Fueling America’s Clean Energy Economy

Flexibility is perhaps the single most important factor in the energy industry today, particularly in light of the constant and rapid changes in the marketplace and the regulatory environment. This is fundamental to the way our firm’s Energy Practice Group serves clients throughout the energy supply chain – helping to provide flexible legal solutions that provide an extra competitive edge so our clients can stay ahead of the hectic pace of change.

Cuddy & Feder’s work for TruStar Energy provides a good case in point. TruStar is one of the fastest growing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station owners, constructors and service providers in North America. Key to maintaining its rapid growth, the company has developed a flexible approach in offering station owners a wide range of CNG fueling solutions, supporting tailored fueling models that dovetail with each operator’s business needs, including stations designed for dedicated “behind the fence” fleet users or as part of a publically accessible fast-fill CNG station. Among other things, this meant TruStar had to develop a completely self-contained construction arm that would enable it to build customized stations faster, better and for less money than its competitors.

TruStar faced a key challenge, however, in that this level of flexibility in station design, construction and ownership introduces considerable complexity when it comes to legal documentation.

Their business model’s flexibility calls for similar flexibility in the design of legal contracts and agreements, suitable to balance the competing interests among the sales team, construction personnel and in-house counsel, without imposing a huge burden on transaction costs. TruStar turned to Cuddy & Feder’s energy and environmental lawyers to help craft a solution.

As we evaluated the business and legal requirements, we quickly realized that crafting document templates that could be easily modified and customized by the client’s in-house staff would be the most cost-effective way to support TruStar’s ambitious growth agenda. So Cuddy & Feder’s Energy team set out to develop document templates that addressed all of the scenarios encountered in TruStar’s day-to-day business operations. This entailed creating a suite of forms, including Fuel Supply/Power Purchase Agreements, EPC/Design-Build Contracts, Operations & Maintenance Agreements and Ground Leases, each of which had to be structured to function as a stand-alone form or as part of an overall deployment strategy pursuant to which the operator assumed ownership of all aspects of the build—from design, to construction to operations and maintenance – for whatever type of station the customer required.

This is exactly the sort of complex legal challenge that’s well suited to the talents and skills of our Energy & Environmental Practice Group. We find solutions that address our clients’ needs for flexibility in a way that minimizes transactions costs and enhances speed to market. We understand these are key ingredients for success in the energy markets today. We are proud to serve a broad range of clients in the energy sector in myriad ways, as they go about the all-important business of revitalizing our economy and our environment by lowering carbon emissions, increasing energy security, and keeping jobs and revenues here, at home.