Becky H. Diffen

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Austin
United States
T:+1 512 536 4581
Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5151
Austin
United States
T:+1 512 536 4581
Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5151
Becky H. Diffen

Becky H. Diffen

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Biography

Becky Diffen is a partner based in Norton Rose Fulbright's Austin office. She focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, and tax equity financings of renewable energy, energy storage, power generation and transmission projects - including wind, solar, battery storage, geothermal, waste-to-energy, and other technologies. She also has experience advising clients on Texas regulatory law.

Becky has over 19 years of experience in the renewable energy industry and previously worked as a utility-scale wind power developer. She has been recognized by Chambers USA and Law 360 Rising Stars, amongst many other honors, and in 2019 was named the C3E Law and Finance award winner by the U.S. Department of Energy. She is a co-author of Wind Law, the first wind law treatise, and Lexis Practice Advisor: Renewable Energy, and her new treatise, Wind & Solar Law, will be published in late 2021.

Active in her community, Becky serves on the board of Zilker Theatre Productions and provides pro bono services to local affordable housing and family-focused non-profits. She also serves on the national board of directors of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), as well as serving as chair of WRISE's webinar committee and co-chair of the 2020 and 2021 WRISE Leadership Forums.

Becky is a magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College and earned her JD with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law and now teaches a class on renewable energy law as an adjunct professor.


Professional experience

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JD, with honors, Phi Delta Phi, Editor-in-Chief, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, & Energy Law, The University of Texas School of Law, 2009
BA, magna cum laude, Carleton College, Computer Science, Political Economy, and Latin American Studies, 2004

