Stephen J. Humes concentrates his practice in environmental, energy, public utility and infrastructure law. He advises clients on energy regulatory, renewable energy project development, and environmental issues, including those associated with power plant, solar photovoltaics, cogeneration, liquefied natural gas and pipeline facilities, telecommunications towers and other utility facility siting matters. His energy-related environmental experience includes advising on climate change issues. He also assists clients with state and federal environmental compliance and enforcement proceedings and counsels clients on energy and environmental issues in corporate M&A transactions, including acquisitions and divestitures of power plants.
Mr. Humes has more than nineteen years of experience on environmental matters, including transactional due diligence and contractual matters, environmental compliance, enforcement, and advising public companies on environmental disclosure obligations. His environmental experience includes representing clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various state environmental regulatory authorities in the Northeast, including the CT Department of Environmental Protection and NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Mr. Humes's energy, utility and telecommunications experience includes transactional matters and administrative agency representations of various regulated companies and other stakeholders in regulatory proceedings before the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control, Connecticut Siting Council, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New York State Public Service Commission, ISO New England, New England Power Pool and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has also advised competitive energy companies throughout the New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions. His energy clients have included electric and natural gas utilities and their non-utility affiliates, LNG storage operators, competitive natural gas marketers and electric suppliers, exempt wholesale generators, cogeneration facility owners, wireless telecommunications carriers, cable television franchisees, a private water utility, cell tower developers and infrastructure manufacturers. He regularly advises property owner and developer clients on alternative energy facility development, regulatory approvals, interconnection and other siting issues, including solar, wind, bio fuels, biomass and cogeneration, frequently negotiating power purchase agreements and other financing and transactional documents in support of renewable energy project finance and development.
His representative experience illustrates the sophistication of legal matters handled effectively for clients:
- provided regulatory support for a 32 MW solar photovoltaic project, the largest solar project of its kind in the Northeast
- representing project developer of multistate solar PV projects, including negotiating PPAs, EPCs, easements and supply chain agreements
- chief regulatory counsel for electric utility rate cases for the owners of three power plants before the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly the DPUC)
- negotiated power purchase agreement and related documents for the development of the largest hospital-based solar installation in New Jersey
- advised private equity-backed venture on solar regulatory strategies in New Jersey and other Northeast states in support of new business launch and conducted power purchase agreement negotiations for solar project developments undertaken upon launch
- advise clients regionally on identifying and qualifying for federal, state and local funds and incentives to support the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation facilities
- counsel utility client in New Jersey on large scale solar project financing and development strategies
- advised bio fuel ventures on project finance and development strategy and plant siting
- counsel commercial real estate clients on negotiating agreements for solar and other renewable energy facilities and transactions involving renewable energy certificates
- represent merchant generation client in competitive RFP procurement process conducted by the Connecticut DPUC, contract negotiations, community and stakeholder outreach, and Connecticut Siting Council process in support of a new 130 MW peaking generation facility under development in Connecticut
- assisted owner of private water utility, sewage treatment plant and golf course development concerning SPDES permit enforcement and corporate transactions in New York’s Hudson River Valley
- in energy litigation, resolved successfully through mediation a dispute between a large group of institutional natural gas customers and a competitive energy supplier in New Jersey
- in Clean Air Act environmental enforcement proceedings, successfully represented respondents before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in New England and Mid-Atlantic regions in response to allegations relating to motor vehicle idling and hazardous air pollutants
- represented major wireless telecommunications carriers in cell tower development proceedings before Connecticut Siting Council and in litigation, including arguing the first state supreme court case to be heard nationwide on a key issue (See Zhang v. Omnipoint, 272 Conn. 627 (2005) – whether historic electric utility easements permit wireless antenna installations) and successfully litigated other important wireless facility siting issues (See Corcoran v. Connecticut Siting Council, 284 Conn. 455 (2007))
- responded to several major oil spills in the New York and Boston areas involving barge incidents on behalf of responsible parties and their insurers, in environmental cases governed by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws
- assisted international energy company in identifying federal, state and local permitting issues and requirements in connection with major projects to develop marine LNG terminal facilities
- advised international investors in power plant facilities in multiple transactions on due diligence in support of power plant acquisitions or divestitures
- counseled property owners and energy facility operators on transactional and compliance issues pursuant to the Connecticut Transfer Act and New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act
Mr. Humes was appointed in 2009 by then Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell as the only privately practicing attorney to serve on the Connecticut Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Council, which produced a final report in September, 2010 that made many regulatory and public policy recommendations to encourage the deployment of next generation plug-in hybrid vehicles in the state.
He is a frequent speaker on climate change, renewable energy, distributed generation and clean energy project development and finance issues and contributes actively to the production of cutting-edge continuing legal education programs presented nationally by the American Bar Association and by other energy and business organizations throughout the New York metropolitan area.