AAPL
Professional Development

Renewable Energy Certificate Program

AAPL is thrilled about the launch of the Renewable Energy Certificate Program coming this fall. Participants will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion of each e-learning module. At the completion of all modules, a Renewable Energy Certificate will be issued. Continuing education is not required to maintain the certificate. Below are some of the exciting topics that will be available at launch.

Stay tuned to AAPL's communications for more details about this new certificate program!

Introduction to Renewable Energy Sources
  • Hydrocarbons vs. Renewable Energy
  • History of Renewable Energy 
  • Types of Renewable Energy Sources
  • Solar, Wind, Thermal, Carbon Capture, Battery Storage, Bitcoin Mining, Brine Water for Lithium, and Landman Incorporated into the Process.
  • Emerging Renewables
Accommodation Doctrine
  • Surface Use Considerations
  • Mineral Development Considerations
  • Dominant vs. Subservient Estate and What that Means 
  • Mineral and Surface Agreement /Area of Operations
  • Midway case  
Prospecting & Preliminary Due Diligence
  • Viability Studies 
  • Determining Site
  • Feasibility
  • Connectivity
  • Site Assessment 
  • Existing oil and gas production
  • Proximity to transmission lines, urban vs. rural, etc.
Solar Energy
  • Finance
  • Energy encumbrance reports
  • Permits
  • Surface Use and Access
  • Leases
  • Secure site
  • Construction
  • Synchronization/Energization
  • Go online 
  • Negotiations
Wind Energy
  • Finance
  • Permits
  • Energy Encumbrance Reports
  • Surface Use and Access
  • Leases
  • Secure Site
  • Construction
  • Synchronization/Energization
  • Go Online 
  • Negotiations
Ancillary and Curative Documents in Renewable Energy Projects

In this session, you will understand about documents that may be necessary in developing a renewable energy project, comprehend why each document may be needed and be able to explain its basic purpose and gain an understanding of renewable energy projects beyond site control. 

  • Waivers/SUAs and Other Curatives
Hard Minerals

In this session, you will develop an understanding of the role of mining in the renewable industry and the renewable energy material requirements. 

The Role of Mining in the Renewable Industry

In this session, you will learn the essentials of bitcoin mining, how it differs from crypto mining, what it means to mine a BTC, negotiating a BTC deal in the oilfield and operating a BTC mine. 

Carbon Capture
  • Negotiations
Due Diligence/Acquisition Divest
  • Process
  • Difference between Oil/Gas and Renewable Energy
  • Transactions: Anatomy of a Purchase and Sale Agreements for Renewable Energy Sources
  • Core Agreements: Power Purchase Agreements, Interconnection Agreements, Site Control/Surface, Tax Equity/Finance, O&M Agreements, MSAs
Regulation and Policy Considerations for Renewable Energy

In this session, the learning focuses on the jurisdiction in the United States, the Regulation of Renewable Energy Infrastructure that includes wind energy projects and airspace regulation, the life cycles of solar energy projects in the U.S., federal transmission regulations and federal environmental laws. 

Tax Considerations for Renewable Energy

In this session, you will learn about the production tax credit and how it applies to wind energy; develop an understanding of the investment tax credit; differentiate the tax abatements across the states; and compare landowner lease considerations.  

Facility Overview
  • Operation of Wind Turbines & Solar Farms
  • Asset management, developers, owner operators, and operations
Case Law

The purpose of this session is to understand and classify the common renewable energy sources and identify key legal issues and challenges from case law pertaining to each of the renewable energy sources. 

Ethics

Course Instructors for the Renewable Energy Certificate Program 

AAPL has gathered industry experts at the forefront of renewable energy to assemble this offering benefitting all levels of experience.

Laura Falco

Laura Falco was born and raised in Houston. She attended Texas A&M University, where she graduated in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in management and a minor in history. 

Falco later attended Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, where she received her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2017 with a concentration in estate planning. Not only is she a proud Aggie, but she is a member of the first Aggie Law class. 

In 2018, she moved to San Antonio, Texas, to join Mazurek, Belden & Burke, P.C. as a title attorney. Currently, she performs title examination along with preparation of original and supplemental title opinions, division order title opinions and curative title updates for Texas and Ohio clients. In addition to her work as a title attorney, she negotiates and drafts instruments for renewable energy projects in Texas and provides legal advising for renewable developers.

