This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the legal, business, and engineering facets of energy development and entrepreneurship. The course is structured around two central case studies—one based on a wind development project and the other on a high-efficiency natural gas combined-cycle plant. The key stages of project development will be covered, including site selection, due diligence, permitting, contracting, and financing. The case studies are designed (1) to provide real-world conditions for understanding project development, (2) to allow students to engage in practical problem solving, and (3) to enable government policies to be evaluated in context. Course work will be complemented by regular discussions with leading experts in the utility and renewable-energy sectors.
Students will work in interdisciplinary teams made up of graduate students from law, business, public affairs, and engineering. In addition to short presentations made during the semester, each student team will prepare a final report and presentation on the technical, business, and legal aspects of one of the two case studies. The course will culminate with a presentation given by each team to a group of putative potential investors, who will be energy experts drawn from the private sector. Course evaluations will be based on class participation, in-class presentations, and the final presentation and report for potential investors.