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 among the top law firms by the BTI Power Rankings 2016 report for the highest level of relationship strength with energy clients. The ranking is based on the frequency of a client’s primary legal counsel being recommended by the client to others. BTI surveyed more than 320 corporate counsels at Fortune 1000 companies and other large organizations.
  • 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.

Nixon Peabody funds biggest CRE solar panel installation in DC

Bisnow | December 22, 2016

Washington DC office managing partner Jeff Lesk is quoted in this feature story about DC’s first large-scale downtown commercial Community Solar project on the roof of Nixon Peabody’s Washington DC office. This article focuses on the innovation and uniqueness of the NP Solar project. 

Recent Water-related Cases That May Impact NPDES/SPDES Dischargers

ClearWaters | December 21, 2016

A discussion of five cases that might impact wastewater permitting regulations for holders of SPDES permits, written by Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford, San Francisco Energy and Environmental associate Alison Torbitt, and Albany counsel Peter Trimarchi.

Power co. wants DC Circ. to force action on NY pipeline

Law360 | December 15, 2016

This article highlights the latest development in a case involving New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s delayed approval of a permit to start building a natural gas pipeline, which impacts upstate New York power plant developer CPV Valley LLC’s facility operations. Washington DC Energy and Environmental partner Elizabeth Whittle is noted as representing CPV Valley LLC.

Persistent Energy Ghana raises $1.5 million to support distribution of solar home systems in Ghana

Tech Moran | November 01, 2016

This story is about Persistent Energy Ghana’s $1.5M debt round financing that will be used as capital to buy solar home systems for low-income households in Ghana. New York City public company transactions partners Dan McAvoy and Richa Naujoks, and Boston global finance partner Frank Hamblett are working on this matter.

A Better City’s power play

The Boston Globe | October 25, 2016

This article highlights an energy deal with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston Medical Center, and the Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation. Boston office managing partner Ruth Silman is mentioned in the article for representing A Better City in facilitating this innovative solar power purchase agreement.

What To Know About NY's New Cooling Tower Regulations

Law360 | July 29, 2016

This guest column authored by Rochester energy and environmental partner Jean McCreary and Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford focuses on final cooling tower regulations put into place by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to protect against legionella and other bacteria.

Calling All Breweries: Is Your Wastewater In Order?

Law360 | July 11, 2016

Rochester senior environmental health engineer Libby Ford and San Francisco Energy & Environmental associate Alison Torbitt co-authored this column discussing the EPA’s national standards for industrial wastewater discharged to local publicly owned treatment works and how they affect breweries.

Allianz and Partners Mint ‘Game Changing' Wind Hedge

Power Finance and Risk | May 10, 2016

New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ellen Friedman is quoted in this article regarding Allianz Risk Transfer’s novel 10-year hedge product that will fund wind projects against the risk of intermittent wind resources.

EPA's aggressive environmental agenda gets boost

Buffalo Business First | April 25, 2016

Partner and leader of the firm’s Energy & Environmental practice Scott Turner is quoted in this feature story that discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s agenda moving forward.

Judge dismisses clay mine appeal

Finger Lakes Times | March 13, 2016

Rochester Energy & Environmental associate Amy Reichhart is mentioned as counsel for Seneca Meadows Landfill in this article about the recent appeal decision in favor of her client.

Nixon Peabody hires energy partner in New York

Project Finance & Infrastructure Journal | February 09, 2016

The following coverage highlights the arrival of New York City Energy & Environmental partner Ernie Chung.

7 Firms Guide NTE Energy's $645M Natural Gas Plant Deal

Law360 | October 02, 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 01, 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.

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 01, 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 08, 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 01, 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 01, 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.

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