Photo of Sahir Surmeli

Sa Surmeli is Co-chair of the firm’s Energy Technology Practice and has worked on capital markets offerings for over 20 years. A Member in the firm, he practices in the Boston office. He represents emerging growth and established energy technology, information technology, life sciences and retail companies, investors and investment banks in public offerings and private financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships. Sa is listed among the “Top 100 Cleantech & Renewables Lawyers” by Euromoney’s LMG Cleantech & Renewable Energy, and he is also ranked among the “Top 100 People Shaping Cleantech on Twitter” by Watershed Capital.

On July 20, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report directing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop solutions to improve the cyber and physical security and overall resilience of the US electrical grid. The report, which was first initiated by Congress following the massive outages caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2014 and is further driven by recent malware infections found on the servers at a nuclear plant, addresses threats to the grid posed by natural disasters and malicious cyberattacks.

Continue Reading National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Release Report Recommending Ways to Improve the Resilience of Nation’s Electric Grid

This year is proving to be the year of investing in innovative energy technology.  Mercom Capital Group reports that in the first half of 2017,  over $1 billion in venture capital and private equity funding has been invested in battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies worldwide, exceeding the first-half funding benchmarks in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, surveyed the combined venture capital funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) and mergers & acquisitions across 89 companies in three separate sectors – Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency. Total investments in these areas amounted to $1.03 billion across the first half of 2017, a marked 25% jump from $807 million in the first half of 2016.

Continue Reading Global Funding in Sustainable Energy Tops $1 Billion in First Half of 2017

On June 2nd, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued record requests for proposals from qualified developers to build renewable energy projects that will generate 2.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity a year. The two requests combined total the largest renewable RFP issued in any state. Alliance for Clean Energy New York estimates that the solicitation “will drive between 600 and 1,600 megawatts of new capacity depending on the mix of technologies ultimately developed.”

Continue Reading NYSERDA and NY Power Authority Seek to Fund Proposals for New Clean Energy Projects: First Round Submissions Due July 13th

On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, sparking serious concern about the future of global efforts to mitigate climate change. In response, cities, states, and corporations across the United States are collaborating to submit a plan to the United Nations ensuring that the U.S. fulfills its emissions targets under the Paris accord – with or without support from the United States federal government.

Continue Reading U.S. States, Cities, & Corporations Unite to Uphold Paris Climate Accord

The U.S. IPO market began 2017 with a solid start, with 25 IPOs raising nearly $10 billion in the first quarter and another 31 IPOs in the second quarter through May 15. We have a number of U.S. and non-U.S. clients moving ahead on U.S. IPO plans in 2017. Will the IPO market in the United States experience a renaissance? While IPOs in the U.S. fell off the map after a slowdown in 2015, the market looks to be bouncing back. For more information, read Mintz Levin’s Securities Matters blog post, which provides a detailed look at recent U.S. IPO market trends.

The last twelve months have seen strong levels of M&A activity in the U.S. energy tech and renewables sector. As this trend continues, we want to share a recent update on the increased use of representations and warranties insurance in M&A deals that our Private Equity Practice wrote. To learn more about the use of R/W insurance in M&A transactions, read on!

Continue Reading An Overview of Representations and Warranties Insurance

Seed financing is critical to entrepreneurs and emerging growth stage companies looking to jumpstart their business, yet the initial investment a business needs can often be the hardest to find. Particularly for clean energy companies building new, industry-disrupting technologies, bringing in early financing can enable start-ups to develop and test their products and designs. On Thursday, February 16, our own Kristin Gerber, an attorney in Mintz Levin’s Corporate & Securities Practice, will host an event in Cambridge, MA entitled “Overview of Seed Stage Financing Structures.” Kristin will address many questions surrounding seed financing, including how entrepreneurs can exact the most mileage out of this category of finding and how this financing can be structured.

Continue Reading Upcoming Event: Overview of Seed Stage Financing Structures

Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard recently published its annual report on the costs of electricity generation technologies, finding that the costs for clean energy projects continue to decrease. The tenth version of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 10.0) shows that the cost of large-scale solar projects continue to rapidly decline, falling by 11% in 2016 and thus 85% since 2009. This makes new solar projects competitive with natural gas power plants in some regions of the U.S., even before federal investment tax credits, and in many regions across the country, wind projects are the lowest cost option among all energy technologies, before federal tax credits. To learn more about Lazard’s report, read on!

Continue Reading Lazard Annual Report Reveals Steady Decline in Costs of Clean Energy Technologies

On December 15, 2016, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) released an in-depth research report providing guidance for the evolving electric power sector. The MITEI report, The Utility of the Future, proposes major regulatory, policy, and market overhauls to electric power systems around the world for efficient integration of distributed and centralized energy resources. Through a set of analysis-based recommendations, the comprehensive study has two overarching proposals: the development of a comprehensive system of prices and regulated charges that apply to all network users, and the removal of inefficient barriers that currently impede the integration and competition of distributed and centralized resources. To learn more about MITEI’s report, read on! Continue Reading MIT Energy Initiative Releases Report for Evolving Electric Power Sector