Regulatory Developments for Renewable Energy in California

Opt-in Permitting for Renewable Energy Projects under AB 205 and Solar-Use Easements under the Williamson Act

A live 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, February 10, 2023

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will provide renewable energy counsel, developers, and investors guidance on recent California regulatory developments for renewable energy projects. The panel will discuss key provisions of Assembly Bill 205 (AB 205), which provides an opt-in permitting process at the California Energy Commission (CEC), as well as the return of Solar-Use Easements under the Williamson Act.


AB 205 expands the CEC's siting jurisdiction to include solar, wind, and energy storage facilities that meet certain criteria. The California Energy Commission (CEC) finalized highly anticipated regulations detailing how qualifying projects can apply directly to the CEC for project approval under AB 205. Counsel, developers, and investors must understand the requirements and procedures involved and methods to overcome review and certification challenges.

The return of solar-use easements provides renewable energy developers with yet another tool to develop solar energy projects on land that might otherwise be unavailable. With passage of SB 1489, the California Legislature re-enacted Government Code section 51255.1, once again allowing the recission of Williamson Act and Farmland Security Zone contracts to allow simultaneous entry into solar-use easements. This additional Williamson Act compliance pathway may facilitate solar energy development on agricultural lands under Williamson Act or FSZ contract in jurisdictions where contract cancellation is not a viable option due to policy prohibitions regarding the permanent loss of agricultural land.

Listen as our panel discusses key provisions of AB 205, solar-use easements as a tool to encourage solar energy development, and other critical items for renewable and energy storage projects.



  1. Key components of AB 205 and Solar-Use Easements
  2. Eligibility, certification, and approval processes under the final regs
  3. Potential challenges and key considerations for renewable projects
  4. Impact on local restrictions for large-scale renewables
  5. Counsel's best practices for interested applicants


The panel will discuss these and other key issues:

  • What are the key energy provisions of AB 205?
  • What are the requirements for the opt-in application and necessary procedures?
  • What review and certification challenges may arise and what are the methods to avoid them?
  • What is the impact on local restrictions for siting large-scale renewables?
  • How does the size of a renewable project impact the legal risks and challenges of energy storage in light of AB 205?
  • Which lands are suitable for solar-use easements?
  • What are the key differences between contract rescission vs. cancellation?
  • Where in California will solar-use easements be most beneficial?
  • What are counsel's key considerations and best practices for interested applicants?


Jones, Rachel
Rachel Jones

Senior Counsel
Cox Castle & Nicholson

With a focus on land use development and renewable energy projects, Ms. Jones advises clients at all stages of project...  |  Read More

Mudge, Anne
Anne E. Mudge

Cox Castle & Nicholson

Ms. Mudge is one of California's leading siting and permitting lawyers for land use development and utility-scale...  |  Read More

Weiner , Peter
Peter H. Weiner

Cox Castle & Nicholson

Mr. Weiner represents solar energy, wind, geothermal and biomass companies before the CPUC, US Fish  and Wildlife...  |  Read More

Hull, Robert
Robert C. Hull

Cox Castle & Nicholson

Mr. Hull focuses on land use, natural resources, and environmental law matters across various industries,...  |  Read More

Attend on March 8

Early Discount (through 02/10/23)

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Early Discount (through 02/10/23)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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