Overview

John Eliason has built a distinguished career and longstanding relationships by providing tax, legal, and business advice to financial institutions, private equity funds, developers, owners, and equipment manufacturers in the real estate, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Currently, he serves as co-chair of Foley’s Energy Industry Team.

John focuses his practice primarily in the renewable energy space, concentrating on wind, solar, biomass, and other emerging technologies that rely on federal and state tax incentives, like the Federal production tax credit (PTC), energy investment tax credit (ITC), and accelerated depreciation (MACRS and “bonus”). He is versed in unlocking the value of those tax benefits for transaction participants using partnership flips, public/private partnerships, sale-leasebacks, prepaid PPAs, and other structuring options. John regularly advises non-U.S. based pension and private equity funds investing in energy and infrastructure assets. He also represents clients in front of the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.

John’s practice also concentrates on tax-deferred investments made in qualified opportunity zones, pursuant to a federal program enacted into law in December 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  In this area, he represents both investors and equity funds navigating section 1400Z of the Tax Code (and the related regulatory and administrative guidance applicable to the opportunity zone legislation) and advises on compliance-related matters.

John began his legal career with Hunton & Williams LLP, focused on the tax side of equipment and other “big ticket” leasing transactions. Following that, he practiced with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, focused on partnership tax, formations, and structuring opportunities for energy and real estate development clients.

Prior to practicing law, John founded an information management company based in Austin, Texas. He is also a veteran of the Texas Army National Guard.

Representative Experience

  • Represented leading financial institution in tax equity investment in a 210 MW, $465 million wind farm in Illinois, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented wind developer in tax equity and debt financing of 100 MW wind farm in Maine, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented global financial institution in a $290 million tax equity acquisition of a 127.8 MW wind farm in California, structured as a “prepay PPA”
  • Represented global financial institution in a $130 million tax equity acquisition of three solar projects in Texas aggregating approximately 30 MW, structured as a “prepay PPA”
  • Represented leading wind developer in $90 million tax equity financing of 35 MW wind farm in Maine, structured as a sale-leaseback
  • Represented solar developer in tax equity financing of portfolio of utility scale solar projects in Massachusetts – the first solar transaction for developer – structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented solar developer in first transaction of tax equity and debt financing for portfolio of solar projects in North Carolina, including state tax, structured as a “lease pass-through”
  • Represented developer in tax equity and debt financings of 70 MW biomass plant in Southeastern US, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented global financial institution in tax equity acquisition of $210 million wind facility in Utah, structured as a “prepay PPA”
  • Represented leading financial institution in tax equity investment in 90 MW wind farm in New York, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented leading financial institution in $60 million tax equity investment in two utility scale solar facilities in California, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented major North Carolina developer in federal tax equity, state tax equity, and debt financing of six utility scale solar facilities aggregating approximately 35 MW, structured as a “lease pass-through”
  • Represented leading financial institution in $60 million tax equity financing of solar DG portfolio in Northeastern US, structured as a “partnership flip”
  • Represented major wind developer in tax equity financing of 110 MW wind facility in Maine
  • Represented major financial institution in structuring and closing syndication of residential solar portfolio – the first renewable energy syndication by institution
  • Represented leading sponsor in tax equity financing of 100 MW solar plus storage project in California, structured as a time-based “partnership flip”
  • Represented private equity fund in discussions with senior government officials tasked with rolling out federal Opportunity Zone investment program

Recognition

John is nationally ranked by Chambers USA in the area of renewables & alternative energy. John also has been recognized by The Legal 500 for his work in project finance and energy: renewable/alternative. He is a recipient of Foley’s Carl Hitchner "Mentor of the Year Award," presented annually to recognize outstanding mentoring to our young attorneys.

Education

John earned an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law and graduated with a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He completed his B.A. in economics at The University of Texas at Austin.

Admissions

John is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York and Texas.

Representative Matters

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Foley represented Brite Energy in financing a $200 million Morgan Stanley tax equity fund in residential solar projects in multiple states across the U.S. This investment program in conjunction with MySolar IX, will assist in affordable and clean energy.
Foley represented Brite Energy in financing a $200 million Morgan Stanley tax equity fund in residential solar projects in multiple states across the U.S. This investment program in conjunction with MySolar IX, will assist in affordable and clean energy.
Represented Strata Solar in the sale of the Mulberry Farm in Tennessee, with a combined capacity of 40 MW DC, to Dominion Resources. Each project has long-term power purchase agreements with Tennessee Valley Authority.