Universities are among the most important energy users in the country. Running large campuses complete with dormitories, community shelters, as well as research labs and hospital facilities with advanced research and lifesaving equipment which must run 24/7, universities consume substantial amounts of energy. Our Energy team works closely with university clients to chart and implement cost-effective strategies for the acquisition and consumption of energy and sustainability products and services.
We help our clients structure projects, initiate competitive procurement, and screen offers and contractors, in addition to negotiating and drafting project and financing agreements. We work to integrate sustainability goals into project development and communications, including navigating environmental commodities and assets, carbon accounting, all types of “green” certifications, along with general environmental permitting and regulatory issues. We also assist with pioneering efforts to employ smart energy management and controls including “smart grid” and microgrid technologies as well as demand response plans that allow university clients to monitor energy consumption, respond to price signals in real time and island from the grid in an emergency. We are the secretariat to the Microgrid Resources Coalition, a consortium of leading microgrid owners, operators, developers, suppliers and investors working to advance microgrids as energy resources.
Our environmental lawyers represent a diverse group of commercial and industrial concerns, municipalities, public and private entities, and individuals. Through our exposure to a wide range of client operations and their environmental issues, we are able to quickly identify practical and cost-effective solutions to address any environmental issue that might arise at an institution of higher education, including those that can arise during the sale or purchase of property, and issues related to existing facilities, particularly those where hazardous materials are handled. Our environmental lawyers work on a wide range of regulatory compliance, enforcement and hazardous materials issues, as well as environmental transactions (representing both buyers and sellers) and “brownfields” redevelopment projects.
Our experience includes:
- Represented a university in defense of an environmental enforcement action stemming from the death of a large number of fish in a natural water body following the discharge of high levels of ammonia to a sanitary district.
- Represented Princeton University in the development of a 30-acre, 5-megawatt on-campus, micro-grid networked, solar project, including approvals in two municipalities and unique permits for directional drilling for electrical conduit beneath the D&R Canal and Lake Carnegie to connect the power to the university campus; and the redevelopment and expansion of two separate university housing complexes.
- Represented a major midwestern state university system in connection with the financing and tax structuring of a geothermal heating and cooling loop for one campus and a biomass cogeneration facility for a second campus.