Renewable and Alternative Energy

Venable has been part of the energy industry for more than three decades. Our multidisciplinary team understands the business, legal, and technical issues and provides a unique blend of experience. For more information, please contact one of our professionals.

Venable recognizes and understands the issues confronting developers of wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, and other renewable energy sources. By combining decades of traditional energy industry experience with working knowledge of the leading edge of renewable and alternative energy law, we offer extensive experience in all facets of development.

We represent renewable energy project developers, merchant generators and transmission companies, marketers, investor-owned utilities, trade associations, and consumers in all aspects of renewable projects, including before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and various state public utility and public service commissions throughout the United States. Clients include energy producers in the solar, natural gas, waste-to-energy, biofuel, hydroelectric, ocean energy, and fuel cell sectors. We also provide energy regulatory advice for the development, financing, and operations of energy storage projects and related interconnection facilities and market products.

Our energy team comprises attorneys from multiple practice areas within our firm, including regulatory compliance, environmental, contracts and licensing, litigation, intellectual property, zoning and land use, and business.

Every project with issues relating to energy efficiency or renewable resources provides financial opportunities. Venable is able to guide and assist clients in understanding and qualifying for energy tax incentives and credits, including tax incentives for renewable energy production.

Regulatory Compliance and Policy

We have extensive experience representing and assisting clients with a myriad of issues, including project siting and permitting, FERC policies and procedures for interconnecting new generation, smart technology for transmission, transactional matters, congressional lobbying, regulatory compliance, solar leases, due diligence in acquiring wind farms and hydroelectric generating facilities, corporate governance, power storage, environmental impact review and permitting, natural resource protection (e.g., species, wetlands, and cultural resources), metering, regulatory, state and local tax planning advice, and grants for geothermal installations under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Contracts and Licensing

Our attorneys are well versed in negotiating power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy installations, cogeneration project agreements, corporate due diligence, development of protocols for deployment of alternative energy sources, regulatory due diligence, commercial contracting for joint ventures, customer care and smart meters, collaboration agreements, technology acquisition, contract drafting and reviews, acquisitions with private landowners, interruptible energy contracts, and outsourced human resource contracts.


Venable's energy team has considerable experience in litigation, including administrative litigation before state and federal energy regulatory commissions and related appellate actions. In addition, our attorneys counsel clients on labor and employment, patent infringement, state public utility commission proceedings, and shareholder disputes. We have represented clients in complex administrative litigation cases before such agencies as the FERC, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and federal and state permitting authorities (and federal and state courts in related appellate actions).

Intellectual Property

Venable represents energy clients in patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, trade dress, and domain name litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States, as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, other federal circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Led by former patent examiners and reinforced by attorney-scientists from a variety of technical disciplines, Venable also prepares and prosecutes patent applications for U.S. and international clients, including in such new areas such as solar cells and related materials, fuel cells and batteries, wind generation devices and components, green energy, and biofuels.

Zoning, Land Use, and Real Estate

Our clients benefit from our knowledge, experience, and working relationships in real estate, which are essential to successful zoning and land use. The scope of our work includes land use approvals, siting of renewable energy resources, acquisition due diligence, and lease negotiations. Our zoning and land use attorneys are located in major jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York City, Northern Virginia, and Northern and Southern California.

Business Strategy

We represent a diverse client group in strategic business matters. Our attorneys assist clients with corporate formation, state and local tax planning, corporate due diligence, United States Pension Protection Act negotiations, Employee Retirement Income Security Act issues, and eligibility requirements for renewable tax incentives.

Practice Focus

  • Transactions
  • Regulatory proceedings
  • Litigation
  • Legislative and regulatory strategy
  • Renewable and alternative energy

Industry Focus

  • Aviation and transportation
  • Consumers and producers of
    • crude oil
    • traditional and renewable electricity
    • natural gas
    • petroleum products
  • Crude oil and refined products pipelines
  • Distribution and generation of electricity
  • Municipal governments
  • Natural gas pipelines
  • Power generation
  • Renewable energy developers –biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar, wind
  • Shippers, including refiners and marketing companies
  • Transportation and storage of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products
  • Utility companies


  • Led multidisciplinary teams in the siting, licensing, and environmental review and permitting of lengthy cross-border and multi-state transmission lines designed to supply hydroelectric and offshore wind power to end users
  • Supported the siting, licensing, permitting, and environmental review required for numerous wind projects
  • Represented a global solar thermal company in all aspects of development of the first large-scale solar facility to be built in 15 years. Scope of work involved federal and state regulatory issues and matters surrounding the design, construction, and financing of approximately 65 MW solar facilities; also assisted in efforts to improve state laws and regulations by creating a by-pass trust for a renewable charge
  • Represented a greenfield developer of a multifaceted energy complex that included construction of environmentally friendly cow condominiums and a related digester for electricity production. Project included solar, natural gas, and wind components
  • Represented an agricultural company in the development of solar photovoltaic facilities and the negotiation of associated Power Purchase Agreements
  • Represented a developer of multiple hydroelectric facilities along the Allegheny River on financing, construction, and permitting
  • Represented commercial and residential developers in the development and installation of renewable generation facilities, including solar voltaic facilities and CHP systems, and associated PPAs
  • Represented an agricultural company in the development of biomass-fueled combined heat and power systems and associated lease agreements and PPAs
  • Represented an RTO before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and in appellate courts on first impression issues regarding shared funding of electric transmission to help renewable energy reach urban load centers
  • Extensive experience with transmission planning and generation interconnection issues involving renewable energy resources
  • Advised a hedge fund client on regulatory compliance requirements associated with owning energy assets and provided strategic advice on industry developments

Government Experience

  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Interior
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • State and Federal Courts
  • State Public Utility Commissions
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Congress
  • Counsel, Cherokee Nation
  • Assistant Legal Advisor, Mission of the United States to the World Trade Organization
  • Attorney General, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
  • Associate Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, The White House
  • Deputy Director of Policy & Strategic Planning and Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy, Office of the Secretary, Department of Commerce
  • Senior Director, Technical Barriers to Trade, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Assistant General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs


  • Recognized by Chambers USA
  • Ranked in U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," 2011 – 2017