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Commercial Services

Baltimore

We are the perfect partner for your energy deals.

The energy industry is unique – and so are the challenges and complexities that accompany energy real estate deals. To ensure the success of your projects, you need more than a title company. You need a partner who will keep your needs and goals in mind – a partner committed to building a lasting relationship at every step of the transaction.

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With Stewart Title Commercial Services, you’ve found that partner. We offer a wealth of expertise in the energy sector, solutions designed around the unique needs of your transactions and the financial strength to help you close your biggest transactions. Take a look around to learn more about the ways we can make your energy deals a success.

We know energy real estate transactions – and what it takes to get them done. Accurate title evidence. Quick responses to your needs. And guidance through the complexities your deals may bring, from numerous sites to multiple title policies.

Our knowledgeable energy team can guide you through a variety of energy projects, including:

Biomass is considered to be all plant and animal matter on the earth’s surface. Biomass can be used to generate electricity or to operate a power plant through the process of thermal or chemical conversion. These types of projects fall into the renewable category and have the ability to run at longer durations as these plants are not dependent on sun or wind. Vast amounts of land are usually not required, and, thus, title searching issues are not as onerous as in wind transactions. These transactions may contain leaseholds and may involve governmental agencies.

Key issues in these transactions include underwriting for survey, contiguity and mechanic’s liens coverage. These transactions are very complex, and require our extensive underwriting experience in providing extended coverage.

A cogeneration plant is a facility that generates both heat and electricity. Issues include contiguity, survey, and mechanic’s lien coverage; ability to operate such plants under state law; and applicable loss endorsements, all of which can be underwritten by our seasoned underwriters.

Stewart Title has the ability to provide construction disbursing and specialized coverage in a number of jurisdictions.

A fossil-fuel power plant is a plant which burns coal, natural gas or petroleum to produce electricity. Fossil-fuel power plants contain machinery to convert the heat energy of combustion into mechanical energy, which is used to power an electrical generator. Typical title issues may include contiguity, encroachments, mechanic’s liens, mineral coverage and survey issues.

These types of transactions involve the insurance of plants that produce electricity that’s generated from the earth’s heat. The process is to convert heat into mechanical energy by turning a turbine, then connecting a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electricity. Geothermal plants are designed to run 24 hours a day, which makes them different than other renewable energy plants, such as solar and wind. The geothermal fields require a vast amount of land, which may or may not always be in private ownership, requiring a separate search of the Bureau of Land Management Records. Our underwriters, who have extensive experience in insuring these transactions, can discuss site specific endorsements that fit your needs for the project.

Liquefaction natural gas (LNG) refers to gas that has been converted to liquid form to make transportation and storage easier. Historically, the transportation of LNG has been limited to pipeline, rail and truck. These methods effectively limit the delivery of the product to consumers geographically contiguous to the supply. Liquefaction allows LNG to be loaded onto large, specially designed container ships and delivered around the globe. Issues include contiguity, survey and mechanic’s lien coverage, ability to operate such plants under state law and applicable loss endorsements, all of which can be underwritten by our seasoned underwriters.

Unless prohibited by state law, title insurance endorsement coverage may be considered by insuring against loss resulting from the rights to use the surface of the land or damage to improvements resulting from the exercise of specific ancillary mineral rights. Mineral interests may be categorized as either, including a right of surface entry, enabling the holder of the mineral interest to use the surface of the land overlying the mineral interest to support drilling activities, or being without the right of surface entry. A reservation in a deed or a lease in a mineral interest must be assumed to carry the right of surface entry unless that right is clearly abandoned, waived or conveyed. State specific statutes with respect to an Accommodation Doctrine or the Common Law reasonableness standard, as well as local ordinances and active mining activity will all be taken into consideration by our underwriters in crafting the requested mineral coverage.

Nuclear power plants typically generate electricity through the controlled reaction of uranium, which produces steam to power a turbine, which, in turn, powers an electrical generator. Many of the same title issues common with other energy projects are involved. The level of complexity increases with issues, such as on and off-site warning sirens (sometimes involving shared locations), off-site emergency disaster command posts with numerous shared co-tenants, inter-connection switching stations, shared use and access to rifle ranges (and accompanying security issues) and, most importantly, the need for “spot on” title evidence from the record rooms. 

Key issues in these transactions include underwriting for survey, contiguity and mechanic’s liens coverage. These transactions are very complex, and require our extensive underwriting experience in providing extended coverage.

Underwriting typically involves the status of the land for the solar farm, as well as easements, for the transmission lines to connect to the grid, and financing for the solar cells or panels. This may also involve issues with Native American land, Bureau of Land Management, construction and mechanic’s lien law, tax credits, consideration of local laws and regulations, syndicates of investors and lenders, and unique endorsements. The farms are built with many clusters of solar arrays. Unlike wind farm deals, the solar arrays are typically placed near the ground, and thus mineral rights and other surface rights have to be dealt with in order to give title insurance coverage over these issues. Energy companies operate under leases given by a single landowner or multiple landowners. The leases typically allow energy companies to construct structures on the land and give them the right to construct roads and lay pipes or power lines as necessary. Stewart Title can issue a series of endorsements to provide specialized coverage that meets the needs of the solar project.

Governmental entities are often constricted in the way they can raise money for municipal projects. One way they obtain funds is through bond offerings to the public. These transactions are typically much more complexly structured than straight mortgaging of property.

Wind energy is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy. Title insurance transactions involving wind farms are usually very complex, primarily due to the vast amounts of land that are needed for the turbine fields and lateral easements. Companies that extract wind energy often operate under leases given by a single landowner or multiple landowners. The leases typically allow energy companies to construct turbine sites on the land and give them the right to construct roads or power lines as necessary. We have created a series of endorsements to address the needs of the lender and the owner of the wind project, and our underwriters can assist you in modifying coverage to meet the specific needs of your wind project.

Past Projects

Closing a complex energy real estate transaction requires more than skill, communication and financial strength. It demands a partnership between the customer and title company. At Stewart Title, we take that partnership seriously – because we know that the more we understand our customers, the more effectively we can tackle their unique title challenges.

We’re proud to have partnered with the following clients on their recent energy projects:

 

Trust our team of specialists to guide you through your energy transactions.

Our experts include some of the industry’s top title searchers, examiners, underwriters, business development officers and escrow officers – so you can rest assured your transactions are in excellent hands. We make it our business to learn all about your needs and challenges then deliver the solutions and guidance to get your deals done.

Name Contact
Jack (John) Kieley Sr. Vice President / Sales Director / Mid-Atlantic & Southeast Region jkieley@stewart.com Office: (443) 220-0001 x14
Ben Sander Vice President / Senior Business Development Officer bsander@stewart.com Office: (315) 314-6016
James (Jim) Gosdin Chief Underwriting Counsel / Associate General Counsel - Stewart Title Guaranty Company jgosdin@stewart.com Office: (713) 625-8225