Ed Zaelke  
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP

 Akin Gump

Edward Zaelke
co-chairs Akin Gump’s global project finance practice. Mr. Zaelke focuses his practice on project development and finance, with a particular emphasis on representing companies engaged in the development, financing and operation of wind power, solar power and other alternative energy projects. His clients include many of the top renewable energy developers and investors in the United States. Mr. Zaelke’s experience extends to all elements of alternative energy development and finance, including equity and debt financing, merger and acquisition transactions, equipment purchase and sale agreements, power purchase agreements, siting and other real property issues, governmental approvals and construction and EPC contracts.

He has been named as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers and Top 25 Clean Tech Lawyers, and is recognized by Chambers and Partners and numerous other publications for his leading role in the renewables industry.

Mr. Zaelke is the former president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and has been a board member of AWEA since 2002. He is also a board member of the American Wind Energy Foundation and the chair of the AWEA Conference and Education Committee. In addition, Mr. Zaelke is on the advisory board for Boalt Hall School of Law’s Energy and Cleantech Program and the University of Southern California’s Institute for Corporate Counsel.

Prior to joining Akin Gump, Mr. Zaelke was partner at two international law firms.

Mr. Zaelke is a member of the California Bar. He received his B.A. from California State University, Long Beach, in 1980 and his J.D. in 1983 from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where he was managing editor of the UCLA Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Representative Experience

  • representation of sponsor in connection with construction, equity bridge and term loan financings of over $300 million for the 120-MW Windstar wind project in Tehachapi, California and an 11-MW combined wind and solar project in Kingman, Arizona
  • representation of sponsor in connection with both the construction and term loan financing and the tax equity financing of the Macho I wind project in New Mexico
  • representation of sponsor in connection with the construction and term loan financing of the Mountain View IV wind project in California
  • representation of developer/manufacturer in connection with a 50-MW compressed air energy storage project
  • representation of sponsor in connection with the $212 million construction and term financing for the Armenia Mountain project, a 100.5-MW wind farm located in Bradford and Tioga counties, Pennsylvania
  • representation of Irish-based developer in the acquisition of a portfolio of wind farms with a potential capacity of 787 MWs in Illinois
  • representation of developer and turbine manufacturer in connection with a joint venture to develop and supply wind turbines for 5,000 MWs of wind projects in South Dakota
  • representation of acquiring company in connection with the multiphase development of over 1,500 MWs of wind project assets in California
  • representation of developer in a joint venture with strategic investor involving the development of over $4 billion in wind farm projects
  • representation of developer in connection with the financing, power sale arrangements and development of wind farms in Texas totaling $600 million.

