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What is ESG?  What does ERCOT stand for?  How does ALTA relate to renewable energy projects? 

Whether you are new to renewable energy law or a well-versed veteran, a comprehensive list of renewable energy terms can be helpful.  We are here to help expand your renewable energy knowledge by providing a centralized list of commonly used industry terms.

ALTA       ALTA is the acronym for American Land Title Association, a national trade association for the title insurance industry.

What is an ALTA Survey?

An ALTA survey is a detailed graphical representation of title status on real property.  It provides information about property boundaries, easements, and improvements, along with property access and zoning.  Most lenders require an ALTA survey to evaluate risk prior to insuring title on a renewable energy project.  An ALTA survey is usually completed during Greenfield through Late Stage Development of a project.

Related terms: Greenfield

ERCOT     ERCOT stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

What does ERCOT do?

ERCOT is a private nonprofit organization that independently coordinates and manages power on the Texas electrical grid, controlling wholesale buyers and sellers for the purpose of creating reliability for the region’s electricity market.  ERCOT does not generate power, it just manages the flow of power.  According to the ERCOT website, ERCOT manages the power flow to more than 26 million Texas customers and represents about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.

ERCOT is an Independent System Operator (ISO). ERCOT is largely outside the jurisdiction of FERC as it does not engage in significant interstate trade. Rather, ERCOT is regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and Texas legislature.

Related terms:  PUCT, FERC, ISO

Related articles:  Texas’ Own Power Grid, Competitive Renewable Energy Zones in Texas

ESG           ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance.

ESG are sustainability factors that measure impact on environment, people, and business standards. ESG is a nontraditional way to measure and report on value and risk as it relates to companies, projects, and investments. In renewables, ESG is primarily tied to the energy transition movement.

E: Environmental factors that cover ecological impacts like climate change, biodiversity, waste management, and energy efficiency.

S: Social factors are factors that measure impact on people and relationships. Examples can include, how satisfied is the community, how engaged are the employees?

G: Governance is typically defined by standards on which a company is run or led, or on how a project is built. Is the employee compensation fair, is there bribery or corruption?  What are the company’s diversity standards?  These are all examples of governance-guided standards.

FERC        FERC stands for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

What does FERC do?

FERC is an independent government agency that oversees energy markets.   FERC regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, including inspecting and licensing hydroelectric projects and approving natural gas facilities.

GWh         GWh is an abbreviation for gigawatt-hours, a unit of energy for a specific period of time.

Related terms: GW, MW, KW

Informational Purposes Only

The information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor does reading anything that we author or post on our website constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, we may periodically update the content of our website, but the content is not necessarily complete or up to date. Likewise, information posted on our website may not be applicable to all jurisdictions.

McCarn & Weir, P.C. is comprised of attorneys and professional staff highly experienced in transactions and litigation involving the Energy, Real Estate, Corporate, Banking and Finance industries. Our firm has multiple attorneys Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, along with attorneys licensed in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, and California. Our goal is to provide high quality and cost-effective legal services, while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the industries we represent.