Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Overview

Cox, Castle & Nicholson has assisted developers in securing real estate rights and land use and environmental permits for thousands of megawatts of wind, solar, and geothermal energy generation projects throughout the western United States. We support renewable energy projects by providing the variety of legal services and expertise described below.

Land Use Permitting 

We provide strategic and practical advice in obtain permits to construct and operate utility-scale energy projects in compliance with federal, state, and local land use laws, including the Federal Land Management and Protection Act (FLPMA), the California Planning and Zoning laws, local zoning and planning laws, the Williamson Act, and the Subdivision Map Act.

Environmental Review 

We work closely with agencies, consultants, and applicants to ensure that agency approvals of renewable energy projects, and utility network upgrades required to support them, comply with the procedural and substantive requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This includes assistance in responding to public comments on the environmental impacts of renewable projects.

Endangered Species Regulation 

We negotiate incidental take authorization for species protected under the federal and California Endangered Species Acts, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and prepare Habitat Conservation Plans and Natural Community Conservation Plans.

Wetlands Permitting 

We obtain permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards under the Clean Water Act, California Fish and Game Code, and the Porter Cologne Act for work in streams, wetlands, and waters of the state.

Aviation And Radar Issues 

We clear obstacles to development in areas where there are conflicts between military radar and wind development.

Mitigation Rights 

We secure permitting approvals related to species and agricultural mitigation requirements, and assist developers in satisfying mitigation requirements through obtaining mitigation lands, conservation easements, restrictive covenant agreements, and/or credits.

Leases And Easements 

We represent developers in negotiating, entering into, and implementing renewable energy leases and easements and associated property rights and financing agreements for utility scale energy projects, including "enhanced use leases" on military bases and former military bases.

Shared Facilities Agreements 

We structure and negotiate agreements for the sharing of transmission lines and other facilities by multiple energy developers.

Mineral Rights 

We resolve complex mineral rights title issues that arise with respect to shared surface uses by and among severed mineral rights owners, oil gas and mineral lessees, and surface owners/lessees.

Permitting Opinions

We render legal opinions to support acquisitions and project financing of renewable energy projects.

Labor Negotiations 

We negotiate project labor agreements and environmental settlement agreements with labor unions for the construction of renewable energy projects.

Litigation 

We defend against legal challenges to approvals of projects under CEQA, NEPA, and other laws in state and federal court and represent developers in property rights disputes with landowners, and with respect to eminent domain actions.

Representative
Matters

Representative Wind Projects. Patterson Pass Wind Project (19 MW); Shiloh I Wind Energy (150 MW); Shiloh II Wind Energy (150 MW); Shiloh III Wind Energy (120 MW); Shiloh IV Wind Energy (102.5 MW); enXco V Repowering (9 MW); PdV/Manzana/PdV Infill Wind Energy (300 MW); Pacific Wind Energy (140 MW); Catalina Wind and Solar Energy (560 MW); Alta Oak Creek Mojave Wind Energy (800 MW); ChiPs Infill Wind Energy (100 MW); Alta Infill Wind Energy (150 MW); Alta East (250 MW); Morgan Hills Wind Energy Project (150 MW); Tylerhorse Wind Project (60 MW); Granite Mountain Wind Energy (60 MW); Ocotillo Wind Energy (230 MW); Horse Lake Wind Project (100 MW); Campo Wind Project (60 MW).

Representative Solar Projects. McKenzie Solar (20 MW); Dillard Solar (20 MW); Bruceville Solar (20 MW); Apple Road Solar (1.5 MW); Rosamond Solar (50 MW); FRV Valley Solar (70 MW); Beacon Solar (250 MW); Oro Verde Solar (450 MW); Valley Solar (60 MW); Orion Solar (40 MW); Eagle Mountain Solar (40 MW); Lucerne Solar (100 MW); Avenal Solar (39 MW); Lancaster Solar (20 MW); Borrego Solar (49 MW); Stratford Solar (45 MW); White River Solar (20 MW); Corcoran Solar (20 MW); Kingbird Solar (60MW).

Representative Geothermal Projects. Four Mile Geothermal Power Plant (49.5 MW); Buckeye Geothermal Plant (49 MW); Wildhorse Geothermal Plant (49 MW); Recycled Water Pipeline for Geysers Geothermal Steamfield.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Birkey, Scott B. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5162
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Caligari, Gregory B. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5111
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Cebrian, Christian H. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5123
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Engler, Daniel M. Associate San Francisco 415.262.5134
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Klein, Linda C. Associate San Francisco 415.262.5130
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Morrison, Clark Partner San Francisco 415.262.5113
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Mudge, Anne E. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5107
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Patricio, Lisa M. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2220
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Zischke, Michael H. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5109
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Spotlight

Environmental And Land Use Practices Ranked Top In Northern California By The Recorder

One of California’s leading legal industry newspapers named Cox Castle & Nicholson's Northern California Environmental... More»