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The Energy industry is undergoing enormous change. The development of shale gas positions natural gas as the fuel of the future. The penetration of solar continues to expand. EPA has been charged with tackling greenhouse gas emissions, with particular focus on the energy sector. Major improvements to the electric grid and development of new generating capacity are being undertaken. And your organization is right in the middle of it.

Our approach

We too are deeply involved and are constantly looking at what’s next in the sector. From regulation to project development and finance, transmission and interconnection issues, we’re ahead of the curve. Our collaborative approach, extensive resources and critical knowledge of trends set us apart.

The types of energy facilities we work with are as diverse as our clients. And we don’t just manage risk, we find solutions because we know the industry inside out.

And while we’ve been at the forefront of the industry for the past 75 years, we’ve built a team that’s fit for and focused on the next 15 years.

Electric and Gas Utilities—We provide comprehensive legal services to regulated electric and gas utilities, ranging from state and federal energy regulatory matters to environmental compliance, real estate, litigation and corporate and commercial issues.

Independent Power Producers—We represent developers and operators of electric generating facilities powered by natural gas, oil, coal, atomic energy, municipal solid waste, hydro, wind, biomass and solar.

Renewable Energy Developers—We are involved in all aspects of the renewable energy business, working for developers and investors on solar, wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy, biomass and biofuel, fuel cell, tidal and hydroelectric projects.

Natural Gas Pipelines—We permit natural gas pipeline projects and negotiate gas supply, transportation and storage agreements on most of the interstate natural gas pipelines in the U.S.

Electric Transmission Owners—We are heavily involved with new transmission throughout the U.S., including in California ISO, Midcontinent ISO, Southwest Power Pool, NYISO, ERCOT and ISO New England.

Public Power Entities and Cooperatives—We help public power entities to develop and finance new generation and transmission, often in partnership with other public power entities and investor-owned utilities.

Equity and Tax Equity Investors—We represent large financial institutions, banks, private equity funds and other project investors and lenders.

Universities—We assist a variety of large public and private universities, university medical centers and small private colleges with their energy needs.

Recent experience

  • CapX 2020, a $1.7 billion, 700-mile long electric transmission project of 11 transmission-owing utilities to expand the electric transmission grid in the upper Midwest. As Project Counsel, Nixon Peabody represents all 11 utilities in the drafting and negotiation of the key governance and project development documentation. We work with each of the utilities and financing parties as necessary to ensure compliance with each owner’s lending requirements and regularly give advice and counsel on a range of implementing documentation necessary for closing and construction of the project. Our attorneys have advised the owners on antitrust, bankruptcy and procurement issues in connection with the development of the project. Two of our lawyers were honored as “2011 Dealmakers of the Year” by The American Lawyer in connection with this project.
  • Prairie State Generating in connection with the successful negotiation of a target price EPC Agreement in the Prairie State Energy Campus Project. The project is an approximately 1600 MW two-unit, mine-mouth supercritical coal-fired electric generating facility in southern Illinois. In addition, we negotiated the terms of the major equipment procurement packages for the project and represented the public power owners in connection with the Sierra Club’s challenge to the project’s PSD permit.
  • Trans Bay Cable, the project developer, in negotiating the EPC and site preparation agreements and by consulting on all transmission and interconnection issues in the development of this transmission project, including obtaining FERC approval of incentive rates. Responsibilities include: (a) negotiating with the California ISO and the three California investor-owned utilities regarding an amendment to the Transmission Control Agreement to admit Trans Bay Cable as a participating transmission owner under the California ISO Tariff; (b) negotiating an amendment to the California ISO Tariff to address the revenue recovery of the costs of low-voltage transmission facilities built by non-load serving transmission owners; (c) negotiating with PG&E an Interconnection Agreement, Special Facilities Agreement and Substation License Agreement; (d) preparing and negotiating with the California ISO the terms and conditions of Trans Bay Cable’s Transmission Owners Tariff; and (e) obtaining FERC approval of the foregoing.


