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Energy



Our experienced team will help you navigate the complex and rapidly evolving energy landscape and make strategic decisions to maximize your business potential.

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Our Approach

Today’s energy landscape is more complex and interconnected than ever before. Evolving regulations, increased connectivity and a global infusion of capital into new technologies present new challenges and opportunities for companies across the industry.

Nearly every sector of the energy industry is undergoing enormous change. At 18% of the power mix, renewable energy resources comprise as large a contribution to total U.S. electricity generation as the country’s nuclear fleet. Wind and solar capacity alone has increased over 471% since 2008, from 25 GW to 143 GW.[1] Regulators are contending with the rise of distributed energy resources (DER) such as behind-the-meter generation and storage technologies, and states are continuing to address resiliency, reliability and the DER grid integration.

Against this backdrop, the new administration is rescinding past climate change initiatives, which is impacting electric generation, as well as oil and gas production and transmission moving forward. As the largest contributor to the U.S. electricity portfolio, shale gas positions natural gas as the fuel of the future for baseload and peaking generation (in 2017, natural gas made up nearly 32% of overall U.S. generation).[2] However, transporting shale gas and oil from the shale regions to underserved parts of the country proves challenging.

Our firm is right in the middle of this transformation. Among our many other efforts, we helped draft the initial residential solar agreements back in 2008. In recent years, we were on the forefront of community and virtual net metering agreements. Today, we are helping to implement energy storage across the nation. We can help you keep pace with industry developments and provide strategic advice to help your business continue to thrive into the future. Our diverse experience in state and federal regulation and compliance, project development and finance, transmission and interconnection issues, permitting, finance, risk management and energy supply can help you navigate this new ecosystem.

We work with

  • Community choice aggregators
  • Debt equity and tax equity investors
  • Electric transmission owners
  • Independent power producers
  • Natural gas pipelines
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Off-takers, including public, private, and nonprofit entities
  • Public power entities and cooperatives
  • Renewable energy developers
  • Universities

  1. “2018 Factbook: Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy,” https://data.bloomberglp.com/bnef/sites/14/2018/02/Sustainable-Energy-in-America-2018-Factbook.pdf
    [Back to reference]
  2. “Energy Information Administration, U.S. Electricity by Generation,” https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3
    [Back to reference]

How new state laws will affect power plant closure costs

Law360 | June 05, 2019

Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Bruce Baker and Senior Environmental Health Engineer Libby Ford, both of the Rochester office, co-wrote this contributed article on how state legislatures are addressing the future of decommissioned, coal-fired power plants.

Top DC building owners install solar panels as city sets ambitious clean energy goal

Bisnow | April 09, 2019

This article highlights Nixon Peabody’s nonprofit, New Partners Community Solar. The piece covers phase one of the program and its continued efforts to partner with Washington, DC, building owners to install solar panels on multiple new sites, which will produce renewable energy to benefit local low-income residents. The piece also notes that Washington, DC, Community Development Finance partner Jeff Lesk will discuss this clean energy initiative at Bisnow’s upcoming Greater DC Solar and Sustainability Summit.

Trio of disputes set to shape burgeoning tax equity insurance biz

Power Finance & Risk | December 02, 2018

Albany Project Finance and Public Finance partner Rich Cogen is quoted in this article on his view of the cost of premiums in the young but competitive market for tax equity insurance related to renewable energy investments.

D.C. CRE leaders on the lending environment, architecture trends, PropTech and more

Bisnow | September 30, 2018

Washington DC Office Managing Partner Colette Dafoe and Community Development Finance partner Jeff Lesk are mentioned in this story about the DCSolar project, which began on Nixon Peabody’s rooftop and has expanded throughout the District.

IREC announces 2018 3iAward recipients at Intersolar

Solar Power World | July 10, 2018

Washington DC partner Jeff Lesk and senior counsel Herb Stevens, both of the Community Development Finance Group, are mentioned in this story after NPSolar was named Community/Shared Renewables Project of the Year by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

How a DC law firm installed solar panels to help low-income people save on utilities

Washington Post | May 10, 2018

Nixon Peabody’s pro bono solar panel project is featured in this article.  Washington DC tax credit finance and syndication partner Jeff Lesk and senior counsel Herb Stevens are quoted throughout this feature which highlights how this first-of-its-kind project benefits low-income residents in the DC community.

Nixon Peabody seeks to benefit the poor with its solar panels

ABA Journal | May 10, 2018

Washington DC partner Jeff Lesk and senior counsel Herb Stevens are mentioned in this article about the NP Solar program, which uses solar panels placed atop DC-area buildings to produce electricity and cost savings for low-income residents.

DC law firm uses its own panels to cut others' power bills

Energy & Environmental News | May 10, 2018

Nixon Peabody’s pro bono solar panel project is featured in this trade publication for energy and environment professionals. Washington, DC tax credit finance and syndication senior counsel Herb Stevens is quoted and partner Jeff Lesk is mentioned.

