Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources help power the new energy economy. Brownstein is at the forefront of representing companies in the clean technology sector, and combines decades of traditional energy sector experience with substantial knowledge of the increasingly complex business, financial and regulatory environment facing renewable energy companies.

Brownstein’s Renewable Energy Group brings a wealth of experience to every aspect of clean technology projects, from project development and securing financing from the private sector and the federal and state governments, to protecting intellectual property and obtaining all necessary permits and agreements for a project to promptly proceed. Our energy lawyers represent clients in every sector of clean energy, including developers, manufacturers and investors in solar, wind, geothermal and advanced biofuel projects.

Using a collaborative team approach, our group helps clients develop strategies that address governmental agency requirements while also focusing on each company’s overall business plan. For years, we have been closely involved with state legislatures and government agencies on matters relating to biofuels, alternative energy and new energy technology. Whether working with agency regulators or enabling access to the highest levels of government, one of our most important functions is helping our clients make the connections necessary to ensure the success of a project.

Representative Matters
  • Provided land use and entitlement counsel, including successfully streamlining the CEQA process, for a 100-megawatt, 400-megawatt hour battery energy storage system on a brownfield site in unincorporated Ventura County, California. The landmark energy storage project includes a Tesla Megapack battery system and will provide local, on-demand energy storage capacity to help Southern California’s transition away from a coastal natural gas powered power plant while increasing reliability and capacity to integrate the growing proportion of renewable sources of electricity generation on the grid.

  • Brownstein is providing land use, entitlement and public agency expertise to a 10 MW energy storage project on behalf of an international alternative and renewable energy technology company and helped deliver a unanimous approval of the project. As one of the first utility-scale energy storage projects in Santa Barbara County, this project will provide critical reliability and resilience to the region, and supports local resource capacity, increased renewable energy generation and the County’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

  • Serves as water rights counsel for a global solar power company in securing water supplies for the location of its projects in the Southwest

  • Represent solar developer in all water, land use and environmental review related matters for its development of a major solar power and battery storage project.

  • Represent solar developer in all water, land use and environmental review related matters for its development of a major solar power and battery storage project.

  • Represent Central Valley solar project in federal and California endangered species act issues.

  • Utility-Scale Solar, San Diego County. Provided land use, permitting and CEQA/NEPA counsel for 168 MW solar project in San Diego County, which included both program- and project-level analysis for multiple projects. Utilized AB 900 litigation streamlining to compress litigation brought by highly litigious community group down to 10 months and successfully defended permits in San Diego Superior Court.

  • Represent solar project developer through diligence and acquisition for multiple projects in Southern California.

  • Served as Nevada water rights counsel to Quantum Utility Generation, LLC in connection with its purchase of general partnerships that together own an approximately 85-megawatt cogeneration facility located in Clark County, Nevada.

  • Served as Nevada water rights counsel to Quantum Utility Generation, LLC in connection with its purchase of general partnerships that together own an approximately 85-megawatt cogeneration facility located in Clark County, Nevada.

  • Successfully defended Major Use Permits for solar technology company and resolved pending CEQA litigation filed against the client, the County of San Diego, and other real parties in interest.

  • Served as water rights counsel for an Indian tribe in the development of a 200-megawatt concentrated solar project in southern Nevada.

  • Counsel to a renewable energy company and its subsidiaries on corporate and contract issues regarding three wind farms in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Our work included negotiating and drafting joint venture structure and equity financing documents. We also assisted the companies with negotiating and drafting master supply agreements, and operations, maintenance and supply agreements with vendors and contractors, and assisted with analysis and negotiations concerning the availability of Section 1603 cash grants for its properties.

  • Served as land use counsel to the City of Mesa, Arizona regarding the development agreement with First Solar, Inc. Brownstein provided counsel on agreement concerning the redevelopment of up to 263 acres for photovoltaic solar manufacturing facilities.

  • Outside general counsel to a Nevada Indian tribe in a number of large scale development projects, including the development of a 200 MW concentrated solar project in southern Nevada. Work includes the negotiation of lease and other agreements with a large renewable energy developer, development of water rights for the project, negotiation with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies and guiding the tribe through the NEPA process. Legal work also included the development of a sales and use tax regulatory structure for the tribe.

  • Represent Honeywell International Inc. in its biofuels certification and Department of Energy grant processes.

  • Provided strategic counsel to Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. in establishing federal-level guidance for a nutrient trading program and in evaluating the possibility of a cellulosic-styled tax credit that would apply to Bion's process for producing cellulose-based renewable energy. Brownstein facilitated meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), key members of Congress and other strategic government officials to discuss the issue of basin-wide nutrient trading and energy production from Bion's integrated facilities.

  • Represent a major hydroelectric utility company in litigation against the State of Idaho and Bureau of Reclamation regarding whether contracts between the parties obligated the federal government to release water from its upstream reservoirs to ensure certain flows in the Snake River.

  • Represented a Colorado solar company in successfully negotiating and installing a large solar project in an army base in Afghanistan.

  • Brownstein represents Amyris Biotechnologies, a leading Bay Area biofuels and bioproducts company, in negotiating a $25 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy in expanding its Emeryville, CA biorefinery that uses sorghum to create renewable diesel.

  • Provided land use and CEQA compliance advice to the first wind project in Santa Barbara County.

News & Events

Meet The Team

Steven C. Demby Shareholder T 303.223.1119
Stephanie Osler Hastings Shareholder T 805.882.1415
Mark J. Mathews Shareholder T 303.223.1179
Ronda L. Sandquist Shareholder T 303.223.1191
Jon Hrobsky Policy Director T 202.872.5294
Robert J. Saperstein Shareholder T 805.882.1417
Beth Collins Shareholder T 805.882.1419
Bradley J. Herrema Shareholder T 310.500.4609
Christine A. Jochim Shareholder T 303.223.1163
William J. McGrath Shareholder T 202.383.4703
Michael P. Smith Associate T 303.223.1150
Eric Waeckerlin Shareholder T 303.223.1290
Ryan Waterman Shareholder T 619.702.7569
Luke D. Johnson Policy Director T 202.747.0513