Renewable Energy

Governments and energy companies alike are investing heavily in renewable energy projects and cutting-edge technologies to produce cleaner power and meet increasing demand.

Cozen O’Connor’s Renewable Energy team has deep experience representing national and international clients in their most significant renewable energy projects. The firm can provide sophisticated legal advice to clients operating in the areas of offshore and onshore wind, solar and photovoltaic, hydroelectric, biomass/biofuels, battery storage, and other renewable energy projects.

With leading attorneys in the full range of relevant practice areas, Cozen O’Connor is able to guide clients through the entire lifecycle of renewable energy projects — from conception, permitting, regulatory approvals, and compliance to construction, financing, operation, and exit. The firm can quickly assemble geographically diverse multi-disciplinary teams and partner seamlessly with in-house and outside counterparts to resolve a wide array of logistical, technical, and legal challenges.

Cozen O’Connor’s core renewable energy capabilities include:

Utility & Energy

The firm represents utility companies, renewable energy developers, manufacturers, investors, lenders, and large energy consumers in negotiation of sophisticated commercial contracts, conveyance of real property and real estate interests for siting of energy projects, pursuit of federal and state government incentives, regulatory filings and compliance, agency outreach, permitting and approvals, and civil and administrative litigation. Our team has experience responding to state agency solicitations for renewable energy project bids and, if selected, representing clients with regulators during development and operation of the project. We can assist in obtaining capacity interconnection rights, negotiating power purchase agreements with and on behalf of power off-takers, and addressing alternative energy credit ownership issues.

Environmental & Regulatory

Cozen O’Connor’s Environmental team supports every phase of renewable energy projects, including application, permitting, mitigation, regulatory compliance, and litigation. Our environmental lawyers help clients navigate local, state, and federal permit requirements to help secure all necessary project approvals and defend against third-party or governmental permitting challenges. They lead state and federal-level project applications, design detailed environmental management and compliance plans, spearhead remediation of contaminated sites for renewable energy uses, and troubleshoot environmental regulatory issues and routinely interface with government agencies.

Public Strategies

Cozen O’Connor’s bipartisan government affairs firm, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, has deep experience lobbying for and advocating on behalf of critical but controversial development projects, including in the area of renewable energy infrastructure. The firm coordinates community outreach campaigns, marshals necessary statements of public support from key stakeholders, interfaces with elected and appointed government officials, and drafts legislative proposals that can meaningfully advance the interests of the renewable energy industry on the state and federal level.

Real Estate and Land Use

Cozen O’Connor is experienced in managing real estate and site control issues in connection with energy project development, including site acquisition, ground leases, option agreements, zoning, land use, and development matters. We provide real estate services in the areas of rights of way, easements, substation interconnection, and approvals from local zoning and land use agencies. We appear on our clients’ behalf at zoning hearings regarding variances, special exceptions, conditional uses, and substantive validity challenges to zoning ordinances, and we frequently negotiate agreements with landowners and governmental entities to clear any hurdles to project advancement.

Construction Law

Construction attorneys at Cozen O’Connor are widely recognized as go-to counsel for renewable energy infrastructure development projects. The firm represents owners/developers, contractors, construction managers, architects, engineers, and subcontractors and is engaged at the earliest stages of complex, multi-year projects. Cozen O’Connor construction attorneys handle bidding and contract negotiation, beginning-to-end construction execution support, and resolution of execution-phase issues and disputes. When litigation is unavoidable, Cozen O’Connor’s construction advocates have extensive experience successfully representing clients in mediations, DAB/DRB proceedings, arbitrations (both domestic and international), and trials, including in “Mega Project” disputes with amounts in controversy of more than $1 billion.

Maritime & Logistics

Cozen O’Connor has extensive experience representing U.S. and foreign entities involved in maritime and transportation activities related to energy project development, including offshore drilling and dredging, construction, cable and pipe laying, and chartering and operation of vessels. Our world renowned maritime attorneys can assist with the financing and registration of vessels and other marine equipment, compliance with U.S. cabotage laws including the Jones Act and Passenger Vessel Services Act, riparian and littoral rights, and seabed permitting and right of way grants. Attorneys also have notable experience leveraging government funding sources, contracting for transportation of high-value components, and interfacing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Maritime Commission, U.S. Maritime Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Labor & Employment

Large-scale renewable energy infrastructure development typically creates both permanent and temporary employment opportunities and generates demand for specific categories of employees. Cozen O’Connor handles both traditional labor law matters (workplace relations, collective bargaining agreements, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice proceedings) and employment litigation (defense of claims of discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, defamation, non-compete violations, and wrongful discharge). The firm also has a robust Immigration practice, which provides innovative and cost-effective solutions to U.S. and multinational companies in all aspects of corporate immigration and employment.

Corporate

The firm’s award-winning Corporate Practice is able to provide comprehensive corporate and transactional counsel to renewable energy clients. Our attorneys have experience advising foreign and domestic energy industry clients on corporate structure, joint venture formation and financing, M&A transactions, and taxation. 

Experience

Publications

Developments in Offshore Wind Part Two [White Paper]

March 25, 2021

Michael Connolly, Amorie Hummel, William Lesser, Heidi Schwartz, Josh Stein, and James Van Orden discuss tax, maritime, and environmental issues and developments affecting the offshore wind industry.

Developments in Offshore Wind: Part One [White Paper]

March 17, 2021

Michael Connolly, Amorie Hummel, William Lesser, Heidi Schwartz, Josh Stein, and James Van Orden discuss New Jersey and New York's offshore wind energy policies and what the Biden administration has already done to advance offshore wind energy development in federal waters.

Jones Act Extended to the Pristine Seabed of the Outer Continental Shelf [Alert]

February 03, 2021

Jeff Vogel and Josh Stein discuss CBP’s recent decision that addresses and concedes OMSA’s core issue by now acknowledging that the pristine seabed of the OCS is a coastwise point.

Legislative Update – Congress Acts to Clarify the Application of the Jones Act to Offshore Wind [Alert]

December 07, 2020

Josh Stein discusses the announcement that both chambers of Congress have reached an agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 and how it may impact the offshore wind industry.

U.S. Offshore Wind Keeps Spinning in July — Legislative Update [Alert]

July 27, 2020

Josh Stein discusses the regulatory and legislative activity at the end of last year and the early part of this year that could impact the offshore wind industry.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

What’s Blowing on Offshore Wind?

October 19, 2022 - Union, NJ

In The News

Grid Hurdles Can't Be Overlooked In US Offshore Wind Push

May 09, 2022

James Van Orden is quoted in a Law360 article that discusses concerns regarding the long-term addition of offshore wind. Experts express that the US grid may not be prepared for what is to come and emphasizes the importance of taking action to accelerate transmission development as the number of turbines in the water continues to increase.

Biden’s Clean Energy Push Has Wind Industry Thinking Big

February 10, 2021

James Van Orden was quoted in Law360 on the implications of the Biden administration’s executive order, which doubles offshore wind power generation in U.S. federal waters by 2030.

Contacts

Michael D. Klein

Senior Counsel

mklein@cozen.com

(717) 703-5903

Wendy K. Venoit

Member

wvenoit@cozen.com

(617) 849-5002

People

Related Practice Areas

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