Outside of the office, she is a member of the Women’s Energy Network South Texas and Association of Women in Energy, Texas Aggie Bar Association, San Antonio Association of Petroleum Landmen and The Foundation of Natural Resources and Energy Law. 

Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald has been in the oil and gas industry for over 10 years and is co-founder and chief executive officer for GreenFlare. Prior to working in the oil and gas industry, he was a registered investment advisor and derivatives broker with Charles Schwab. As someone highly interested in the tech world, he has closely followed and been active in crypto-investment since 2012.

Following his investment broker days, he began work as a landman in the oil and gas industry and has worked for a highly specialized boutique broker since entering the oil and gas industry in 2010. Continuing his career, he went on to manage and oversee due diligence on over $500 million in acquisitions and divestitures under his umbrella company Fitzgerald Capital. He has also consulted for numerous solar and wind energy companies in the recent years as "green" tech has evolved.  

Fitzfgerald holds a Certified Professional Landman certification from AAPL, is a member of the DAPL, RMMLF, RMIE and has a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from W.P. Carey School of Business. He brings a passion for the energy industry and the environment to GreenFlare.

Lance B. Joiner

Lance B. Joiner is a partner in the Houston law firm Ray, Feighny & Hartle PLLC. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Ohio and Nebraska, is board certified in oil, gas and mineral law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and was named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2021-2022). 

His practice focuses on advising clients in a variety of upstream and midstream energy matters, including acquisitions and divestitures of producing and nonproducing assets; mineral and leasehold ownership disputes; interpretation and drafting of deeds, oil and gas leases, assignments, and various industry agreements; title curative procedures; pooling; PSA/allocation wells; regulatory issues; and negotiation and drafting of geothermal energy leases and carbon sequestration agreements.

Joiner has drafted and reviewed hundreds of title opinions, including acquisition, drilling, division order and supplemental title opinions. He has managed teams of attorneys working in conjunction with landmen, division order analysts and in-house counsel to conduct extensive title examination and transactional due diligence. 

Before practicing law, he earned his bachekor's degree in government from The University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Following law school, he worked as a petroleum landman and as an attorney with two highly recognized Houston-based oil and gas law firms.

Alex Kuiper

Alex Kuiper focuses primarily on oil and gas, employment and bankruptcy law. Kuiper routinely acts as outside counsel for private equity oil and gas companies as well as Fortune 500 companies. Throughout his career, Kuiper has assisted hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth in corporate acquisitions, authored countless oil and gas title opinions and participated in civil disputes and litigation for both young professionals and large corporations.

With his bachelor's degree in political science from The University of Texas, Kuiper pursued his legal education at South Texas College of Law, where he earned his J.D. He then began working for large private practices centered around oil and gas law. After extensive experience at these firms, Kuiper saw that the traditional firm’s approach to representation wasn’t matching the speed, energy and dynamic needs of their clients in modern times and saw an opportunity to provide superior service by creating a more efficient, cost-effective, and client centered approach. Kuiper then began his own firm, Kuiper Law Firm, PLLC, creating a better experience for his clients by providing effective, efficient and personable representation by attorneys that really know the industry.

He has made Texas his home since 2006 after serving honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He is admitted to practice law in Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming and a member of various professional organizations.

Jake Lederle

Jake Lederle is a partner with the firm of Wetsel, Carmichael, Allen, & Lederle, LLP., where he maintains a broad practice in the energy sector and specializes in renewable energy to include wind energy, solar energy, eminent domain and condemnation and oil and gas law.
 
He frequently writes and speaks on a variety of topics in the energy business, including the accommodation doctrine, executive rights, competing surface uses, severance of wind rights, environmental concerns in siting renewable energy, condemnation proceedings and negotiating leases and easements. 

Lederle is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where he was a research assistant to preeminent oil and gas scholar Ernest E. Smith.   

Christine Fernandez Owen

Christine Fernandez Owen advises developers, owners, operators and service providers of wind, solar and energy storage projects in matters involving real estate, title insurance, environmental diligence, negotiation of commercial contracts used in the development and construction of renewable energy projects and diligence in support of acquisitions and financing of renewable energy projects.

Christine has more than 13 years' experience in the renewable energy industry. In addition to serving as a shareholder of a boutique renewable energy law firm, she also has held positions as a utility scale wind developer and as assistant general counsel at one of the world's largest developer/owners of renewable energy projects. There, she served as lead counsel for the solar business unit, advising on all legal matters affecting the development, construction, operation and maintenance of utility-scale solar energy projects, as well as diligence and negotiation of definitive agreements for acquisitions and divestitures of solar projects.