  • Texas State Bar
  • Represented 7X Energy in its sale to bp, including 9GW of solar development projects.
  • Represented National Grid Ventures in the formation of a joint venture with RWE Renewables with the goal of developing offshore wind projects in the New York Bight.
  • Represented Savion, LLC, a subsidiary of Macquarie Capital, in the sale of the 200 MW Brazoria West solar project located in Brazoria County, Texas to S&B USA (previously Shikun and Binui America).
  • Represented Kansai Electric Power Company in the acquisition of a 48.5% interest in the 525 MW Aviator Wind Project in Texas and negotiation of joint venture agreements to govern the construction and operation of the project.   
  • Represented Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C. in relation to the purchase by its affiliate of 49.5% of the equity interests in the 59.6 MW Beacon 2 and the 47.2 MW Beacon 5 operating utility-scale solar projects, located in Kern County, CA, from Capital Dynamics and negotiation of joint venture agreements to govern ongoing operations.
  • Represented Greencoat Capital LLP on the purchase from RWE of a 24% interest in a holding company that will own four operating wind farms in Texas: the 201 MW Stella project in Kenedy County, the 220 MW Cranell project in Refugio County, the 200 MW East Raymond project in Willacy and Cameron Counties, and the 240 MW West Raymond project in Willacy, Cameron, and Hidalgo Counties.
  • Represented Fengate Asset Management in the acquisition of a majority interest in the 250 MW Amadeus wind project in Kent, Fisher, and Stonewall counties, Texas and the negotiation of joint venture agreements to govern ongoing operations.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 310 MW solar project located in Bosque County, Texas.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 180 MW development-stage solar project located in Bosque County, Texas.
  • Represented a major southern utility in joint development arrangements with a large renewable energy developer for the development and acquisition of a portfolio of utility-scale solar projects over time.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 150 MWac development-stage solar project located in Hill County, Texas.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 275 MW development-stage solar project located in Denton County, Texas.
  • Represented Jupiter Power in the development of 652 MW of utility-scale battery storage projects in Texas.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 50 MW development-stage solar project located in Hunt County, Texas.
  • Represented Macquarie Capital in the development, tax equity financing and debt financing of the 200 MW Canadian Breaks wind farm in Oldham and Deaf Smith counties, Texas.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a portfolio of development-stage solar projects located in Texas, including a 60 MWac facility in Cooke County, a 135 MWac facility in Fannin County, and a 60 MWac facility in Van Zandt County.
  • Represented Belltown Power in the sale of a 120 MW development stage solar project located in Falls County, TX.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the sale of Dakota Range III, a 151.2 MW wind farm in Grant and Roberts counties, South Dakota, to ENGIE North America.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the sale of Dakota Range I & II, a 302.4 MW wind farm in South Dakota, to Xcel Energy.
  • Represented Duke Energy in the upgrade of its Notrees wind farm battery system, including negotiations with Samsung SDI America, Inc. for the provision of new batteries and Younicos, Inc. for installation and service of the energy storage management system.
  • Represented Talen Generation in the entry into joint development agreements to develop solar projects in Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a renewable energy fund in the development, financing, and acquisition of a portfolio of distributed solar projects in Massachusetts.
  • Represented Macquarie Capital in the sale of the 200 MW Canadian Breaks wind farm in Texas.
  • Represented Hill Country Wind Power in the project development and sale of the 400 MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Fisher County, Texas.
  • Represented Talen Energy Corporation in joint ventures for its Montour Solar projects in Pennsylvania.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of four solar projects totalling 442.5 MW in Virginia.
  • Represented a regulated utility in contracts for the installation and ongoing operations of a utility-scale battery storage system.
  • Represented a developer in the acquisition and development of an anaerobic digestion poultry waste project in North Carolina.
  • Represented a renewable energy fund as the lender in a facility loan to a renewable energy developer to finance and acquire solar energy projects.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the sale of a 300 MW wind project in Clay and Dickinson County, Iowa to a public utility company.
  • Represented an investment bank in the divestiture of $30 million of tax equity investments in a 200 MW wind project in Texas.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of a 175 MW wind farm in Lincoln, IL.
  • Represented Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of a 130 MW wind farm in Sangamon County, IL.
  • Represented Duke Energy in connection with the development of a 36 MW battery storage facility located at the Notrees Wind Farm in Texas, the largest battery storage system of its kind.
  • Represented a solar developer in contracts for the construction of and maintenance services for a new technology battery energy storage system to be integrated with an existing solar project.
  • Represented a private equity fund in its acquisition of tax equity positions in four portfolios of more than 8,000 aggregated rooftop solar projects.
  • Represented a tax equity investor in connection with investments in four utility-scale PV solar projects located in North Carolina.
  • Represented an investment bank in its sale of a utility-scale Texas solar development and the option to sell a second solar project.
  • Represented a battery manufacturer in agreements for the sale of battery systems.
  • Represented a tax equity investor in connection with the proposed divestiture of a large portfolio of wind, solar and geothermal projects.
