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 acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, tax equity financings and sales 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 17 years of experience in the renewable energy industry and previously worked as a utility-scale wind power developer. She has been recognized in A Word About Wind's "Top 100 Legal Power List," Renewable Energy World's inaugural "Solar 40 under 40," Austin Under 40, Chambers USA, and Legal 500 United States among others.  She is a co-author of Wind Law, the first wind law treatise, and Lexis Practice Advisor: Renewable Energy.

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 is also a co-chair of the Austin Chapter of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), as well as serving as chair of WRISE's national webinar committee and co-chair of the 2020 WRISE Leadership Forum.

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 seminar 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
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of Apex Clean Energy in the sale of Dakota Range I & II, a 302.4 MW wind farm in South Dakota, to Xcel Energy.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of Talen Generation in the entry into joint development agreements to develop a solar project in PA.
  • Representation of a renewable energy fund in the development, financing, and acquisition of a portfolio of distributed solar projects in Massachusetts.
  • Representation of Macquarie Capital in the sale of the 200 MW Canadian Breaks wind farm in Texas.
  • Representation of Hill Country Wind Power in the project development and sale of a 400 MW wind farm in Fisher County, Texas.
  • Representation of Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of four solar projects totalling 442.5 MW in Virginia.
  • Representation of a regulated utility in contracts for the installation and ongoing operations of a utility-scale battery storage system.
  • Representation of a renewable energy fund as the lender in a facility loan to a renewable energy developer to finance and acquire solar energy projects.
  • Representation of Apex Clean Energy in the sale of a 300 MW wind project in Clay and Dickinson County, Iowa to a public utility company.
  • Representation of an energy infrastructure fund in the divestiture of $30 million of tax equity investments in a 200 MW wind project in Texas.
  • Representation of a developer in the acquisition and development of an anaerobic digestion poultry waste project in North Carolina.
  • Representation of Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of a 175 MW wind farm in Lincoln, IL.
  • Representation of Apex Clean Energy in the acquisition of a 130 MW wind farm in Sangamon County, IL.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of a private equity fund in its acquisition of tax equity positions in four portfolios of more than 8,000 aggregated rooftop solar projects.
  • Representation of a battery manufacturer in agreements for the sale of battery systems.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of a tax equity investor in connection with investments in four utility-scale PV solar projects located in North Carolina.
  • Representation of an investment bank in its sale of a utility-scale Texas solar development and the option to sell a second solar project.
  • Representation of a tax equity investor in connection with the proposed divestiture of a large portfolio of wind, solar and geothermal projects.
  • Representation of a wind developer in the acquisition and development of a 200 MW wind development in the Texas panhandle.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of underwriters to 8point3 Energy Partners LP in its $420 million initial public offering of common units.
  • Representation of underwriters to Sol-Wind Renewable Power, LP in its initial public offering of common units. (Suspended)
  • Representation of underwriters to Pattern Energy Group Inc. in its $339 million public offering of common stock.
  • Representation of underwriters to Pattern Energy Group Inc. in its $382 million initial public offering of common stock.
  • Representation of Quantum Utility Generation in its acquisition of gas-fired power generation development projects in Texas.
  • Representation of a developer in connection with the EPC contract and other development work for a natural gas peaker plant in ERCOT.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of 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. ​
  • Emerging Leader, The M&A Advisor, 2019
  • On the Rise Lawyer, 2019 Professional Excellence Awards, Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, 2019 
  • Up and Coming, Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation, Texas, Chambers USA, 2019
  • Leading Lawyer, Energy: renewable/alternative power, Legal 500 United States, 2019
  • Leading Lawyer, Project finance, Legal 500 United States, 2019
  • Finalist, Profiles in Power, Central Texas Women of Influence, Austin Business Journal, 2019
  • Texas Rising Stars, Energy & Resources, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2015 - 2019
  • Top 100 Legal Power List, A Word About Wind, 2018
  • Solar 40 under 40, Renewable Energy World, 2018
  • Rising Star – Energy, Euromoney LMG Americas/International Financial Law Review, 2015 - 2018
  • Austin's 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, Renewable Energy, Lexis Practice Advisor
  • Co-author, Wind LawLexisNexis, 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, "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
  • Co-Chair, Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Austin Chapter
    • Co-Chair, 2020 WRISE Leadership Forum
    • Chair, National Webinar Committee, WRISE
  • 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