Previous to her entry into the renewable energy field, she was an associate in the environmental practice group of a large law firm and advised on and litigated environmental issues.

Buford Boyd Pollett

Buford Boyd Pollett is a licensed attorney in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. He is also a licensed geoscientist in Texas and a proctor in maritime law. Pollett is also the Genave King Rogers assistant professor of Energy Law and Commerce at The University of Tulsa with over 15 years of domestic and international legal experience. At TU, Pollett teaches graduate classes in energy policy and sustainability, legal and regulatory environment of the energy industry, the energy transition and wind law. In addition, Pollett is on the Association of International Energy Negotiators ESG Task Force.
 
His energy experience includes work with Eni (the Italian National Oil Company), Technip, Entergy, Nabors and a Shell-Exxon joint venture in Germany (BEB Erdgas und Erdöl).
 
He received a bachelor's and master's degree in geology from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in international business management from Pepperdine University and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans.

Eva Rice

Eva Rice brings over 17 years of experience in the legal, banking and renewable energy industries with an emphasis on commercial and renewable development as it pertains to real estate.

She began her career as a paralegal whose firm worked with solar developers to prospect sites in the California Desert. Since then, she has grown to take on leadership roles and is currently the director of real estate at D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, where she is responsible for the real estate functions related to development and subsequent execution and financing of renewable energy projects.

Rice has held similar roles in other well known, large scale renewable energy development companies including EDF Renewables and sPower. She has brought her experience in documentation, diligence, risk analysis and financing to over 3GW of wind, solar and battery storage projects. She looks forward to the continued growth of the renewable energy industry and changing this planet for the better!

Adam Stellar

Adam Stellar joined Coeur Mining in October 2015 and currently serves as land manager, overseeing all the land holdings for Coeur Mining’s operations in Alaska, British Columbia, Mexico, Nevada and South Dakota. Previously, he also managed projects in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and New Zealand for the company.

Stellar serves on the Public Lands Committee and Minerals Policy Task Force for the National Mining Association, the Mining Law and Public Lands Committees for the American Exploration and Mining Association, and in November 2021, his industry influence was further recognized by AAPL with his nomination as a national board member for the Nevada Landman’s Association. He also has served on the Education, Accreditation and Public Lands committees for AAPL and was co-chair of the Mining and Land Resources Institute.

His experience also extends to the oil and gas industry, where he started his career as an independent landman before going in-house for Jetta Operating Company, Matador Resources and Payson Petroleum, where he served as the vice president of land. Stellar holds a bachelor's degree in business from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and a master's degree in energy business from the University of Tulsa. He lives in Houston with his wife and two children. 

Tom Seng

Tom Seng is the Mervin Bovaird professor of Energy Business and director of the School of Energy Economics, Policy, and Commerce at The University of Tulsa. His other teaching experience includes serving as an adjunct instructor for The University of Oklahoma, Penn State University and Texas Christian University.

Seng has over 30 years of experience in the natural gas and natural gas liquids industry including physical and financial energy commodity trading, midstream and pipeline operations, transportation and storage marketing, risk control, hedging and regulatory affairs.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and an MBA in oil and gas management from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.

He is the author of “Energy Trading & Hedging: A Nontechnical Guide” (PennWell 2019).

Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson entered the energy industry buying minerals and leases in the Uinta Basin of Utah. In 2018 he took a position as land manager for sPower’s wind energy portfolio. After merging into AES Clean Energy in 2020, he served as senior land acquisition manager for AES Clean Energy’s utility-scale solar and energy storage projects. In November 2021 he took a position as development manager for Qcells North America developing utility-scale solar and energy storage projects.

Wilson has a master's degree from UC Denver’s Global Energy Management program and currently serves as Utah director of AAPL, chairman of AAPL’s Field Landman Seminar Committee and serves on several other AAPL committees.

When not talking energy, he enjoys floating rivers with his wife and daughter or hunting upland game with his German Shorthair Pointer.

The Future of the Landman

What's next for land professionals? In 2022, AAPL developed an outreach video titled The Path of the Landman — Powering the World to help tell the historical of the land professional and the opportunities that exist for land professionals in the energy industry. View a clip of the video below or watch the complete video on AAPL's YouTube channel