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Empowering Cleaner Energy Decisions

Clean Energy Legal Toolkit

The high cost of developing comprehensive and customized legal and financial documentation can be a critical barrier to the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration projects. In support of RETScreen’s goal of reducing the transaction costs associated with implementing clean energy projects, the RETScreen Clean Energy Legal Toolkit has been developed and is provided below.

This initiative was undertaken by NRCan/CanmetENERGY’s RETScreen International in association with the Energy + Environment Foundation (EEF) and supported financially by a grant from the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). Some legal documents have been contributed pro bono by lawyers from leading American firms.

Training material
RETScreen - Legal Aspects of Clean Energy Projects - Presentation slides

e-Textbook / Guides
RETScreen - Legal Aspects of Clean Energy Projects - e-Textbook chapter

Sample legal documents
Real property agreements
Green leases
Finance agreements
Engineering, procurement & construction agreements
Fuel supply and O&M agreements
Power purchase agreements
Interconnection agreements
Energy performance contracts
Emissions/Environmental attributes trading agreements

The initiative has brought together sample legal documents freely available over the Internet to assist project developers and other project stakeholders reduce the time and costs associated with developing legal and financial documentation for their projects. The information and links provided will also help raise private and public stakeholder awareness and capacity regarding the legal aspects of clean energy projects.

Many legal documents in a clean energy project are not exclusive to such projects; these include documents such as incorporation agreements, lease agreements, employment contracts, etc. In keeping with RETScreen's vision of lowering transaction costs, the documents linked to in the Toolkit are examples of less well-known agreements, those more specific to clean energy projects, or those whose development may entail higher transactional costs. The order of document categories listed is not necessarily sequential. Not all categories are relevant to all clean energy projects. Some of the documents are specific to conventional energy projects but may still be useful as an information resource.

The Toolkit is also incorporated within the RETScreen Software User Manual. The user automatically downloads the user manual help file while downloading the RETScreen software.

The RETScreen Training Course (i.e. the Toolkit presentation slides, e-Textbook chapters, linked documents, etc.) is provided for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Canada nor constitute an endorsement of any commercial product or person. Neither Canada nor its ministers, officers, employees or agents make any warranty in respect to this Training Course or assumes any liability arising out of the use of this Training Course.

The documents linked to herein are examples of documents available through a free and public Internet search. They are provided to the public as information resources only. No warranty, express or implied, is made by the Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY, RETScreen International (collectively "Natural Resources Canada") or any of its employees or consultants with regards to any aspect of the documents, including but not limited to their proprietary or intellectual property status. Natural Resources Canada does not accept any responsibility or liability for loss or damage through unauthorized use or misuse of the documents, or through lack of appropriate or sufficient due diligence. The legal documentation linked to:
  • is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate, or up-to-date;
  • is linked to external sites over which Natural Resources Canada has no control and for which Natural Resources Canada assumes no responsibility; and
  • does not constitute professional or legal advice. If you require specific legal advice, you should always consult a qualified professional.
Some of the content of the Training Course has been posted for organizations or other entities that are not necessarily subject to Canada's Official Languages Act. Some of the material found in the Training Course is therefore in the Language(s) used by those organizations or other entities in question.