Energy and Renewables

In renewable energy law, Phillips Lytle guides clients from design to profitability through interactions with regulators, financiers & community groups.

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Experienced and Dedicated Attorneys Guiding Energy Projects to Completion

Concerns about climate change, grid reliability, cost, energy independence and financial incentives, as well as consumer and governmental pressure to generate more energy from renewable sources, are all creating exceptional opportunities for renewable energy providers, developers and investors.

We represent clients across the entire energy spectrum on energy-related matters. Our work in the energy sector includes:

  • Representing a natural gas utility on the siting and related regulatory approvals related to system upgrades and development of compressor stations for pipelines.
  • Representing a multinational energy corporation on siting and regulatory compliance matters related to a pink hydrogen production facility in New York.
  • Representing an economic development entity on energy procurement and siting matters for a large industrial park, including negotiations with the New York Power Authority.

The continued evolution of renewable energy in the United States has been driven by federal and state incentives, including tax credits and grants that promote the construction of renewable energy facilities. The State of New York is on the cutting edge of green energy trends with aggressive renewable energy policies, including the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the Clean Energy Standard, the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative and the $1 billion NY-Sun solar initiative. For example, by 2050, state renewable energy portfolio standards are projected to provide support for 76,750 megawatts (MW) of new, renewable energy generation in the United States.

This commitment to increase renewable energy sources, combined with inevitable increases in demand, provides stakeholders who develop, build, manage and invest in renewable energy projects and related infrastructure with new possibilities for growth. The increased interest in the renewable energy sector has also increased the need for skilled attorneys who focus on renewable energy law. Phillips Lytle has the experience and resources necessary to move opportunities forward.

The Alternative Energy & Power 2023 Guide

David P. Flynn, Contributing Editor of the Chambers Alternative Energy & Power 2023 Guide and Author of the USA Chapter

Chambers-GPG-Alternative-Energy-Contributor-Badge-2023The Chambers Alternative Energy & Power 2023 Guide features 33 jurisdictions and provides the latest legal information on the structure and ownership of the power industry; supply and pricing; climate change laws and alternative energy; and regulations regarding electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

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Energy and Renewables Expertise

Ultimately, the road from design to profitability is long and includes interactions with regulators, financiers, partners and community groups. Phillips Lytle smartly guides our clients through these interactions with minimal delay.

Our attorneys have forged strong ties with many of the influential decision makers in the public and private sectors, including legislative, regulatory and political figures, to ensure deadlines are successfully met. Each team has an identified lead Energy and Renewables attorney who coordinates all team activities to ensure matters are handled in a cost-effective manner.

When necessary, our Energy and Renewable attorneys collaborate with our Corporate and Business Law, Banking and Financial Services, and Environmental Law attorneys, and work closely with the firm’s leading Litigation Team to protect clients’ interests. Our comprehensive approach to project management has produced significant results for many clients.

Our firm assists clients with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), New York Independent System Operator (ISO) and New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) issues, as well as local zoning and other ordinances. We have close working relationships with key officials, including senior-level engineers, permit administrators, regional attorneys and regional directors. We also assist stakeholders who want to capitalize on renewable energy incentives.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Incentives Programs

Phillips Lytle assists manufacturers—both domestic and foreign—with navigating the rapidly changing criteria to obtain, or strategically benefit from, the IRA’s tax, loan and grant incentives. We work with our renewable energy clients to maximize their benefit by ensuring compliance with the IRA’s complex requirements for enhanced investment and production tax credits. We also advise foreign manufacturers and suppliers on reshoring operations and compliance with IRA requirements for their customers’ benefit.

Brownfield and Landfill Renewable Energy Projects

Phillips Lytle has unique experience assisting developers and investors with land use, zoning and environmental approvals; power purchase agreements; and financing for solar and wind projects on brownfields and landfills in New York. We have expertise in multiple disciplines, including energy, environmental and zoning to obtain unprecedented speed-to-market completion for our clients.

Incentives, Bond and Public Finance Counsel

Phillips Lytle helps clients capitalize on the most advantageous mix of local, state and federal incentives available for development projects. As a Red Book firm in public finance, we also offer counseling in all aspects of bond issues and other public finance transactions. As our firm has a dedicated Banking and Financial Services Team, we have a long-established reputation as a premier banking law firm with clients including major financial institutions involved in lending to energy-related projects. In fact, we were involved in one of the first transactions with NY Green Bank. In addition, the team has drafted and negotiated numerous Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements associated with solar and wind projects and related advice regarding the New York Real Property Tax Law 487 tax exemption.

Siting, Zoning and Environmental

Phillips Lytle works with stakeholders to complete their projects on time and on budget. We deliver unmatched knowledge about statewide, regional and local regulations and zoning ordinances to our clients—ensuring a project’s speed-to-market. We understand the environmental standards that must be met, and we know how to work effectively with the groups that may issue resistance.