  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Energy. In fact, our Energy practice has been consistently ranked by Chambers USA since 2005. One of our attorneys is also listed as a Notable Practitioner for Projects Nationwide.
  • Ranked Nationally by U.S. News/Best Lawyers for Energy Law.
  • Additionally, several members have been ranked by Chambers Global, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.
  • Two of our Energy lawyers were honored as “Dealmakers of the Year” by The American Lawyer for our work closing the first two Plum Point Regional Deals and the $1.7 billion, 700-mile long CapX2020 Utilities Projects throughout the Upper Midwest, a first of its kind in the U.S., in the upper Midwest.
  • One of our Energy lawyers co-authored International Project Financing, 4th edition, the leading reference on the subject of major energy and infrastructure project finance.
  • Our attorneys represented a key investor in connection with the $1 billion project financing of the Astoria II project in New York, which was named North American Single Asset Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance Magazine in 2009.


Energy and Environmental Blog

Energy & Environment Blog
Insight from our team on energy and environmental law and how it affects you and your business.

Media Clips

  • 7 Firms Guide NTE Energy's $645M Natural Gas Plant Deal
    Law360 | October 2, 2015
    New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman is noted as counsel for NTE Ohio which has successfully closed $645 million in project financing for construction and operation of its Middletown Energy Center.
  • What to do when the California Air Resources Board comes knocking
    The Lumber Log | September 1, 2015
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing keeping mobile equipment in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) requirements.
  • Drought in Calif. is Changing the Real Estate Landscape
    Law360 | July 23, 2015
    San Francisco Real Estate associate Ian O’Banion and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing how California’s historic drought conditions are impacting the real estate industry.
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  • LNG Facilities Outside NYC? Not So Fast
    Law360 | February 12, 2015
    Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider and Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi co-authored this column discussing New York State Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines creating a regulatory program allowing the construction and operation of new liquefied natural gas facilities in the state.
  • The Current: Does Small Wind Guidance Have Implications for Other Renewables?
    Journal of Tax Credits | February 1, 2015
    Boston Tax Credit Finance & Syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this article discussing how the Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code provisions for wind properties could impact other renewables.
  • Protecting Affordable Housing Parties Against the Big, Bad Environmental Liability Monster
    Affordable Housing Finance | January 29, 2015
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing environmental due diligence in deals including low-income housing and new markets tax credits.
  • EPA Coal Ash Rules May Hasten Power Plant Closures
    Law360 | January 8, 2015
    Rochester Partner and leader of the firm’s Energy and Environmental practices Scott Turner and senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford authored this article discussing the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive set of requirements for the “safe” disposal of coal combustion residuals.
  • Profile - BASF Because…
    BASF Bulletin | December 1, 2014
    The Bar Association of San Francisco featured Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt in this profile opportunity.
  • Out of Gas
    Long Island Business News | October 22, 2014
    Long Island Energy & Environmental counsel Jesse Hiney is quoted in this feature story discussing possible future uses of local properties that once housed gas stations.
  • Understanding Environmental Laws Reduces Risks
    Rochester Business Journal | September 19, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this article on how to reduce the risks of criminal and civil prosecutions from violations of environmental laws.
  • Combating Calif. Drought with New Rules on Recycled Water
    Law360 | July 22, 2014
    San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt authored this column discussing efforts to save scarce freshwater sources under California’s Drought State of Emergency proclamation.
  • Excellence in Law
    Daily Record | June 26, 2014
    This special section features the Rochester-area attorneys earning “Excellence in Law” distinctions. Rochester Energy & Environmental partner Jean McCreary is profiled among the “Top Women in Law.” Rochester Labor & Employment associate Joe Carello and Real Estate associate Darren Miller are among the “Up & Coming Attorneys.”
  • Future of fracking is up in the air
    Daily Record | April 25, 2014
    Rochester partner and leader of the Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is featured in this story on the future of hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”).
  • Fracking Issues Raised by Auburn Wastewater Report
    Syracuse Post Standard | April 23, 2014
    This story highlights findings and broader implications of a report conducted by an engineering firm regarding the city of Auburn, New York’s ability to accept wastewater from gas drilling. Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, who co-chairs the hydrofracking committee of the New York Water Environment Association, provides commentary.
  • Are State RPS Effective Wind Development Drivers?
    North American WindPower Magazine | April 1, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi and Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jen Simon Lento co-coauthored this article discussing if state renewable portfolio standards are enough to drive renewable energy development.
  • Mass. Solar Program Sets a Shining Example for Other States
    Law360 | January 28, 2014
    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Rob Dewees discusses Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program and how it’s leading the way for other states.
  • Business News
    WBZ-AM (News Radio) | January 23, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses a recent chemical spill in West Virginia, tips to avoid a similar incident and the cost of non-compliance.
  • Fracking Poses Threat to NY Land Values, Mortgages
    Law360 | January 9, 2014
    Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in New York State.
  • Massachusetts Revising SREC Program to Promote Healthy Solar Growth
    Solar Industry | January 9, 2014
    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Rob Dewees discusses Massachusetts' revised set of policy recommendations aimed to stabilize and grow the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program.
  • Shades of Green: New Department of Defense Renewable Energy Commitment Presents Significant Opportunities (and Risks) for Developers
    Contract Management | November 1, 2013
    This article authored by New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman and Washington, DC, Securities associate Tiana Butcher notes increasing efforts by the U.S. Army to attract private developers to construct and own large-scale renewable power projects at army installations and the inherent challenges and risks associated with federal procurement contracting.
  • Deconstruction Keeps Value and Dollars in DC's Neighborhoods
    Elevation DC | October 29, 2013
    Washington, DC, Energy & Environmental partner Elizabeth Whittle is featured in this article on “deconstructing” rather than demolishing a home. Read the full article here.
  • Structured Approach Can Help Solar Developers Fulfill Promise of Brownfields
    Bloomberg BNA Energy and Climate Report | October 3, 2013
    Albany Energy and Environmental counsel Pete Trimarchi discusses some of the significant obstacles to the development of a utility-scale solar project on a brownfield site.
  • Is It Time To Fix the Solar ITC?
    Renewable Energy World | September 25, 2013
    Boston Tax Credit Finance & Syndication partner Jim Duffy discusses a potential change to the language of the solar investment tax credit (ITC) which could help pave the way for future solar energy projects.
  • Two Paths Taken For Procuring Offshore Revenue
    North American Windpower | September 1, 2013

