Overview

Joel Meister is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and the Energy Industry Team.

Joel regularly represents financial institutions and developers involved in a variety of complex project financings, including partnership flips, sale/leasebacks, asset acquisitions and sales, and debt financings. He has assisted clients in numerous transactions for a variety of energy technologies in residential, commercial, and utility-scale market segments. In addition, he has advised clients pursuing opportunities in innovative and emerging technologies, including energy storage, biomass, fuel cells, and combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

Before joining Foley, Joel was a manager in Deloitte Tax’s Washington National Tax (WNT) office, in the Federal Tax Accounting, Periods, Methods, and Credits group. His practice focused on renewable energy transactions, assisting project sponsors and investors with issues associated with the section 48 Investment Tax Credit (ITC), section 45 Production Tax Credit (PTC), and MACRS depreciation. In addition to transactional matters, Joel represented clients before the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service in regulatory guidance proceedings and private letter ruling (PLR) requests.

Joel previously served as assistant general counsel at an energy storage start-up before it was acquired. His duties included all legal and regulatory matters, with an emphasis on tax issues associated with the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit, project financing structures, and energy storage assets’ participation in grid services markets. He spearheaded numerous policy and market development initiatives, including the successful award of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative Incubator.

Previously, Joel concentrated on tax and financing issues at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry. On behalf of developers and project investors, he monitored the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program and tax equity financing trends for renewable energy projects, as well as bank regulatory treatment of renewable energy projects under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Public Welfare Investment authority. He also analyzed emerging and proposed financing solutions for clean energy, such as yieldcos, master limited partnerships (MLPs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), and asset securitization.

As the energy sector continues to evolve, his research into the complexities of renewable energy financing has been cited by academia, leading tax practitioners, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and in congressional testimony.

Education

Joel earned his law degree from The George Washington University Law School (J.D.). He also received his bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University, where he majored in international affairs (B.A., cum laude).

Admissions

Joel is admitted to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Publications and Presentations

  • Moderator, “Financing Solar+Storage,” Solar Power Northeast (February 2018)
  • Panelist, “Financing and Tax Challenges with Solar + Storage Projects,” SEIA Finance and Tax Seminar (June 2017)
  • Co-author, “Digging In: Beginning of Construction for Energy Credits,” Tax Notes (March 2017)
  • Co-author, “IRS Foreshadows New Energy Credit Regulations,” The Tax Adviser (March 2016)
  • Moderator, “Bringing Storage to Residential Solar Installations-Assessing the Potential for Aggregating and Monetizing Grid Services,” Solar+Storage (Infocast Conference) (November 2015)
  • Moderator, “The Future of Energy Storage,” Deloitte 2015 Alternative Energy Seminar (September 2015)
  • Co-author, “Credits and Incentives Provide Green For Going Green,” Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives (Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting) - Vol. 25, No. 4 (July 2015)
  • Guest Speaker, “Tax Considerations for Financing Renewable Energy,” George Washington University Law School (March 2015)
  • Co-author, “Critical Production Tax Credit Considerations Continue in 2015,” Tax Notes (March 2015)
  • Author, “Sunny Dispositions: Modernizing Investment Tax Credit Recapture Rules for Solar Energy Project Finance After the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” George Washington Journal of Energy & Environmental Law (2014)
  • Panelist, “Integrating Energy Storage into the Grid,” Solar Energy Industries Association (December 2013)
  • Moderator, “Paying for Resiliency: Creative Financing Options,” ASES Solar 2013 Conference (April 2013)

Recognition

In 2013, Joel received the Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Law Scholarship, which is awarded for the best paper written in the field of environmental law by a GW Law JD, LLM, or SJD student. The award is given based on originality, innovation, depth of scholarship, the importance of the environmental issue addressed, and the quality of the writing and analysis.

Capabilities