  • Represented a wind developer in the acquisition and development of a 200 MW wind development in the Texas panhandle.
  • Represented a Tyr Energy, an Itochu Corporation, in its $500 million joint equity investment in the 845 MW Shepherds Flat wind power generation project in Eastern Oregon, at the time the largest wind farm in the world.
  • Represented a King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy on the establishment of a legal and regulatory framework for a renewable and civil atomic energy sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Duke Energy Company in a 50/50 joint venture with Sumitomo Corporation for the development, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of Duke Energy's 131 MW Cimarron II Wind Energy Project and 168 MW Ironwood Wind Energy Project, both located in Kansas.
  • Represented underwriters to 8point3 Energy Partners LP in its $420 million initial public offering of common units.
  • Represented underwriters to Sol-Wind Renewable Power, LP in its initial public offering of common units. (Suspended)
  • Represented underwriters to Pattern Energy Group Inc. in its $339 million public offering of common stock.
  • Represented underwriters to Pattern Energy Group Inc. in its $382 million initial public offering of common stock.
  • Represented Quantum Utility Generation in its acquisition of gas-fired power generation development projects in Texas.
  • Represented a developer in connection with the EPC contract and other development work for a natural gas peaker plant in ERCOT.
  • Represented Riverstone Holdings in the $400 million acquisition of three coal-fired generating plants located in Maryland from a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation.
  • Representation in connection with Power Purchase Agreement drafting and negotiations for a natural gas peaker plant in ERCOT and a fuel oil project in the Caribbean.
  • Represented various renewable energy developers in the negotiation of interconnection agreements in Texas.
  • Assisted in the representation of  various renewable energy developers, including representation in Competitive Renewable Energy Zone proceedings and ERCOT protocol appeals, before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and ERCOT.
  • Chambers USA, USA – Nationwide: Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional, Chambers and Partners, 2021
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Dealmakers in America, 2021
  • US Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment Award, Law and Finance, US Department of Energy, 2019
  • IFLR1000 – United States, Highly regarded, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2021
  • Top 100 Legal Power List, A Word About Wind, 2018 - 2020
  • Rising Star, Energy, Law360, 2019
  • Texas Rising Stars, Energy & Resources, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2015 – 2020
  • Future Stars, Power Players, Mergers & Acquisitions, Financier Worldwide, 2020
  • Chambers USA, Up and Coming, Texas, Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation, Chambers and Partners, 2019 – 2020
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Energy Regulation: Conventional Power, The Legal 500, 2020 – 2021
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Energy: Renewable / Alternative Power, The Legal 500, 2019, 2021
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Project finance, The Legal 500, 2019
  • Finalist, Profiles in Power, Central Texas Women of Influence, Austin Business Journal, 2019
  • On the Rise Lawyer, 2019 Professional Excellence Awards, Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, 2019
  • Emerging Leader, The M&A Advisor, 2019
  • Solar 40 under 40, Renewable Energy World, 2018
  • Rising Star – Energy, Euromoney LMG Americas/International Financial Law Review, 2015 - 2018
  • Austin Under 40 Award Winner, Engineering, Energy, Mobility and Systems Sciences, 2017
  • Associate to Watch, Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation, Texas, Chambers USA, 2011-2018
  • Named to Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation, 2017
  • Leading Lawyer, Energy: Regulatory, Legal 500 United States, 2013
  • Co-author, Wind and Solar Law, LexisNexis (forthcoming)
  • Co-author, Wind Law, LexisNexis, 2020
  • Co-author, Renewable Energy, Lexis Practice Advisor
  • Co-author, "Renewable Project Sales: Established Tactics and Emerging Trends,"  Project Finance NewsWire, February 2020
  • Co-author, "Joint Arrangements to Develop Renewable Energy Projects,"  Project Finance NewsWire, December 2019
  • Co-author, "Adding Storage to Existing Renewable Energy Power Plants," Renewable Energy World, May 17, 2017
  • Author, "Why Oklahoma Nuisance Lawsuit Deserves Your Attention," North American Windpower, March 2017
  • Co-author, "Renewable Energy Case Law Update," Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Spring 2015
  • Co-author, "EPA's Clean Power Plan and Its Impact on the Energy Marketplace," January 1, 2012
  • Author, "Wind Energy: Dealing with Intermittency Challenges," Power Magazine, December 1, 2011
  • Co-author, "Recent Litigation Regarding Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements," Energy Litigation Journal, Winter 2011
  • Author, "Analyzing Renewable Energy Projects for Investment," The American Lawyer, November 2011
  • Co-author, "Winds of Change: The Creation of Wind Law," 5 Tex. J. Oil Gas & Energy L. 165, 2010
  • Author, "Competitive Renewable Energy Zones: How the Texas Wind Industry is Cracking the Chicken and Egg Problem," 46 Rocky Mtn. Min. L.J. 47, 2009
  • Author, "Energy From Above and Below: Who wins when a wind farm and oil & gas operations conflict?," 3 Tex. J. Oil Gas & Energy L. 340, 2008
  • Speaker, " The Cheapest Form of Power," Levick podcast, June 10, 2021
  • Speaker, "Applying Oil and Gas Skill Sets to Renewable Power Transactions," 72nd Annual Oil and Gas Law Conference, April 22, 2021
  • Presenter, IEL Leadership Class - Renewables Session, Institute for Energy Law, April 13, 2021
  • Presenter, Texas State of the Industry 2021, WRISE (Austin Chapter), April 6, 2021
  • Speaker, "Energy Transition: Recent Developments and What You Need To Know As Oil & Gas Companies Transition Into Green Energy," TJOGEL Symposium, February 26, 2021
  • Speaker, "Renewable Energy M&A: Opportunities for Japan Inc.," Women in Law Japan webinar, February 3, 2021.
  • Moderator, "Utility-Scale Battery Storage – Revenue Streams and Project Considerations," University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference, January 26, 2021
