Energy Facilities Planning & Siting

Energetic ideas powered by those who know the lay of the land.

Decisions regarding the planning and siting of energy facilities are complex, requiring clients to consider projects in the context of natural resources impacts, public policy, transmission constraints, existing infrastructure, and energy load demands. Not only does Downs Rachlin assist clients in strategically planning electric facilities, but it supports clients through the applicable statutory permitting regimes to efficiently and effectively site energy facilities. Leveraging its depth of experience in environmental, business, and energy law, Downs Rachlin advises clients with respect to state siting approvals, including renewable energy generation and transmission infrastructure siting, federal and state regulations and laws, NERC reliability standards, and ISO-NE planning policies.

Recent Accomplishments

Downs Rachlin Martin's Energy and Environmental team helps clients strategically plan and successfully permit energy facilities with the Vermont Public Utility Commission and federal and state permitting agencies. Some of our most recent accomplishments include:

  • In 2014, successfully permitted a 2 MW solar electric generation facility through the expedited Section 248(j) permitting process, the largest solar project to obtain regulatory approval under this expedited review.
  • In 2013, obtained regulatory approval to significantly expand Vermont’s natural gas transmission network into central Vermont, bringing natural gas service to unserved areas of the state and contributing to the reduction of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • In 2013, successfully gained siting approval for one of five regional photovoltaic testing facilities under the DOE’s SunShot Initiative.
  • Obtained state siting approval for the 12 MW Georgia Mountain Community Wind Project, Chittenden County, Vermont’s first utility-scale commercial wind farm.
  • Between 2005 and 2013, successfully gained state siting and refurbishment approvals for many major regional transmission reliability upgrade projects, covering over 170 miles of new 345 kV and 115 kV high-voltage transmission lines, together with dozens of high-voltage new substation facilities.
  • Successfully obtained many siting approvals for transmission line and substation projects for global transmission and energy company, including reconstruction of transmission line in Rockingham, Westminster, Putney, Dummerston and Brattleboro, VT.
  • Successfully obtained siting approvals for global transmission company for revitalization of 115 and 69kV substations in Southern Vermont, as well as in connection with construction of a new upgraded substation in Rockingham, VT.
  • Obtained siting approvals for reconductoring and refurbishment projects for global transmission and energy company for 230 kV transmission line and 115 kV transmission lines in Bennington and Windham Counties, VT, and for substation upgrades and line sectionalization in Wilmington and Searsburg, VT.
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