    Boston Energy & Environmental associate Jennifer Simon Lento provides commentary in this feature story discussing new state-based models that could provide an alternative to traditional power purchase agreements for offshore wind developers.

  • DOI Completes First Offshore Energy Area Auction, Prepares for Second in the Fall
    ABA Marine Resources Committee Newsletter | August 1, 2013

    Boston Energy and Environmental associate Jennifer Simon Lento authored this column discussing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s first ever subsea land auction for the purpose of developing an offshore wind farm on the outer continental shelf.

  • Eastern States, DC Sue EPA Over Exemptions on Cross-border Power Plant Emissions
    SNL Power Daily | May 7, 2013

    Rochester partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner discusses a pending lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s move to exempt states at least temporarily from addressing in their implementation plans power plant emissions degrading air quality outside their borders.

  • Stakeholders Weigh In On Maryland Offshore Wind
    North American Windpower | April 23, 2013

    Boston energy & environmental associate Jen Simon Lento discusses the wind industry’s reactions to the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.

  • Genesee Valley Chapter Industrial Issues Committee - Mission of Service and Relevance
    Clean Waters (a New York Water Environment Association publication) | April 15, 2013

    Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford co-authored this column discussing how the New York Water Environment Association’s Industrial Issues Committee (IIC) has helped members understand and map the path to local and federal regulatory compliance.

  • What the Future Holds for Fracking In NY
    Energy Law360 | April 9, 2013

    This contributed article authored by Albany Energy & Environmental counsel Peter Trimarchi, Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider, Rochester Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation partner Chris Thomas, and Rochester Real Estate associate Greg Nearpass discusses two major developments expected this spring that will largely determine the extent to which high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) will occur in New York state.

  • Law: Firms add hires with energy expertise
    Environment & Energy News | March 7, 2013

    This coverage notes the arrival of Albany energy and environmental counsel Peter Trimarchi.

  • Act Now To Harness IRS Energy Tax Credits
    Energy Law360 | March 1, 2013

    New York City energy & environmental partner Ellen Friedman, Boston tax credit finance & syndication partner Forrest Milder and San Francisco energy & environmental associate Alison Torbitt co-authored this column noting that interest applicants should act quickly to benefit from the $150 million of advanced energy manufacturing tax credits available from the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Hot Market, Cool Reactions
    Boston Business Journal | November 30, 2012

    Boston Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Silman discusses the state of solar development in this feature article on Massachusetts’ green-energy sector.


