Power Plant Decommissioning, Demolition & Remediation



At Nixon Peabody, we build project-specific teams of attorneys and environmental technical professionals to guide clients through every phase of power plants’ complex decommissioning, demolition and remediation process. With precision and focus, we provide options, manage risks and achieve our clients’ objectives with fewer surprises.

The energy industry is changing.

Today, electricity generated with natural gas is significantly cheaper than that using coal, oil or nuclear fuel. And in some areas, alternative power plants are becoming cost competitive. This significant cost differential combined with stringent environmental requirements and a public preference for renewable electricity generation are causing power plants to shutter. When this happens, a cascade of legal consequences follows.

Fearing an outbreak of “zombie” power plants dotting their landscapes, localities and states are increasingly pushing for more prompt abatement and final disposition of closed plants.

Nixon Peabody is at the forefront of the industry covering all the issues that arise throughout the power plant decommissioning, decontamination and demolition process.

We support our clients from beginning to end. Our decades of work with power plants help us get the job done quickly and efficiently. Starting with strategic planning during decision-making stages, through pre-bid and bidding processes and into project design and implementation phases, our practical approach helps prevent potential costly pitfalls.

With experience ranging all facets of the industry, we don’t just manage risk, we find solutions.

We offer a strategic approach to:

  • Negotiation and drafting of owners’ engineer and project management contracts
  • Insurance/indemnification issues
  • Demolition and remediation agreements
  • Interconnection agreements
  • Joint venture/teaming and other contractor arrangements
  • Deconstructions vs. demolition
  • Integrating technical and legal specifications
  • Asset reclamation
  • Demolition salvage and pricing
  • Resolving litigation threats and contract disputes
  • Environmental impact reviews, permits and approvals
  • Local approvals and community outreach
  • Evaluating redevelopment options and tax incentives
  • Protecting remaining assets, including Emission Reduction Credits

We work with

  • Power plant owners
  • Energy companies
  • Developers
  • Consultants & engineers
  • Insurance companies

Recent Experience

  • 257 MW, 60+ year-old coal plant: State Preliminary Approval, Owner Engineer (OE) Engagement, Abatement and Demolition Contractor Procurement, legal assistance during abatement and demolition, resolution of significant cost issue that came up as the project neared completion and environmental and other permitting support
  • 100+ year-old, 7-unit + turbine coal and oil fired plant: Owner Engineer (OE) Engagement, Abatement and Demolition Contractor Procurement, legal assistance during abatement and demolition, and environmental support
  • 25- and 30-year-old natural gas/combined cycle plants: Offering Memo, Preliminary Deconstruction Technical Specifications and Asset Purchase Agreement (for export outside USA)
  • 62 and 63 MW NG/CC peaking power plants: Asset Purchase Agreement for sale of operations
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