VITALE & ASSOCIATES (V&A) is a government affairs strategy firm that helps its energy industry clients identify and operationalize regulatory, legislative and project siting opportunities at federal, state and local levels. V&A is an ideal partner for those who want to influence and capitalize on the dynamic changes in the marketplace for power generation and energy efficiency.
V&A can be an essential and cost-effective advisor to power project developers, clean-technology companies, green building contractors, utilities, and co-operatives. As energy development becomes increasingly political -- with energy costs rising, renewable energy standards, Federal Stimulus procurement, new regulatory rules, cap & trade, community activism, energy tax credits and rebates -- we help our energy industry clients think more strategically and maximize their opportunities in this dynamic environment.
We can do this because of our unique combination of expertise in understanding the government business system, ability to analyze complex problems, and demonstrated success knowing how to bring diverse stakeholder groups together.
ENERGY INDUSTRY SERVICES
Power Purchase Agreements Tax Equity Finance Clean-tech Business Development Green Building Contract Strategy Project Siting Approvals/Municipal and CountyGovernment Affairs Federal and State Regulatory Affairs Political Due Diligence Market Research Community/Grassroots Outreach Land-use Strategy
Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) are increasingly a very cost-effective way for entities to secure less expensive, risk-mitigated power provisions that prove essential to long-range planning and budgeting. For municipalities, school-districts, co-operatives, commercial and industrial interests alike, identifying the right energy partners and technologies is a mission-critical endeavor that benefits from comprehensive, strategic planning.
Case Study Example: A New York City investment banking firm has decided to diversify its investments and expand into the power purchase agreement (PPA) market. They have asked V&A to help them identify and prioritize prospective PPA customers in Colorado and to help them analyze the best power source options for those sites. Tax Equity Finance has emerged as an important tool for investors and developers on alternative energy projects. Investment Tax Credits (ITC) and Production Tax Credits (PTC) and other incentives have acted as a stimulus to the new energy economy. Although the current economy has temporarily shrunk the appetite for tax offsets, there are still a number of players in this market. Furthermore, a number of other new financial structure instruments have emerged.
Case Study Example:A solar power developer who is pursuing several deals in CO has asked V&A to itemize the variety of incentives available to them through federal and state programs, and to help them analyze which structures are the best fit for their target customers.
Clean-tech Business Development is the bridge that connects all of the stakeholders in the new energy economy -- original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), installers, investors, producers, end-users, etc. This rapidly emerging marketplace is competitive, and identifying and securing the right partners is key to emerging as a leader in this nascent space.
Case Study Example: A mid-Atlantic venture capital firm has established itself as a regional leader in funding clean-tech start-ups. The company has decided to broaden its geographic scope, and has tasked V&A with helping them identify and evaluate promising clean-tech companies in the Rocky Mountain region who need the capital and management experience offered by this investment firm.
Green Building Contracting Strategy is essential to identifying and capitalizing on the dynamic and competitive marketplace for energy efficiency products and services. A combination of forces -- commercial/private sector development in recession, the Federal Stimulus dollars mandate for greening government buildings, the shortage of qualified technicians, incentives for energy efficiencies -- are dramatically changing the general contracting marketplace. These forces will benefit those that take a more proactive, creative, strategic, and politically-savvy approach to winning business.
Case Study Example: Several contractors have asked V&A to help them build a strategy for rapidly identifying and capitalizing on business opportunities that will emerge from the Federal Stimulus bill.
Political Due Diligence has increasingly become a specialized and critical part of the due diligence and feasibility phase of development projects. Increasingly, development projects are being scrutinized by the public, and, therefore, they are becoming inherently political. As they become more political, they can also become unpredictable, risky and potentially costly. Strong political due diligence can alleviate some of this risk, measure the challenges, and ultimately, put in place a strategy for success.
Case Study Example: A natural resource development company needed permits to proceed with the next phase of its project. The company hired V&A to assess the political landscape, and V&A determined that one vote in the County Commission stood in the way of its progress. Thus, the project would take longer to approve than originally thought; and, the best way to proceed was to support a challenger candidate to run for a CountyCommission seat in the next election. That challenger candidate won the election and supported the company’s project moving forward.
Market Research can be an essential element in crafting a sound power development strategy. Designed properly, polling, focus groups, and/or one-on-one interviews can give your team fundamental insight into the interests of the various community stakeholders and enable a more strategic, less risky and more cost-effective approach to a development plan. Polling is also a critically-important component of crafting a winning campaign plan in the event that siting approvals become contingent upon voter support. Case Study Example: An association of large oil & gas producers have significant stake in the exploration and import of Canadian Oil. One of the major impediments to this development is lack of support from federal decision-makers who feel no political pressure to better understand the longer term consequences of this inaction. The group hired V&A to conduct a nationwide survey examining voter attitudes toward Canadian oil imports and other related issues around national security, the environment, etc. The survey found that some significant misperceptions were driving current public policy on this issue, and that further education of policy-makers encouraged them to evolve their approach.
Project Siting Approvals/Municipal and County Government Affairs have increasingly become the key leverage point for public input on power development projects. As such, these processes are becoming more complex and broader in scope. They are also becoming more political, which is a dynamic implication that falls outside of the expertise of many developers who can no longer afford to leave this mission-critical task to junior staffers or expensive lawyers.
Case Study Example: A rural county rancher has decided to lease right-of-way on his property to site wind turbines, which will generate power and supplement demand from a nearby school. However, the CountyCommission Board has concerns about the height and location of the turbines. The power developer has asked V&A to work with the CountyCommissioners and the land owner to establish an acceptable alternative location for siting the turbines.
Federal and State Government and Regulatory Affairs enable companies to influence public policies that impact their business. Because the energy business is so heavily regulated, companies must have relationships with those who set the policy and enforcement rules that shape the market.
Case Study Example: A national waste management company has experienced major growth through acquisitions and mergers. Prior to this growth, it managed its government affairs interests through a few outside consultants. Now that it has become a much bigger player, the company hired V&A to help them design a long-term government affairs strategy and to build and implement an in-house department that aligns their legislative, regulatory and political affairs with their core business objectives.