Richard M. Cogen

Richard Cogen represents project sponsors, investors and lenders with respect to the development, financing, permitting, acquisition and sale of energy, renewable energy and solid waste projects. He is the former chair of the firm’s Energy and Environmental practice group.

What do you focus on?

I work closely with clients to develop, finance, buy and sell energy and solid waste projects. Much of my practice involves working with senior management on complex projects and financings. I have recently assisted clients in acquiring and financing over a billion dollars worth of solar energy projects and in developing large fossil fuel and wind electric generating facilities and electric transmission projects. Clients value my ability to understand and keep sight of the big picture, while getting the details lined up in a way that helps them to achieve their objectives.

What do you see on the horizon?

The electric power industry is changing rapidly and the financing tools to support that change are evolving before our eyes. It is both challenging and fun to be part of this historic transformation of the industry.

Project experience

  • Major Investment Bank: Mr. Cogen was one of the lead attorneys with respect to this client’s purchase of the tax credit equity in two significant wind project portfolios involving projects in seven states.
  • Babcock & Brown: Mr. Cogen was the lead counsel for the acquisition of the Cross-Sound Cable and the related financing.
  • Private Equity Fund: Mr. Cogen was the lead attorney for the due diligence review of a controlling equity investment in a wind energy development company with a pipeline of approximately 45 projects in more than a dozen states.
  • Sustainable Energy Capital Partners: Mr. Cogen is the lead attorney for development and financing of solar energy projects totaling up to 100 MW in California.
  • Ciro Technology: Mr. Cogen is representing Ciro in the development and financing of a 70 MW solar energy project in Puerto Rico.
  • First Wind: Mr. Cogen represented First Wind in the development of three large scale wind energy facilities in New York.
  • Acciona Energy North America: Mr. Cogen is representing Acciona in the development of two wind energy projects in New York.
  • Fishermen’s Energy: Mr. Cogen is representing Fishermen’s Energy in the development of its wind energy projects offshore of New Jersey.
  • Confidential Client: Mr. Cogen assisted this client in preparing a proposal in response to the New York Power Authority’s Great Lakes Offshore Wind RFP.
  • EMI/Long Island Wind Associates: Mr. Cogen assisted the company in evaluating and preparing a proposal in response to the Long Island Power Authority’s Request for Proposal for energy and capacity from an offshore wind energy project.
  • PG&E National Energy Group/National Energy & Gas Transmission: He was one of the lead attorneys for the licensing and environmental impact review of the Athens Generating Project, a 1,100 mw gas-fired combined cycle power generation facility proposed to be located in Athens, New York. This project is the first project to be licensed under New York’s new power plant siting statute. Mr. Cogen also assisted the company in the permitting of the Madison Wind Project.
  • PPL Global, Inc.: He was lead counsel for the siting and permitting of a 300 MW gas-fired simple cycle generation facility proposed to be located in Kings Park, New York, and assisted the company in the permitting and development of several 79 MW gas turbine generating projects in Long Island, New York.
  • Babcock & Brown: He was the lead counsel assisting Sterling Energy Associates, LLC, a subsidiary of Babcock & Brown, in the development of a combined-cycle generating facility in Long Island, New York. He also was the lead attorney for the acquisition of the Cross-Sound Cable and the related financing.
  • Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Mr. Cogen is the lead outside attorney representing the Authority with respect to Clean Water Act § 316(a) and (b) matters for its four power generating facilities.
  • PSEG Power: Mr. Cogen was the lead outside attorney for the environmental due diligence and environmental risk allocation contract negotiations with respect to the company’s acquisition of the Albany Steam Station. He also represented PSEG Power in the repowering of the Albany Steam Station and in licensing a 600 MW submarine electric generator lead between New Jersey and New York.
  • Sunlaw Energy Corporation: He represented this company in obtaining air permits necessary to construct four cogeneration facilities located in California and the Virgin Islands, including representation of the company in a lengthy adjudicatory hearing over control technology issues before the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • TransÉnergie U.S., Ltd.: He was lead attorney for the licensing in New York of the Cross Sound Cable project, a 345 KV transmission line under Long Island Sound between Connecticut and New York.
  • Ogden Energy, Inc./Covanta: Mr. Cogen was the project leader for the permitting (solid waste and air permits) of a 990 TPD municipal solid waste incinerator to serve the residents of Onondaga County, New York. The project team successfully negotiated the terms of the permit for this facility, and avoided a lengthy adjudicatory hearing as a result. Mr. Cogen has also represented this company on air permitting and enforcement matters with respect to several of its facilities around the United States, and was the lead outside attorney negotiating amendments to the company’s long-term service agreements to address air pollution control retrofits required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
  • Town of Babylon, New York: Mr. Cogen assisted the town in creating commercial waste disposal improvement areas to secure commercial waste for its disposal system and in procuring the collection contracts for that improvement area. In addition, he was the lead attorney for the permitting of, and environmental impact statement for, a 750 TPD solid waste-to-energy facility and related landfill.
  • Town of Brookhaven, New York: As special counsel, Mr. Cogen provided legal counsel to the Town of Brookhaven on virtually every aspect of the town’s solid waste management system for ten years. Specific projects include procurement and negotiation of long-term agreements for hauling, composting and recycling services; representation of the town in a nuisance, personal injury and property damage action brought by neighbors of the town’s landfill; negotiating a landmark intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Hempstead for the exchange of “trash” for “ash”; permitting and approval of expansions of the town’s landfill; permitting of a recycling facility; and preparation of environmental impact statements associated with the various components of the town’s solid waste system and the town’s Solid Waste Management Plan.
  • City of Albany, New York: Mr. Cogen was the project leader for the procurement of a long term agreement for MRF services by the city, as agent for a consortium of 15 municipalities, and for the preparation of the consortium’s Solid Waste Management Plan. He also was the lead attorney for the procurement and negotiation of a novel long term service agreement under which a private developer was to convert the city’s solid waste shredding facility into a transfer station and recycling facility, provide services to the city and the other municipalities in the consortium, and accept waste from private, commercial sources. He was also the project leader for the permitting of, and environmental impact statement for, a new landfill for the city in the environmentally sensitive Albany pine barrens, including a lengthy adjudicatory hearing and follow-up litigation. Mr. Cogen also has been involved in the development of strategy for the permitting of an expansion to that landfill, siting of a new long-term landfill, and litigation with the prospective host town for the long-term landfill.

Trump turmoil tempers law firm business forecasts

New York Law Journal | May 22, 2017

Albany energy and environmental partner Rich Cogen provides commentary in this article about how political developments under the Trump administration have affected the legal industry and certain practice areas.


Richard M. Cogen

Co-leader, Energy and Infrastructure Projects Team

New York

Phone: 212-493-6639


Phone: 518-427-2665

Fax: 866-947-1278

Cornell Law School, J.D.

University of Rochester, B.A., cum laude

New York

U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Richard was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 in the field of Environmental Law. Richard has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2008, and was named 2016 Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Albany, NY.

Richard has also been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 for Energy: State Regulatory & Wholesale Electric Market (New York). He has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years.

Richard has also received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

  • Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Counsel to the Board of Directors
  • American Wind Energy Association, represents the firm as a member of the Legislative, Transmission, and Siting committees
  • New York State Bar Association (Member, Environmental and Municipal Law sections, Administrative Law Committee; past member of Executive Committee of Environmental Law Section)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law)
  • Institute for Environmental Auditing (Past member of Board of Directors)
  • New York Association for Solid Waste Management
  • Air & Waste Management Association (Past vice-chair, Environmental Auditing Committee; Past chair, Legal Committee)
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