  • Speaker, "Renewable Energy M&A: Deal Structures, Key Issues, and Diligence Considerations," Strafford live webinar, January 21, 2021
  • Speaker, "Addressing Landowner Concerns in Renewable Energy Siting," American Bar Association webinar, September 8, 2020
  • Presenter, Renewable Energy M&A in the Evolving Marketplace, EUCI, August 4, 2020
  • Speaker, "Welcome Keynote," WRISE Leadership Forum, February 18, 2020
  • Moderator, "Outlook for More Wind in ERCOT, SPP and CAISO," Infocast Wind Power F&I Summit, February 4, 2020
  • Presenter, "Renewable Purchase and Sale Agreements: Hot-Button Provisions," University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference, January 27, 2020
  • Speaker, "Renewable Energy M&A: Deal Structures, Key Issues, and Diligence Considerations," Strafford live webinar, October 8, 2019
  • Moderator, "Utility-Scale Solar Development," The Texas Renewable Energy Summit, Austin, Texas, September 5, 2019
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Renewable Energy Law," Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, & Energy Law Annual Symposium, February 8, 2019
  • Moderator, "Tax Credits & Beyond: Financing Renewable Energy Projects – Where Do We Go From Here?," University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference, January 29, 2019
  • Moderator, "Portfolio Diversification in the Southeast—Wind, Biogas and Biomass," Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, November 7 - 9, 2018
  • Presenter, Renewable Energy M&A: Deal Structures, Key Issues, and Diligence Considerations When Buying and Selling Renewable Energy Projects, Strafford live webinar, April 10, 2018
  • Presenter, University of Texas School of Law's Women's Law Caucus Luncheon, February 15, 2018
  • Moderator, "M&A Trends in Renewable Energy," Renewable Energy Law, January 30, 2018
  • Speaker, "Impact of the 2017 Tax Act on Renewable Energy Projects," Essential Insight on Sweeping Tax Reforms, January 9, 2018
  • Speaker, "Key Skills for Leaders," Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) Leadership Forum, November 7, 2017
  • Moderator, "The Project Acquisition: Pipeline and Investor Preferences," Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, November 3, 2017
  • Panelist, "Renewable Energy Storage: Implementing Projects, Overcoming Co-Location Challenges, and Mitigating Risks," Strafford Publications Webinar, July 25, 2017
  • Speaker, "Charging Forward: The Future of Power Generation and Green Energy," 2017 Women's Energy Network National Conference, April 27, 2017
  • Panelist, "2017 M&A Trends in Renewable Energy," WoWE Houston Lunch and Learn, March 24, 2017
  • Moderator, "Playing Well With Others? Co-location of Battery Storage Projects With Wind and Solar ," Renewable Energy Law Conference, January 31, 2017
  • Presenter, "What Oil & Gas Lawyers Should Know About Renewables: An Update on Wind, Solar, and Energy Storage," Oil & Gas Section of Austin Bar Association, January 11, 2017
  • Presenter, "Contractual Arrangements for Energy Storage Projects: Navigating Significant Issues," Energy Storage Association's ESAcademy Webinar Series, December 7, 2016
  • Moderator, "Roles and Value Propositions for Energy Storage in the Southeast," Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, November 2016
  • Moderator, "The Future of Wind and its Impact on ERCOT," Infocast ERCOT Market Summit 2016, March 2, 2016
  • Panelist, "Renewable Energy," Environmental Law Society Symposium, Columbia University, February 22, 2016
  • Presenter, "Improving the Marketability of Your Project: Tips and Pitfalls," University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference, February 10, 2016
  • Panelist, "Giving and Receiving Feedback," Women of Wind Energy Webinar Series, December 2015
  • Panelist, "Trends in the Renewable Energy Industry," Women of Wind Energy Leadership Forum, November 3, 2015
  • Panelist, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, & Energy Law Annual Energy Law Career Panel, October 22, 2015
  • Panelist, "Impact of Renewable Energy Generation on the Texas Market," Infocast ERCOT Market Summit, February 26, 2015
  • Presenter, "Renewable Energy Case Law Update," University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference, February 18, 2015
  • Panelist, "Evolving Innovations in Technology," TransForum Texas, January 30, 2014
  • Presenter, "Renewable Energy Case Law Update," Renewable Energy Institute, The University of Texas School of Law CLE, January 29, 2014
  • Presenter, "Severance of Wind Rights and Current Leasing Issues," Renewable Energy Institute, The University of Texas School of Law CLE, January 28, 2013
  • Presenter, "Understanding Wind & Solar Resources: Rights, Conflicts, and New Developments," Texas Energy Production and Land Law, HalfMoon Education Inc. CLE, January 24, 2013
  • Presenter, "Recent Developments in Renewable Energy," Texas Energy Law Symposium, January 17, 2013
  • Presenter, "Renewable Energy Law and Recent Developments," Law Review CLE, August 14, 2012
  • Presenter, "Texas Wind Law: Growth and Recent Developments," Tarrant County Bar Association Energy Law Section CLE, December 8, 2011
  • Presenter, "Texas Wind Law: Growth and Recent Developments," Dallas Bar Association Energy Law Section CLE, October 19, 2011
  • Presenter, "Recent Developments in Wind Law," Dallas Bar Association Environmental Law Section CLE, June 23, 2011
  • Guest lecturer, "Wind and Transmission," Professor Ernest E. Smith's Wind Law Seminar, University of Texas School of Law, March 30, 2011
  • Presenter, "Development of Texas Wind Law," Women of Wind Energy, Dallas Chapter, September 28, 2010
  • Panel member, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, & Energy Law Annual Energy Law Career Panel, September 23, 2010
  • Board of Directors, Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE)

    • Chair, Webinar Committee
    • Co-Chair, 2020 and 2021 WRISE Leadership Forums

    • Advisory Board, Austin Chapter

  • Planning Committee, Renewable Energy Institute, University of Texas School of Law CLE

  • Endowments Chair and Past-President, Texas Energy Law Association

  • Fellow, Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation

  • Board Member, Zilker Theatre Productions

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Texas School of Law