Renewable Energy



We use our industry smarts, technical skill and cutting edge perspective to help our clients succeed in shaping the future of renewable energy.

Our approach

Renewable energy is here to stay. And we’re deep inside it.

Our team is on the cutting edge of developments in the industry and understands the unique issues presented by renewable energy projects. With our deep knowledge base, we give our clients the advantage, guiding them on all aspects of project development and financing.

From solar, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy projects to biomass and biofuel, fuel cells, tidal and hydroelectric projects, we cover the complete spectrum. We work on virtually every aspect of renewable power project development and finance, including site assessments, property acquisition, project financing and transmission access.

We guide our clients through a climate of constantly evolving legislation and regulations. 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 residential solar lease 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.

We work with

  • Renewable energy companies
  • Tax-equity and true equity investors
  • Lenders and borrowers
  • Residential and commercial solar funds
  • Private equity funds

Recent experience

  • Morgan Stanley in connection with MySolar, a residential solar lease facility with an available $300M for funding solar projects. At the time of closing, this was the largest residential solar financing ever completed in the industry.
  • E.ON Climate and Renewables NA in the drafting and negotiation of balance of plant agreements, substation construction agreements, and transmission line construction agreements for wind projects in Texas totaling 637.5 MW and on a 35 MW wind farm in Pennsylvania.
  • Constellation Wines in connection with lease financing and construction arrangements with respect to approximately 2.83 MW of solar PV panels that will be installed at three of Constellation’s California wineries.
  • Google in connection with its $75M investment in a residential solar fund involving Clean Power Finance.
  • Citibank, the lead tax credit investor in negotiating and structuring an equity investment in a 14 MW project located at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada—at the time the largest solar PV facility in North America.
  • Morgan Stanley in connection with the acquisition of tax credit interest in 12 wind projects totaling 11,000 MW in eight states.
  • Tioga Energy, the developer of 19 solar energy sites in New Jersey totaling 3.2 MW, in connection with the financing and tax structuring for the Section 1603 ARRA federal solar Treasury grants and admission of the tax equity investor. The deal was awarded the “2010 Innovation Award for Clean Energy Finance” by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) .
  • Horizon Wind Energy in the development of three wind energy projects in upstate New York, particularly for interconnection and energy regulatory work, siting, permitting, local zoning, real estate and PILOT agreements
  • The Department of Energy in connection with the $400 million loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing, LLC to manufacture state-of-the-art thin-film solar panels.
  • U.S. Bank, SunTrust Bank, N.A. and Norlease, Inc. in connection with a sale-leaseback of solar projects to be installed on up to nine Los Angeles Community College campuses.
  • Firstar Development in the largest solar project to date in the Pacific Northwest. The project uses thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, which are lighter, require less structural support and have higher wind rating than traditional glass-laminated and aluminum-framed solar panels.
  • National Bank of Arizona as tax investor in the acquisition from and lease to Solar City (and affiliate) of 3.3 MW solar systems providing electricity to U.S. Air Force base residential housing. The off-take agreement was in the form of a sublease to the privatized entity that developed the housing.
  • TD Bank as tax investor in the sale and leaseback of a 3.4 MW solar facility developed on municipal land fill. The off-take agreement was with the local utility.
  • Babcock & Brown in connection with the siting and permitting of a 270 MW wind project located on a 2,000-acre island in the eastern end of Lake Ontario, including siting and permitting of a 38-mile overhead 230 kV transmission line and a submarine transmission cable.
  • E.ON U.S. in the development of wind energy projects in upstate New York. Our scope of work includes negotiation of PILOT agreements and host community agreements and pursuit of exemptions from sales tax and mortgage recording tax as well as interconnection-related issues.
  • Iberdrola Renewables (through its subsidiaries PPM Energy and Community Energy) in the development of five energy projects in upstate New York. Our scope of work includes negotiation of PILOT agreements and host community agreements and pursuit of exemptions from sales tax and mortgage recording tax.
  • Invenergy LLC in connection with the preparation and negotiation of contracts for mechanical and civil works and for electrical installation work (including substation and transmission line) for a 99 MW wind farm in Illinois.
  • Minuteman Wind as counsel on energy regulation, siting and permitting for a developer of a proposed 12.5MW wind turbine generation project in Savoy, Massachusetts, and a proposed 5 to 10 MW wind turbine generation project in Orange, Massachusetts. We advised the developer on land use, zoning and permitting issues for a proposed 12 MW wind turbine generation project in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
  • Long Island Wind LLC (an affiliate of Energy Management, Inc.) in connection with a proposal response to LIPA’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for a large-scale offshore wind project, including evaluating the RFP, preparing an extensive permitting and environmental review plan and commenting on LIPA’s proposed PPA.
  • Wind Capital Group in connection with drafting and negotiation of an option agreement with respect to a wind farm in development.
  • Flat Rock Windpower in the negotiation of the PILOT agreements on the largest wind power project east of the Mississippi.

Focusing on climate resiliency and adaptation in Mass

Law360 | September 27, 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 31, 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 27, 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 04, 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 09, 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 28, 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 20, 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 15, 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 | March 01, 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 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. 

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.

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.

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.

Contacts

Ruth H. Silman

Partner
Office Managing Partner, Boston

rsilman@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 617-345-6062

Richard M. Cogen

Partner
Co-leader, Energy and Infrastructure Projects Team

rcogen@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 212-493-6639

Ellen S. Friedman

Partner
Co-leader, Energy and Infrastructure Projects Team

efriedman@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 212-940-3053

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