Energy Project Permitting & Development |
Our country runs on energy--whether electrical, natural gas, petroleum, or renewable. Old plants must be replaced and new projects must be permitted before they can be built. The requirements are strict and the permitting obstacles are significant, time consuming and costly to satisfy. Starting with its work on permits for northwest hydropower projects in the 1940s, Perkins Coie lawyers have been obtaining permits for energy projects for more than 70 years. Today, our extensive experience assisting in permitting and development of a wide range of energy projects extends to utility and independently owned electrical generating facilities fueled by natural gas, coal, oil, hydropower, solar, biomass, landfill gas, wind and geothermal resources, electric transmission lines and substations, LNG facilities, and natural gas and petroleum product pipelines.
We work on energy projects of all sizes from a 5 mW wood waste fired cogeneration plant to land use permitting for a proposed 1 bcf/day LNG terminal.
Most recently, our lawyers successfully obtained and defended all necessary land use permits for the 75MW Teanaway solar project in Washington state, the 370mW BrightSource Energy "Ivanpah" solar project in California, and the relicensing of the Baker and Snoqualmie Falls hydropower projects for Puget Sound Energy.
We assist clients to locate, evaluate and acquire potential sites for energy projects. We work with engineers and consultants to evaluate construction, operation and permitting options for energy projects at particular locations. We also help clients evaluate pipeline transportation, electrical interconnection, and new natural gas and electric transmission facilities at potential sites.
Real Estate & Water Rights Acquisition
We help our clients to acquire real estate options, easements and titles to project sites. We negotiate rights to use public lands for energy projects and frequently represent utilities in condemnation proceedings. In addition, we help clients acquire and develop water rights and other firm sources of water to develop and operate energy projects.
Local Land Use Requirements
Our clients call us for help in obtaining local land use approvals, including zoning changes, development permits, conditional use permits and variances. We negotiate development agreements with local jurisdictions, represent clients in adjudicated hearings before local planning departments, hearing examiners and councils and, when necessary, represent clients in appeals of local land use decisions.
Environmental Assessment, Permitting & Licensing
We have extensive experience with environmental assessments and environmental impact statements prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and similar state statutes. We help clients obtain licenses and permits from the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state siting authorities, as well as federal and state permits governing air emissions, water discharges and wetlands disturbance. We also advise clients regarding compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and a variety of other resource protection statutes. Our California offices provide significant experience and capabilities in permitting and land use issues under the California Environmental Quality Act and other California requirements for energy project development. Our Alaska, Colorado and D.C. offices provide broad experience in permitting mining operations, and petroleum producing and refining projects. Our Washington and Oregon lawyers have worked on numerous LNG, renewable energy, gas and coal projects. Partners in our Idaho and Washington state offices lead our efforts to site projects on and across federal land whether owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management US Forest Service or other federal agency.