Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York has set among the most aggressive renewable energy and energy storage goals in the United States. The CLCPA goals include 6,000 megawatts (MW) of solar energy by 2025, 70% of New York’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030 (currently 28%), 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030, and a decarbonized electricity sector by 2040. New York’s ambitious goals have created a rush of proposals for medium– and large–sized renewable energy projects throughout Upstate New York. It has also created a strong market for community solar projects and related services, which enable residents that cannot otherwise host solar projects to participate in the market for low cost renewable energy.

Knauf Shaw attorneys represent municipalities, developers, and community solar service providers in these projects. Our attorneys are currently guiding multiple municipalities through the state–level environmental review and permitting processes for large wind and solar projects under Article 10 of the Public Service Law, which bypasses local approvals but provides for local participation in the proceeding. The need for this representation will accelerate as large projects utilize the recently passed Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (Article 94-c of the Executive Law), which creates a new state level Office of Renewable Energy Siting intended to review and approve projects greater than 20 MW within a year, which also bypasses local land use approvals. We have advised community solar service providers on compliance with Public Service Commission consumer protection and Universal Business Practice–Distributed Energy Resource Supplier (UBP–DERS) requirements.

Working with Knauf Shaw’s sister company and energy consulting firm, Future Energy Development, LLC, the firm also advises developers seeking to site solar, wind, biofuels, energy storage, biomass and new technology, advanced recycling, and waste–to–energy or fuel facilities, particularly on contaminated brownfield real estate. We guide developers through brownfield site acquisition, land use approvals and permitting, remediation and construction, including large projects seeking approvals under Article 10 or Article 94-c. We also assist clients in maximizing their financial returns by bundling tax credit incentives under the Brownfield Cleanup Program with New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) grants and federal tax credits.

For more information regarding our renewable energy practice, please contact us.