer Continental Shelf from New York to Virginia to connect future offshore wind energy projects to the onshore grid

  • Represented Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.) opposite Citigroup Energy Inc. in its first-ever purchase of wind power in the wholesale market, enabling the financing of the Shannon Wind Farm and established a supply of 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to power the company's new $1 billion data center in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Represented Meta Platforms in the negotiation of a "green tariff" with the Public Service Company of New Mexico designed to allow direct procurement of utility scale wind and solar energy to power the company's planned $1.8 billion data center in New Mexico
  • Represented Meta Platforms in multiple virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs) across the U.S. and internationally for the procurement of more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy
  • Represented Target Corp. in multiple virtual PPAs across the U.S. for the procurement of several hundred MWs of renewable energy
  • Represented individual and several consortiums of commercial and industrial buyers in the negotiation of multiple renewable energy procurements across the U.S. and in the European Union, including in Spain, Sweden and Finland, involving Avient Corp., Ball Corp., Boston Scientific, The J.M. Smucker Co., Kraft Heinz Co,, LyondellBasell, Millipore Sigma, Owens Corning, Forvia, Uber Technologies Inc. and others
  • Represented Microsoft Corp. as the first buyer in a transaction with Allianz Risk Transfer to use the innovative "proxy revenue swap," a novel wind farm weather hedging product developed in connection with the 178-MW Bloom Wind project in Kansas
  • Advised a leading financial investor in drafting and negotiating a solar canopy PPA with NextEra to be installed for powering a newly constructed LEED-certified office building in New York
  • Represented Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative in the negotiation of a solar-plus-battery PPA with Solar City for the 20-year supply of 13 MW of solar capacity and 52 MWhs of battery storage, as well as a long-term PPA from a 20-MW solar-plus-storage facility developed by AES Solar
  • Represented an American technology conglomerate in the negotiation of two solar PPAs and one battery energy storage agreement to serve a data center

  • Represented Chesapeake Utilities Corp. in the acquisition of Planet Found Energy Development LLC, a Maryland-based entity dedicated to developing poultry litter management technologies
  • Represented the owner of a landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility in a long-term renewable natural gas (RNG) offtake agreement and a suite of equipment supply and construction service agreements to enable financing for the conversion of the LFGTE facility to produce RNG
  • Represented a developer in the negotiation of agreements for the installation of a gas collection system and subsequent purchase and sale of biogas produced at a landfill and wastewater treatment plant owned by a city in Texas
  • Represented a Gulf Coast chemicals manufacturer in the negotiation of agreements for the installation of a gas collection system and subsequent purchase and sale of biogas produced at a landfill owned by a city in Texas, including subcontracts for the design and construction of the system and a tolling arrangement for the upgrade of the biogas to pipeline quality RNG
  • Represented the sponsors in the negotiation of long-term manure supply agreements in connection with the development of dairy RNG projects in Texas and Florida
  • Represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of a dairy RNG facility located in Colorado, including an analysis of certain noncompliant operations requiring remediation before the recommencement of operations
  • Represented a New York utility in the negotiation of a distribution-level interconnection agreement with the sponsor of a RNG facility planned for development within the utility's territory
  • Represented a mid-Atlantic utility in the negotiation of a suite of interconnection and virtual gas pipeline agreements providing for the transportation and injection of RNG with the sponsor of facilities being planned for development in Maryland

  • Represented Hoosier Energy in its sale to Hallador Power Co. of Hoosier Energy's 1 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired Merom Generating Station, located in Sullivan County, Indiana, in return for Hallador assuming certain decommissioning costs and environmental responsibilities, including a 3.5-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for both energy and capacity from the plant
  • Represented Starwood Energy Group in the negotiated settlement to terminate two 1980s-era PPAs between the last two coal-fired cogeneration units in New Jersey and Atlantic City Electric, as well as the $200 million financing with MetLife Investment Management that ultimately enabled the retirement of the two facilities
  • Represented Chesapeake Utilities Corp. and its subsidiary, Sharp Energy Inc., in the acquisition of the assets of multiple regional commercial and residential propane distribution businesses in Florida and the mid-Atlantic
  • Represented Starwood Energy Group in the sale to Vicinity Energy of the Morgantown Energy Associates district energy system serving West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.
  • Represented GridLiance in the acquisition of Valley Electric Transmission Association high-voltage transmission system, which includes 160 miles of 230-kilovolts (kV) transmission lines and related substation equipment
  • Represented Freepoint Commodities LLC in its joint venture with ArcLight Capital Partners LLC to acquire certain storage terminals, refining units and marine infrastructure at the former Hovensa refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of a portfolio of operating power plants in the mid-Atlantic
  • Advised a large renewable energy developer, owner and operator in connection with the sale of operational utility-scale wind facility in California and operational utility-scale solar facility in Texas
  • Advised a large renewable energy developer, owner and operator in connection with the acquisition of an approximately 69 MW development stage solar project in Virginia
  • Represented a city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the purchase and sale of its water system and related assets

Credentials

Education
  • Vermont Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Vermont Law School, M.S., Environmental Law, magna cum laude
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Memberships
  • American Bar Association, 2005-Present
  • Houston Bar Association, 2014-Present
  • Vermont Law Review, Business Manager, 2007-2008
  • Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, Managing Editor, 2007-2008
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, Energy: Renewable/Alternative, 2020-2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Energy Law Ones to Watch, 2023

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News