Renewable Energy



With our Legally Green® mindset, we understand the policy shifts and technological advances that affect the industry, allowing you to continue deploying and financing clean energy technologies.

Our Approach

Renewable energy now composes over 22% of the U.S. power fleet, with 244 gigawatts of installed capacity across the country—an 83% increase over 2007 levels. As the advent of renewable technologies contributes to an increasingly decarbonized grid, our Energy team helps companies successfully develop and deploy solar, wind, geothermal waste-to-energy, biomass, biofuel, fuel cells, tidal and hydroelectric projects.

We understand that regulatory certainty paves the way for smart investment decisions. However, with continuing, cutting-edge technological improvements and ever-changing regulatory guidance, such certainty is impossible. With offices in California, Washington, DC, and New York, we’re on the frontlines of state and federal changes that impact the clean energy market, allowing us to guide our clients through the constantly evolving legislation and regulations.

Collaborating across legal disciplines, we cover virtually every aspect of renewable power project development and finance, including site assessments, property acquisition, project financing and transmission access. And, we’re well versed in the approval, permitting and licensing processes that renewable energy projects require at the local, state and federal levels.

Whether we’re representing a large solar developer setting up a community solar facility or helping a global investment firm with the siting and permitting of a large wind project, we work hard to remain the trusted legal advisor to clients shaping the future of renewable energy.

In fact, our philosophy and practice go hand in hand. Our Legally Green® firmwide initiative incorporates innovative clean energy efforts that harness an understanding of state and local energy laws to deploy solar projects and contribute to the local community. Our team at Nixon Peabody has developed and installed the first Community Solar Project in the DC area: three rooftop arrays that form a collective 180kW system interconnected with a local utility. Rather than keeping or selling the renewable energy produced from the panels, we work with our partners to ensure that tenants of affordable housing projects receive all of the credits at no cost. We remain the largest solar installation on DC commercial property. As a pioneer in this arena, we are recognized as the go-to firm for domain knowledge in the renewable energy space. Let us help you implement similarly creative and innovative solutions for your organization and company’s energy initiatives.

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.

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 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.

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.

What New Brunswick companies should know about New England’s building sector

Opportunities NB Blog | December 14, 2017

This Q&A features Boston M&A and Corporate Transactions partner Chris Keefe and recaps his presentation about doing business in the U.S. at Greenbuild, a conference focused on sustainable building and design.

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.

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.

What do I need to know about repowering a facility?

Novogradac & Company | August 03, 2017

Boston Tax Credit Finance & Syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about what to consider when using renewable energy tax credits when renovating a facility.

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. 

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.

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