We are recognized for our leading Land Use, Permitting and Zoning Practice. Our attorneys assist a variety of clients from local business owners and developers to Fortune 500 companies with special, restricted and conditional use permits; site plan reviews; area and use variances; and rezoning. Our attorneys have participated in hundreds of environmental impact reviews pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). In fact, our firm has been recognized by Chambers USA for Excellence in Environmental Law for 11 consecutive years.

Over the years, we have facilitated numerous high-profile development projects. We’ve obtained government approvals and permits for hundreds of energy initiatives, including wind and solar facilities, as well as manufacturing plant expansions, telecommunications facilities, major infrastructure projects, residential projects, office buildings and retail operations, many of which were the subject of significant community opposition.

Retail Energy Industry/Retail Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)

In addition to assisting stakeholders with traditional and renewable energy projects, our Energy and Renewables attorneys assist numerous ESCOs with a broad range of matters, including PSC and utility regulatory and compliance issues, commercial and corporate matters, utility disputes and state investigations.

Power Purchase Agreements

Our Energy and Renewables attorneys have represented various clients on issues related to contracts and power purchase agreements, including structuring, negotiating and executing transactions. Some specific examples include:

  • Represented a developer in obtaining state and federal grants for a community-based crowd financing mechanism for mid-sized solar energy projects. This included drafting a template for community power purchase agreements and related corporate financing documents, as well as obtaining necessary governmental reviews and approvals.
  • Represented a developer constructing four power stations (two solar, one gas-fired and one biomass) in a $2 billion project on a military base located in New Jersey. We assisted the developer with coordinating the $2 billion financing for the project as well as negotiating the power purchase agreements for sale of the electricity to the grid and to the U.S. government. We also handled all the environmental approvals needed for these developments.
  • Represented a green energy company in negotiating an agreement with UK-based utility companies that were obligated to purchase green energy.
  • Negotiated a power purchase agreement on behalf of a local government acquiring a closed military base that needed its own source of electricity.
  • Represented a solar developer with its proposed 4 MW brownfield-based project. This included environmental, land and regulatory matters, as well as NYISO- and NYSERDA-related issues. We also assisted with power purchase negotiations and PILOT agreements, and obtained the necessary local approvals for this utility-scale solar project on a large urban brownfield.
  • Represented a client in purchase agreements and leases for rooftop solar projects located in several states co-located on properties owned and operated by a publicly traded national real estate investment trust (REIT).
  • Represented offtakers and developers in the drafting of virtual power purchase agreements, including the allocation of environmental attributes including carbon credits
Enforcement and Investigations

Phillips Lytle Energy and Renewables attorneys have worked on the defense of various enforcement proceedings and investigations, including Public Service Commission Order to Show Cause and Notice of Apparent Failure actions threatening license revocation, New York State attorney general investigations, and New York State Department of State enforcement proceedings.

Renewable Energy Blog

The Renewable Energy Post

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Meet Our Energy and Renewables Team

David Flynn
David P. Flynn Partner
Lindsey E. Haubenreich Partner
Molly K. Brennan Special Counsel
David E. Bronston Special Counsel
Anthony M. Carello Special Counsel
Luke Donigan Senior Associate
Dennis W. Elsenbeck Head of Energy and Sustainability, Energy Consulting Services
Grant A. J. Emerson Associate
Benjamin M. Farber Partner
Matthew Fitzgerald
Matthew J. Fitzgerald Senior Associate
Anthony Ghanem
Anthony Ghanem Associate
Kenneth A. Grossberg Partner
Asaf Hahami Partner
Adam D. Herron Associate
Tristan D. Hujer Partner
Diana E. Konik Associate
Kimberly R. Nason Partner
Jocelyn C. Ng Associate
Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin (Moynihan) Associate
James R. O’Connor Partner
Bianca Pavia
Bianca M. Pavia Associate
Rosa Alina Pizzi Partner
Thomas Puchner
Thomas F. Puchner Partner
Mitch Snyder
Mitch P. Snyder Associate
Benjamin Sugarman Associate
Maria Althea M. Teves Associate
Milan Tyler
Milan K. Tyler Partner
Adam S. Walters Partner
James Wholey
James Kevin Wholey
Shengkai Xu Associate
David P. Flynn Partner
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Lindsey E. Haubenreich Partner
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Molly K. Brennan Special Counsel
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David E. Bronston Special Counsel
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Anthony M. Carello Special Counsel
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Dennis W. Elsenbeck Head of Energy and Sustainability, Energy Consulting Services
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Matthew J. Fitzgerald Senior Associate
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Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin (Moynihan) Associate
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Maria Althea M. Teves Associate
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Meet the Team

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