As a member of Polsinelli’s Real Estate practice, Ann Smith helps clients navigate the complicated terrain of land use regulation and permitting on renewable energy projects across the United States. Her work includes the acquisition of land rights through the applicable leasing and easement documents as necessary to construct wind and utility-scale solar farms, and the acquisition of zoning rights through the applicable local government bodies governing land use in the relevant jurisdiction. To do so, she works with seasoned Polsinelli attorneys on matters before regulatory bodies, local zoning bodies and various agencies through preparing filings, attending public hearings, and being the liaison between the developer and the zoning and agency officials regulating the matter.
In addition to this work, her practice consists of reviewing, analyzing and negotiating master service agreements for energy clients, monitoring rate cases, and providing assistance on complex research questions posed by developers. She continues to focus on how to get results for clients in the complex regulatory structure in which they operate, which often includes overlapping jurisdictions and coordinating with a number of key stakeholders throughout various stages of multi-tiered processes.
- Assisted developer in obtaining permitting and applicable land use and zoning approvals for 58 community solar farms in thirteen different Illinois jurisdictions
- Assisted developer throughout the development process of 20MW, 70 MW, 116 MW and 240MW utility scale solar farms in four different jurisdictions in Illinois, including the steps of land control, Soil and Water Conservation District review, zoning permits and applicable state regulatory requirements
- Assisted investor in local permitting due diligence review of wind farm acquisition in Illinois
- Facilitated the acquisition of requisite land rights for the purposes of repowering a 240 MW wind farm in Illinois
- Assisted wind developer in the permitting process in an unzoned jurisdiction as jurisdiction was actively, simultaneously considering the enactment of zoning
- Assist developers in drafting legislation amenable to facilitating the development of renewable energy projects in the face of convoluted existing statutes
- Assisted in representation of municipality negotiating a power purchase agreement
- Assist in representation of major electric utilities in proceedings in front of the Kansas Corporation Commission, the Missouri Public Service Commission and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission