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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]

Solar Power Access: A Matter of Justice

Washington Lawyer | March 01, 2020

This in-depth profile of New Partners Community Solar features Nixon Peabody’s role in the project and quotes Washington, DC, Community Development Finance senior counsel Jeff Lesk and senior counsel Herb Stevens.

Can DC meet its ambitious solar energy goals?

Washington City Paper | February 24, 2020

This article quotes Washington, DC, Community Development Finance partner Jeff Lesk discussing the social impact of NP Community Solar, which was the first project to join Washington’s community solar program and has expanded to several commercial rooftops throughout the district.

Deals & Dealmakers: Ugly buildings offer greatest rewards, says Brookfield’s Ric Clark

Real Estate Weekly | February 19, 2020

This article mentions Nixon Peabody in connection with New Partners Community Solar’s collaboration with Brookfield Properties to install solar panels on downtown rooftops in Washington, DC, and convert the energy generated into utility bill credits for low-income families.

2019 Building Tours: D.C. solar for all

Better Buildings ( U.S. Department of Energy) | August 06, 2019

The blog post from the U.S. Department of Energy chronicles a recent solar-focused learning session, hosted by New Partners Community Solar at Nixon Peabody’s Washington DC office.

DC affordable housing building gets solar panels, 'resilience center'

NBC 4 Washington | July 25, 2019

This broadcast news clip highlights New Partners Community Solar, the Nixon Peabody-adjacent nonprofit creating innovative sustainability projects throughout Washington, DC. New Partners helped to develop a ‘resilience center’ in a DC-area affordable housing complex, which will keep residents connected to key services and emergency resources in the event of a power grid disruption.

Introducing the resiliency center

National Housing and Rehabilitation Association | July 20, 2019

This story mentions New Partners Community Solar, the nonprofit founded in 2017 by senior counsel Herb Stevens and Community Development Finance partner Jeff Lesk, both of Washington, DC. New Partners played a crucial role in the development of the city’s first affordable housing resiliency center—a suite of rooms available to all residents that provides an emergency power supply for residents to use during disasters or outages.

NY climate legislation would stress building, power sectors

Law360 | July 17, 2019

This article features analysis from Albany Affordable Housing and Real Estate counsel Peter Trimarchi on ambitious new climate-change legislation in New York State that will force the natural gas industry to revisit its business plans.

This DC apartment building provides low-income families with solar power and a resilience center

Greater Greater Washington | June 27, 2019

This article highlights the work of New Partners Community Solar to establish a resiliency center in a low-income housing development in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. The center is designed to power essential services, such as lighting and communications, for up to three days after a disruption to the public power grid.

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.

How solar panels give building owners a competitive advantage

BizNow | May 02, 2019

Nixon Peabody and New Partners Community Solar are mentioned in this story about the recent proliferation of solar panels on rooftops in downtown Washington, DC. The NP Solar program has installed these sustainable energy producers on buildings throughout the district, with low-income residents of the area seeing the economic benefits.

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.

RFP issuance activity uptick

Power Finance & Risk | October 29, 2018

Albany Project Finance and Public Finance partner Rich Cogen is quoted in this article on the trend of increasing RFP activity for renewable energy projects, even in some unexpected states.

Review supports Tennessee Gas on pipeline project

The Republican | October 28, 2018

Boston Office Managing Partner Ruth Silman is mentioned in this story for her representation of Tennessee Gas, which is seeking approval to improve its compressor station in Agawam and construct a new pipeline loop.

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.

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

rsilman@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 617-345-6062

Alison B. Torbitt

Partner
Co-leader, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness

atorbitt@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 415-984-5008

Peter C. Trimarchi

Partner

ptrimarchi@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 518-427-2671

Elizabeth W. Whittle

Partner

ewhittle@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 202-585-8338

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
  • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
  • 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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