Law360 names attorneys who moved up the firm ranks in Q1

Law360 | May 06, 2018

In this roundup of promotions to partner and firm management positions, 14 attorneys from Nixon Peabody are highlighted. The 11 attorneys promoted to partner are Ellie Altshuler, Mark Beaudoin, Erik Birkeneder, Hannah Bornstein, Chris Browning, Barry Carrigan, Keri McWilliams, Matt Mullen, Steven Richard, Charles Tamuleviz and Alison Torbitt. In addition, Kenneth C. Lind was promoted to leader of the firms’ public finance practice group, Justin Thompson was promoted to office managing partner in LA, and Aaron Yowell was promoted to chief innovation officer.

Waterfront Developers Prepare for a Sea Change

The Boston Globe | February 10, 2018

Responding to sustainability surveys A primer for suppliers

Supply Chain Management Review | November 13, 2017

Albany energy and environmental associate Dana Stanton authored this overview of sustainability surveys that many companies send to suppliers to gauge their environmental efforts and performance.

Engie sparks off-grid light-bulb

Project Finance International | October 31, 2017

In an article on the expansion of off-grid solar power companies in Africa, Nixon Peabody is mentioned for advising PEG Africa in its $13.5M multi-currency syndicated loan.

Solar company PEG Africa secures $13.5m funding

Disrupt Africa | October 26, 2017

This article mentions Nixon Peabody for advising West African solar company PEG Africa on a multi-currency syndicated loan to develop solar energy and reliable electricity in the region.

Focusing on climate resiliency and adaptation in Mass

Law360 | September 26, 2017

Boston office managing partner and energy and environmental partner Ruth Silman authored this article about Massachusetts’ plans and strategies for addressing climate change.

New York 'environmental rights' bill sparks industry fears

Inside EPA | September 14, 2017

This article about the pending New York legislation that would expand residents’ environmental rights quotes a recent Nixon Peabody blog post titled “What’s Trending: New York possible constitutional right to clean air and water,” authored by Albany Energy & Environmental partner Ruth Leistensnider and Rochester Energy & Environmental group professional specialist Libby Ford.

SEIA releases new model PPA for C&I sector

Solar Industry Mag | August 30, 2017

Nixon Peabody is mentioned as one of the firms that contributed to the creation of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) newly released model contract to encourage solar power development in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Nixon Peabody brings back the sun in DC

The National Law Journal | August 26, 2017

This article features the Washington, DC office’s solar program and mentions partners Jeff Lesk and Herb Stevens, who manage grants for the firm’s nonprofit New Partners Community Solar Corp.

DC Circ. Panel Backs NY In Suit Over Pipeline Permit Delay

Law360 | June 22, 2017

In this article about Millennium Pipeline Co.'s suit against New York environmental regulators, Washington, D.C. energy and environment partner Elizabeth Whittle is mentioned for representing CPV Valley Inc., a company that is building an energy facility that would receive natural gas from Millennium’s pipeline.

Meet the managing partner: Nixon Peabody’s Ruth Silman

BBA Week | June 13, 2017

This profile features Boston office managing partner Ruth Silman. The article highlights her career, practice focus and vision for the Boston office.

The current: What is ‘back leverage’ and what do I need to know about it?

Novogradac & Company | May 08, 2017

Boston tax credit finance and syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about the increasing use of back leverage in renewable energy tax credit projects and its implications.

NYPSC shakes up net metering projects in New York State

Law360 | April 27, 2017

Albany energy & environmental counsel Peter Trimarchi contributed this article about the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) order related to compensation for renewable energy projects involving the state’s electric distribution system.

Washington DC clean energy plan leads the way

Earthtalk | March 19, 2017

Chief Innovation Officer Herb Stevens is quoted in this story discussing how the firm helped implement the community solar project as part of the Clean Energy DC plan, which aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and energy use in half by 2032.

DC mayor proposing green bank to fund clean energy projects

NBC4 Washington | March 14, 2017

Washington DC office managing partner Jeff Lesk and chief innovation officer Herb Stevens were interviewed in this broadcast news segment about a green bank that could be created to help finance environmentally friendly projects similar to the solar panels installed on our DC office building.

Up on Nixon Peabodys roof

Tax Credit Advisor | February 28, 2017

Washington, DC office managing partner Jeff Lesk and chief innovation officer Herb Stevens are featured in this article about the Washington, DC office’s Community Solar project.

Nixon Peabody funds biggest CRE solar panel installation in DC

Bisnow | December 21, 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 20, 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 14, 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 | October 31, 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 24, 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.

Contacts

Robert L. Daileader, Jr.

Partner

rdaileader@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 202-585-8318

James F. Duffy

Partner

jduffy@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 617-345-1129

Ellen S. Friedman

Partner
Co-leader, Energy and Infrastructure Projects Team

efriedman@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 212-940-3053

Ruth H. Silman

Partner
Office Managing Partner, Boston

rsilman@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 617-345-6062

Alison B. Torbitt

Partner
LEED® AP BD&C
Co-leader, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness

atorbitt@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 415-984-5008

Peter C. Trimarchi

Counsel

ptrimarchi@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 518-427-2671

Elizabeth W. Whittle

Partner

ewhittle@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 202-585-8338

  • Ranked nationally by U.S. News/Best Lawyers 2019 for Energy Law
  • Recognized by BTI Power Rankings 2016 report for the highest level of relationship strength with energy clients
  • Consistently ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Energy since 2005
  • “Broad energy practice … able to handle all manner of regulatory, transactional, and contentious cases.” (Chambers USA)
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