Cozen O’Connor: Offshore Wind Energy

Offshore Wind Energy

Cozen O’Connor is able to deftly handle all aspects of offshore wind energy projects with our dedicated cross-disciplinary team of lawyers who support projects in the territorial waters and on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

With significant energy project development experience and lawyers in major cities of every coastal region of the country, Cozen O’Connor has the capacity to represent entities involved in all aspects of offshore wind energy project development and operation, including helping to secure regulatory approvals from state public utility commissions, state environmental agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Maritime Commission, Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Bureau Offshore Energy Management.

Here’s how this cross-disciplinary team can support your project.

Federal & State Permitting & Regulatory Support

Our team of environmental and energy lawyers helps project developers in securing utility commission regulatory approvals for project subsidies like Renewable Energy Credits. We also negotiate Power Purchase Agreements with power off-takers and interconnection agreements with electric distribution companies to ensure access to the grid. We advise project developers on project finance, including negotiating financial terms to enable construction financing. 

We also help offshore wind developers navigate state and federal permit requirements for project development and interface with federal agencies to help project developers secure federal agency approvals (e.g., National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessments).

Corporate Structuring Support

Our business lawyers have represented European wind energy developers and turbine suppliers to establish their corporate structure in the United States, form project-specific joint ventures, and prepare ancillary documents such as turbine supply and service agreements.  We also have a robust EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Services and Compliance practice comprising a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys who provide an integrated approach for clients with matters involving the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.

Maritime Transportation and Logistics Support

Cozen O’Connor has extensive experience representing entities involved in a wide variety of maritime and other transportation activities related to offshore wind project development, including offshore drilling and dredging, offshore construction, cable and pipe laying, and the chartering and operation of vessels. Our transportation group can assist in negotiating and contracting for ocean, air, and surface transportation of high-value components — such as turbine towers, nacelles, hubs, blades, and generators — critical for offshore wind development. Our maritime attorneys counsel clients on offshore wind project-related issues such as construction and other project related contracts, the financing and registration of vessels and other marine equipment, citizenship, 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. We also possess unique experience in leveraging the government funding tools available to support offshore wind project development, including loan guarantees under the Federal Ship Financing Program (Title XI), tax incentives under the Capital Construction Fund, and grants from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).    

Construction Support

Our Construction Group serves owners, contractors, construction managers, architects, engineers, and subcontractors in project development. This includes counseling on project delivery systems, preparation of bid documents, contract drafting and negotiation, formation of owner or contractor controlled insurance programs, and formation of captive insurance programs. We also counsel project developers on claim evaluation and preparation, contract change orders, claim review, and project monitoring assistance. In addition, our construction team also litigates construction disputes on a range of issues, including breach of contract, defective specifications and design, construction defects and failures, payment disputes, bid payment, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance.

Real Estate Support 

Our Real Estate Practice is widely recognized for our ability to complete complex real estate transactions. We are experienced in managing real estate issues in connection with energy project development, including ground leases, zoning, land use, and development matters. We provide real estate services for energy project development in the areas of right of way, easements, substation interconnection, approvals from local zoning and land use agencies, and all manner of real estate matters.

Public Strategies

Our Public Strategies Group is a bipartisan government relations firm affiliated with Cozen O’Connor that offers comprehensive government solutions at the federal, state, and local level. We understand how politics and policy are conducted in the nation’s political and financial capitals and we are one of the few lobbying groups with a mature federal presence that offers comparable knowledge and reputation at the state and local level. Our team of experienced advocates, which includes professionals in Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Albany, N.Y., New York City, Richmond, Va., and Santa Monica, Calif. provide clients with the clarity and access necessary to effectively engage with modern political institutions. Whether lobbying for a legislative amendment, negotiating a government contract, analyzing a regulatory proposal, or managing a political crisis, we have a demonstrated record of success.