Overview

Leaders in Energy

We are leaders in energy law. Our attorneys have represented clients undertaking some of the most complex and cutting-edge energy projects in New England, helping them optimize business opportunities by foreseeing and overcoming the hurdles that arise and navigating complex and continually evolving regulatory schemes. The breadth of our experience positions us to take on the most challenging legal issues at the core of existing and emerging energy markets. Our ability to navigate the complex lifecycle of an energy project is one reason that Deepwater Wind selected us to represent them, in developing their groundbreaking Block Island Wind Farm — the country’s first offshore wind farm. We continue to lead the way in representing offshore wind developers, helping New England meet its ambitious energy goals.

We represent established and emerging clients across every energy source — from liquefied natural gas and electric power to new energy sources such as wind and solar. We collaborate with our colleagues across the firm’s practice groups, to provide services relating to the myriad of issues and opportunities associated with our energy clients’ markets. As a knowledgeable and trusted partner, we help our energy clients build projects, obtain approvals and financing, negotiate construction contracts and manage construction disputes, negotiate and obtain approval of Power Purchase Agreements, defend court challenges to projects, identify and acquire project sites, and address tax and credit issues.

Services

Relying on our extensive industry expertise, we help our energy clients find practical solutions for the most complex challenges facing both renewable energy companies and traditional energy utilities.

The services we offer include:

  • Helping our clients site, permit and build the country’s first off-shore wind farm
  • Assisting global renewable energy companies negotiate and obtain regulatory approvals for Power Purchase Agreements for wind and solar projects
  • Permitting, financing, and selling solar facilities
  • Representing electric and gas utilities in complex permitting and siting proceedings, such as the approval of a Liquefied Natural Gas Facility
  • Prosecuting warranty and contract claims across the country for developers/owners against contractors in sophisticated construction disputes involving wind turbines
  • Presenting rate cases for traditional utilities
  • Defending large energy clients in Climate Change litigation
  • Managing and addressing permitting and operational disputes facing pipeline owners
  • Handling transactions involving Renewable Energy credits

Experience

Deepwater Wind
When Deepwater Wind decided to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm they asked Hinckley Allen to work with them as a trusted advisor and counselor. We helped Deepwater Wind successfully obtain permits, approvals, and assents for this cutting-edge project from a host of federal and state regulatory agencies. Along the way, Hinckley Allen helped turn back multiple challenges before both Federal and State trial courts and appellate courts. We also helped Deepwater Wind work through the real estate and finance issues necessary to complete the project. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island offshore wind farm went operational in December of 2016. Hinckley Allen continues to serve as counsel for Deepwater Wind, helping Deepwater navigate regulatory, environmental, construction, real estate, and tax and business issues. Deepwater Wind, aquired by Orstead, is currently developing more than 800 MWs of offshore wind projects in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

 

National Grid
Hinckley Allen has worked with National Grid for more than 40 years on a host of issues involving litigation, environmental, regulatory, and renewable energy matters. We recently represented National Grid as it sought state regulatory approvals for a liquefaction facility to serve the utility’s existing LNG terminal.  Hinckley Allen successfully guided the utility through multiple public hearings to obtain approvals, including a complicated federal consistency review before the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.

 

Construction Dispute Involving Onshore Wind Farm

We represented one of the country’s leading renewable energy developers in a multi-million dollar construction dispute arising out of the foundations used to support wind turbines at this site. The sophisticated nature of the foundation parameters required support from leading experts across the globe familiar with the structures and engineering issues raised by the potential foundation defects. Hinckley Allen succeeded in prosecuting the claim and securing a very favorable outcome for this national renewable energy developer.

 

Battery Energy Storage System Dispute

A leading global renewable energy developer turned to Hinckley Allen when a cataclysmic event destroyed a multi-million dollar Battery Energy Storage System. Our litigation team worked with the developer, learned the system dynamics, and successfully prosecuted the claim against the manufacturer/installer of the system and obtained a favorable outcome for our client. This dispute again involved the assistance of experts across the United States familiar with the complex and cutting-edge technology employed in these emerging systems that are so critical to the growth of renewable energy.

 

Representative Transactions

  • Counsel to the intercreditor agent, offshore collateral agent, offshore account bank, administrative agent and indenture trustee in connection with a $1.8B financing for the design, construction and operation of a thermal power plant in Brazil — expected to be South America’s largest.
  • Represented traditional utilities in the acquisition of power plants.
  • Counsel to an investor and developer in obtaining the necessary zoning and environmental permits to close a 70-acre former municipal landfill, allowing a 3.7 MW-DC solar power project to be constructed at this site in East Providence, Rhode Island. Our work included negotiating with the state environmental agency to ensure that all of the remediation and closure steps were completed in a timely manner so that the capped landfill could safely serve as the foundation for the over 12,000 solar panels that were to provide renewable energy to the local electricity grid.  We also obtained the necessary storm water and wetlands permits, and addressed all siting and zoning issues, to ensure the long term successful operation of this landfill solar project.
  • Counsel to global renewable energy companies seeking approvals for facilities located in the Northeast, including regulatory approvals for Power Purchase Agreements.
  • Counsel to the administrative agent, offshore security agent and offshore account bank in connection with a $120MM financing for the construction of a Greenfield thermal power plant in Conakry, Guinea.
  • Counsel to the offshore collateral agent and offshore accounts bank in connection with a $450MM secured credit facility for a liquefied natural gas regasification terminal and a gas-fired power plant in Panama.
  • Represented the indenture trustee, offshore collateral agent, offshore account bank and intercreditor agent in connection with a $379MM senior secured notes issuance for the development, ownership, operation and maintenance of three electricity transmission circuits located in Chile.
  • Counsel to the owner of a wind farm in Hawaii that was experiencing structural and geo-technical issues with its turbine foundations. Obtained a favorable resolution of the dispute after filing arbitration claims against the wind farm’s general contractor.