EPA's proposed hazardous waste pharmaceutical regulations
Energy & Environmental Alert | November 4, 2015

California ups its game yet again in the fight against climate change
Environmental Law Alert | October 9, 2015

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EPA'S 2015 vapor intrusion guides—What do they mean for your facility?
Environmental Law Alert | July 22, 2015

Webinar Recording: The future of fossil fuels as a global energy source and special problems in restructuring energy companies
Originally recorded June 18, 2015 | June 22, 2015

Is "coal" becoming a four-letter word for institutional investors?
Distressed Coal News | February 26, 2015

Reduced coal sales to China in the next five years: don't count on it
Distressed Coal News | February 12, 2015

New York joins the rest of the nation in allowing LNG facilities
Environmental Alert | February 9, 2015

Coal ash not a hazardous waste — but ash landfills and impoundments will be heavily regulated
Environmental Law Alert | December 23, 2014

The continuing CWIS rule war—the battleground has been chosen
Environmental Law Alert | October 7, 2014

Don't get caught holding the bag: California enacts ban on single-use plastic bags
Retail Alert | October 6, 2014

What Every College or University President Needs to Know about Renewable Energy
September 11, 2014

IRS notice provides additional rules on begun construction test for certain renewables
Tax Credit Finance & Syndication Alert | August 19, 2014

Supreme Court's ruling on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions: a victory for both sides?
Environmental Law Alert | June 30, 2014

D.C. Circuit upholds attorney-client privilege in internal compliance investigation
Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Alert | June 30, 2014

EPA issues greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants
Energy Alert | June 9, 2014

EPA's new cooling water intake structure rule – a closer look
Energy Alert | May 27, 2014

The new Massachusetts solar carve-out SREC II program became effective on April 25, 2014
Energy Alert | May 5, 2014

West Virginia chemical spill: tips to avoid a similar incident at your facility
Energy & Environmental Alert | January 23, 2014

2014 Legal Snapshot
January 16, 2014

Changes to the Massachusetts SREC Program—SREC II
Energy and Environmental Alert | January 10, 2014

EPA "finalizes" rule on Phase I environmental site assessments — here's what you need to know
Energy and Environmental Alert | January 6, 2014

Court rejects privilege claim for consultant report
Environmental Law Alert | November 25, 2013

Shades of Green: New Department of Defense Renewable Energy Commitment Presents Significant Opportunities (And Risks) for Developers
November 1, 2013

New York proposes regulations governing the siting of LNG facilities
Energy Alert | September 19, 2013

Sources of Renewable Industry Finance—What’s Being Considered?
September 1, 2013

Army identifies solar technology contractors for multiple award task order contracts
Renewable Energy Alert | August 30, 2013

Shades of Green: New Department of Defense Renewable Energy Commitment Presents Significant Opportunities (and Risks) for Developers
Renewable Energy Alert | August 7, 2013

Newest waste ban in Massachusetts: commercial organic material
Environmental Alert | July 19, 2013

7th Circuit upholds FERC approval of novel cost allocation, questions constitutionality of RPSs favoring in-state generation, and paves the way for renewable-friendly grid expansion projects
Energy Law Alert | June 19, 2013

Webinar Recording: Greening Affordable Housing
Originally recorded May 21, 2013 | May 24, 2013

U.S. Army Defense Logistics Agency—Energy announces RFP seeking 15MW of solar generation at Fort Irwin, CA
Renewable Energy Alert | May 13, 2013

Drill, maybe, drill: New York appellate court upholds right of municipalities to prohibit oil and gas development
Energy Alert | May 8, 2013

High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing and Home Rule: The Struggle for Control
May 3, 2013

Anticipating Tax Issues in Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit Transactions (Part 2)
May 1, 2013

Webinar Recording: EPA: What will the next four years bring?
Originally recorded April 25, 2013 | April 29, 2013

Critical hydrofracking cases advance through New York courts
Energy Alert | March 22, 2013

Renewable energy and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
Tax Credit Alert | January 15, 2013

Revocation of IRS PLR on valuing energy facilities
Tax Credit Alert | December 10, 2012

Establishing a Renewables Tax Credit Fund
December 1, 2012

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