Awards and Recognitions

  • “Top 100 Lawyers in California” (2009, 2010, 2011) - the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
  • Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2010-2011) - projects and renewable energy
  • Mr. Zaelke is one of only six attorneys in the United States listed by Chambers in Band 1 for renewable energy projects.
  • Who’s Who Legal International (2010) - project finance
  • Chambers Global - The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2010) - United States: Projects
  • Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers (2008) - project finance law
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2007-2010, 2012) - project finance and Southern California’s Best Lawyers
  • Who’s Who: California (2009) and The Global Directory of Who’s Who (2009-2010) - project finance
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2006-2010) - leading project finance lawyer
  • Legal 500 (2010) - project finance
  • Mr. Zaelke has a peer review rating of “AV” on Martindale-Hubbell, the highest legal ability and ethical standards rating accorded to lawyers in the legal directory.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Deal Trends in Utility Scale Solar Transactions” (Panelist) Infocast Solar Summit, New York, New York, April, 2011
  • “Independent Wind Developers Perspectives on Wind Financing and Development” (Moderator), Infocast Wind Finance Summit, San Diego, California, February, 2011
  • Conference Chairperson, American Wind Energy Association’s 2010 Fall Symposium, Phoenix, Arizona, November, 2010
  • “Turbine Vendor’s Panel” (Moderator), AWEA Fall Symposium, November, 2010
  • “Financing Structures Utilizing the U.S. Treasury Cash Grant Program for Renewable Energy Projects: Legal Case Studies,“ American Wind Power Association’s U.S. Wind Energy Summit, London, UK, October, 2010
  • “Shifting Global Political Winds and Regulatory Implications for the Renewable Energy Industry,” 2010 RBS Renewable Energy Conference – How to Attract Capital in a World of Limits, Shenzhen, China, October, 2010
  • “Update on County Permitting” (Moderator), Infocast’s Utility Scale Solar Summit, Del Mar, CA, September, 2010
  • “Optimizing Capital in the Current Environment” (Moderator), “Starting Your Career in Wind Energy” (Presenter) and “Large Wind Turbine Manufacturer Forum - Part 2” (Moderator), American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2010 Conference & Exhibition, Dallas, TX, May 2010
  • “Mock Tax Equity Negotiations” (Moderator), American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop, New York, NY, April 2010
  • “Growing and Financing the Residential Solar Market” (Moderator), Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit, San Diego, CA, March 2010
  • “Financing Wind Projects Using the Cash Grant Program,” Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit, San Diego, CA, February 2010
  • “Original Equipment Manufacturers Perspectives on O&M” (Moderator), American Wind Power Association’s Wind Project Profitability and Reliability Workshop, San Diego, CA, January 2010
  • “Using Loan Guarantees in Renewable Energy Finance” (Moderator), “The Impact of the ARRA on Deal Structures in 2010” (Moderator) and “Project Finance Capital Raising Outlook 2010: Is There A Case for Optimism” (Moderator), Projects & Money Summit 2010, New Orleans, LA, January 2010
  • “State of the U.S. Wind Industry” and “Financing Wind Projects in 2009 - 2010: The Return of Leverage to Wind Power Financings” (Moderator), The Seminar Group Developing Wind Power Projects in California Conference (Conference Co-Chair), Marina del Rey, CA, September 2009
  • “How Has/Will California Balance its Economic Crisis and Carbon Policies?” (Moderator), Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. Western RPS Conference, San Francisco, CA, July 2009
  • “The Bigger the Project … Financing of Large-Scale Solar in the Region” (Moderator), Solar Energy Industries Association PV America, Philadelphia, PA, June 2009
  • “Careers in Wind Energy: Law, Policy, Development and Finance,” “Trends in Wind Turbine Warranties” and “Examining the Cost of Producing Wind Energy: The Cost of Capital,” American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER 2009 Conference & Exhibition, Chicago, IL, May 2009
  • “How the Stimulus Bill Will Affect the Market: Opportunities - New Projects, New Sources of Money,” (panelist), Webinar, February 19, 2009
  • “The U.S. Financial Landscape and Its Impact on Asset Management,” (Presenter), American Wind Energy Association Wind Power Asset Management Workshop, San Diego, CA, January 2009
  • “The Economics of Wind: What Lies Ahead,” (Session Chair), American Wind Energy Association Fall Wind Symposium, Palm Desert, CA, November 2008
  • “Wind’s Potential and the Road Map,” (Conference Chair), American Wind Energy Association Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop, New York, NY, October 2008
  • “Project Financing with Power Purchase Agreements and Leasing,” Financial Research Associates’ Third Annual Investing in Solar Conference, Phoenix, AZ, October 2008
  • “The American Wind Energy Market: Current Situation,” Husum WindEnergy 2008, Husum, Germany, September 2008
  • “Strategies to Market the Output from a Power Plant Project,” Tribal Energy and the California Market Conference, Cabazon, CA, June 23-24, 2008
  • “Negotiating Wind Energy Merger and Acquisition Agreement,” American Wind Energy Association Wind Power 2008 Conference & Exhibition, Houston, TX, June 3, 2008
  • “U.S. Wind Energy Growth- Can It Continue?,” WindBoom USA, Cologne, Germany, April 2008
  • “The Challenge of Wind Turbine Acquisition,” (Moderator), University of Texas Wind Energy Institute, Austin, TX, February 2008
  • American Wind Energy Association Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop, New York, NY, October 10-11, 2007
  • “Dynamics and Potentials of the American Wind Market,” Husum WindEnergy 2007, Husum, Germany, Summer 2007
  • Chadbourne & Parke LLP Global Energy and Finance Conference, Deer Valley, UT, June 14-15, 2007
  • “Turbine Supply Agreements - Where Are We Heading?,” American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA, June 2007
  • “Wind Energy Development in the United States - Boundless Potential,” Hannover Energy Fair, Hannover, Germany, April 2007
  • “An Overview of the U.S. Wind Energy Industry,” Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Financial Institutions Conference, Dallas, TX, April 2007
  • “Wind Energy Operations and Maintenance Agreements,” American Wind Energy Association Operations and Maintenance Workshop, San Diego, CA, January 2007
  • “Looking Ahead to 2007 - President’s Plenary Session Opening Speech,” American Wind Energy Association Fall Symposium, Phoenix, AZ, December 2006
  • “Tax Equity Discussion Panel” and “Wind Energy Development Real Estate Update,” (Moderator), American Wind Energy Association Financing Workshop, New York, NY, October 2006
  • “EPACT - One Year Later,” Restructuring Today Web Seminar, September 2006
  • “Wind Energy - Build or Buy,” Southwest Conference on Renewable Energy, Flagstaff, AZ, September 2006
  • “President’s Remarks at Awards Banquet” and “Realizing Value in Wind Energy Sales,” American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER 2006, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2006
  • “State Renewable Portfolio Standards,” American Wind Energy Association Wind Project Finance & Investment Workshop, Houston, TX, April 2006
  • “Capitalizing the Undercapitalized in Mid-Sized Wind Energy Projects,” Renewable Energy Finance and Investment Summit, Phoenix, AZ, March 2006
  • “Effective Renewable Portfolio Standards in States Without Retail Electric Competition,” American Wind Energy Association RPS Workshop, Chicago, IL, March 2006
  • “Getting Merchant Wind to Market - Overcoming Regulatory and Other Constraints,” EUCI’s Program on Merchant Wind Projects, Financing, Developing and Structuring, Denver, CO, February 2006
  • “Negotiating Wind Project Financing - Purchase and Sale of a Project,” Infocast Wind Financing Seminar, Rancho Bernardo, CA, February 2006
  • “Federal and State Incentives for Renewable Energy Projects,” The Association of the Bar of the City of New York January Workshop, New York, NY, January 2006
  • “Operation and Maintenance Agreements for Wind Energy Projects,” American Wind Energy Association Power Asset Management Workshop, San Diego, CA, January 2006
  • “Ensuring Wind Energy Project Revenue, What’s Financeable and What’s Not,” American Wind Energy Association Wind Power Finance and Investment Workshop, San Diego, CA, October 2005
  • “Chairman’s Opening Remarks,” American Wind Energy Association Fall Symposium, La Quinta, CA, September 2005
  • “PPA Wars, Episode III: The Revenge of the Power Purchasers,” American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER 2005, Denver, CO, May 2005
  • “Structuring Equity Investments in Wind Energy Projects,” EUCI’s Fifth Annual Wind Energy and Power Markets Conference, Denver, CO, February 2005


