Joel E. Meister

Senior Counsel


Joel Meister is a senior counsel and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Finance Practice Group 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, primarily for solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. Since 2013, Joel has developed an extensive practice advising clients on the development and financing of battery energy storage projects, on a standalone basis and paired with energy generation like solar – from distributed residential and C&I applications to some of the largest solar+storage projects in the world. His practice spans the structuring of key energy storage project agreements (battery supply contracts, SCADA and other BESS subcontractor agreements, EPC and BOP contracts, battery O&M and long-term service contracts, solar+storage PPAs, energy storage service agreements, etc.), due diligence, M&A, and tax equity. His work has also included assisting one of only a small number of taxpayers that have received a private letter ruling from the IRS on the eligibility of energy storage devices for the federal investment tax credit.


Actively working on clean energy issues since 2008, Joel was a manager in Deloitte Tax’s Washington National Tax (WNT) office before joining Foley. 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 ITC, 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.


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


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

Publications and Presentations

Joel has been a regular author, speaker, panelist, and moderator on clean energy trends. Examples of prior speaking engagements and writing include:

  • Moderator, Solar+Storage Infocast Conference
  • Moderator, Solar Power Northeast
  • Panelist, SEIA Finance and Tax Seminar
  • Guest Speaker, George Washington University Law School
  • Article co-author in Tax Notes
  • Article co-author in The Tax Adviser
  • Article co-author in The Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives

Joel is only one of four project finance attorneys listed in the #Solar100 ranking of solar industry thought leaders on social media by kWh Analytics.

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.