Profound change continues to occur in New Jersey’s energy policies as regulators and policy makers address the evolving challenges associated with utility regulation, the energy markets and global warming. For the past two decades, the attorneys of the Energy, Climate Change and Public Utilities Practice Group have played a primary role in the development and refinement of all aspects of the state’s energy policies and in all proceedings of consequence convened by the Board of Public Utilities.
Our attorneys are highly regarded for their familiarity with the state’s energy policies and their views are frequently solicited by industry stakeholders and regulators alike. The Group’s Chair has assisted a succession of Governors in the promulgation of statewide Energy Master Plans, including serving as Chair of the Christie Administration’s Energy Master Plan Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, assisted the development of the state’s first in the nation Energy Resilience Bank, authored several energy bills that have been signed into law, and is the only attorney in private practice to be recognized by NJ Spotlight as one of the “10 Movers and Shakers Who Influence the State’s Energy Policies”.
Members of the Practice Group played a primary role in the restructuring of the electric and gas industries from a monopoly to a competitive structure, and have litigated a multiplicity of utility rate cases, merger proceedings, multi-billion dollar energy infrastructure proceedings, and a host of utility regulatory matters. The Group’s Chair founded and represents the New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition, which is comprised of some of the state’s largest industrial and commercial businesses, and the New Jersey Distributed Generation Coalition, which is comprised of energy service companies, engineering firms, manufacturers and financial institutions. The Practice Group also represents independent power producers, energy service companies, independent transmission companies, demand response providers, financial institutions, and marketers of electricity and natural gas.
With regard to renewable energy, we are actively involved in the development and implementation of the state’s solar and offshore wind policies. We have developed a substantial portion of the state’s major utility-scale grid supply and net-metered solar projects, including several landfill and brownfield projects in New Jersey and nationwide, and have completed several significant transactions involving the disposition of solar energy assets. Practice Group members have considerable experience assisting clients with site acquisition and leasing, land use approvals, due diligence reviews, analysis of and compliance with applicable laws and regulations, securing necessary permits and governmental authorizations, environmental assessments and permitting, review and preparation of power purchase and related agreements, opinion letters, risk management, grid interconnections, and navigating the thicket of local, county, state and regional regulatory issues. We also regularly counsel clients regarding energy-related construction agreements and disputes.
Consistent with the increasingly transactional nature of the energy marketplace, the Practice Group incorporates other disciplines of the firm who together provide the full range of expertise required by sophisticated energy firms and commercial and industrial customers. This unique combination of talents has proven to be particularly well suited for distributed generation developers engaged in the development of on-site generation and solar facilities, as well as hospitals and other critical facilities that develop power plants and grid-independent microgrids for reliability and resiliency purposes. The Practice Group, together with the firm’s highly regarded Environmental, Land Use/Redevelopment, Corporate and Construction Practice Groups, is also actively pioneering the development and implementation of a broad-based energy infrastructure public private partnership initiative as part of the state’s post-Superstorm Sandy goal to enhance the resilience and reliability of its energy infrastructure.We are frequently called upon to assist clients, including builders and developers, in disputes with utilities. We also regularly serve as local counsel to national law firms in litigated and transactional matters because of our unique ability to complement our energy, climate change and public utilities expertise with the resources of one of New Jersey’s largest and most respected full-service law firms. Two members of the Practice Group are also registered lobbyists.