  • “What’s Ahead for Subsidies and Support for Renewable Energy in the US?,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 16, 2011
  • “The U.S. Financial Landscape and Its Impact on Asset Management,” Wind Today, January 2009
  • “Changing Winds Ahead for M&A Activity?,” North American Windpower, January 2009
  • “Tips for the Trade of Renewables,” International Financial Law Review, October/November 2008
  • “Building a Renewable Energy Practice: Turning an Interest Into an Opportunity,” The Daily Journal, May 30, 2007
  • “Structuring Equity Investments in Wind Energy Projects,” Natural Gas & Electricity, August 2005

2012 Speakers Include

Dan Adler Ric Abel
Managing Director
Prudential Capital Group
Dan Adler Dan Adler
Dan Adler Jeetu Balchandani
Head of Leasing & Tax Credits
Arun Banskota
eVgo (NRG EV Services)
Dan Adler David Belote
Executive Director, DoD Siting Clearinghouse
U.S. Department of Defense
Dan Adler Mit Buchanan
Managing Director
JP Morgan
Dan Adler Michael Butler
Cascadia Capital
Dan Adler Karen Butterfield
Director of Federal Programs
Dan Adler Gavin Danaher
Managing Director - Power & Infrastructure Investments
John Hancock Financial Services

Paul Detering
Tioga Energy

Chris Diaz
Vice President
Seminole Financial Services
Dan Adler Tom Doyle
President & CEO
NRG Solar
Dan Adler Rodney Eckhardt
Managing Partner
RoundRock Partners
Dan Adler Ira Ehrenpreis
General Partner
Technology Partners
Dan Adler Luka Erceg
CEO & Co-Founder
Simbol Materials
Dan Adler Ed Feo
Managing Director
USRG Renewable Finance
Dan Adler Nancy Floyd
Managing Director
Nth Power
Dan Adler Paula Gant
Vice President of Policy
American Gas Association
Dan Adler Tony Grappone
Novogradac & Company LLP
Dan Adler Nancy Hartsoch
VP Marketing
SolFocus Inc.
Dan Adler Jason Kaminsky
Vice President Environmental Finance
Wells Fargo
Dan Adler Paul Leggett
Executive Director
Morgan Stanley
Dan Adler Arun Majumdar
First Head of ARPA-E
U.S. Department of Energy
Dan Adler Lance Markowitz
Senior Vice President
Union Bank
Dan Adler Eric McAfee
McAfee Capital
Dan Adler Dennis V. McGinn (USN, Retired)
John Mitola
Juhl Wind, Inc.
Dan Adler Jonathan Powers
Federal Environmental Executive
White House Council on Environmental Quality
Dan Adler Dick Rai
PNC Energy Capital
radtke-chris0 Christopher Radtke
Credit Suisse
Dan Adler Jim Rice
Nautilus Solar
Dan Adler Ted Romaine
Manager, Strategic Marketing
Johnson Controls Solar Energy Solutions
Dan Adler Nancy Ryan
Deputy Execvtive Director
California Public Utilities Commission
Dan Adler Barney Schauble
Managing Principal
Nephila Advisors
Amy Corrine Smith
Managing Director, Head Global Cleantech Investment Banking
Jefferies & Company Inc.
Dan Adler Rob Sternthal
Reznick Capital Markets
Dan Adler Nello Tortora
Commande, Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
U.S. Army
Dan Adler Kelly Truman
Deeya Energy
Dan Adler Darren Van't Hof
Director of Renewable Energy Investment
US Bank
Dan Adler Bill Watkins
CEO Bridgelux
Board Member at Flextronics and Maxim Semi
waever-don0 Don Weaver
SNR Denton
weisgall-jon0 Jonathan Weisgall
VP Legislative & Regulatory Affairs
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
Dan Adler Yiaway Yeh
Palo Alto
zalke-ed0 Edward W. Zaelke
Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld LLP


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