People

Sarah M. Keane

Associate

Denver Office
303.825.7000

Education

J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California – Berkeley, 2010
B.S., Stanford University, 2004

Bar Admissions

California
Colorado
U.S. District Courts for Northern District of California, Central District of California, and Eastern District of California

Sarah M. Keane

Sarah Keane primarily focuses on state and federal regulatory issues, litigation and transactional matters involving project development, project acquisition and divestiture, power procurement, and energy and climate change policy.  She has done considerable transactional work in the energy sector.

Sarah counsels a wide range of project developers regarding compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state counterpart laws, securing local, state, and federal entitlements, and defends those approvals when necessary.  On the transactional side, Sarah assists in drafting and negotiating project finance and asset purchase agreements, power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, and other project-related contracts.  She actively tracks and counsels clients on pertinent legal and regulatory developments in the areas of environmental regulation, climate change, renewable energy, energy storage, and electricity grid management.

Sarah was previously an attorney at two large international law firms.  While attending UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Sarah served as a legal extern at the California Energy Commission and collaborated with two faculty members to design and launch Berkeley Law’s Energy and Clean Technology Program.  She also led the cross-disciplinary organization Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC), where she co-founded Cleantech to Market – a partnership among students, scientists, engineers, and professionals that translates clean technology research into market opportunities.

Representative Experience

Regulated Transactions

  • Acted as lead associate in negotiating and securing state regulatory approval for independent power producer in a first-of-its-kind transaction that resulted in the early closure of five carbon-intensive power plants, and extended contracts for two efficient peaking facilities
  • Negotiated suite of agreements for new airline consortium for a major regional airport
  • Represented airport manager in comprehensive overhaul of airport lease and management agreements
  • Drafted power purchase agreement, license and loan agreement, and related documents for transactions involving sale of distributed solar generation installed on real estate in California and Hawai'i

Energy and Transmission Project Development

  • Negotiated several options and leases for solar development on behalf of Colorado landowners
  • Represented regulated utility in development of transmission solutions to augment renewable energy delivery to out-of-state load pockets
  • Represented the developer of a peaking power plant in securing necessary approvals before state and local agencies
  • Represented a municipal utility in multiple transactions and stakeholder proceedings regarding solar energy project development and interconnection

Project Finance and Acquisition

  • Assisting Chicago Transit Authority in the Red and Purple Line Modernization Project as a design-build procurement
  • Coordinated state-specific due diligence for investment in project portfolio involving several wind and solar generating facilities
  • Performed due diligence and deal assistance on behalf of institutional investor acquiring several solar and geothermal projects
  • Organized complex environmental, permitting, and interconnection due diligence for acquisition of natural gas plant portfolio by major asset management group

Litigation

  • Represented energy and water asset owner in administrative litigation under NEPA and the Endangered Species Act
  • Served as lead associate for the successful defense of challenges brought against permit approval for a solar project

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Advisory Board Chair, Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (2014–Present)
  • Election Protection Steering Committee, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2012–Present)
  • University of California, Berkeley Law, Energy and Cleantech Law Certificate and Environmental Law Certificate (2010)
  • Energy Bar Association (2009–Present)
  • Development Director, Energy Law Quarterly (2008–2009)

News & Publications

Presentations

The Utility of the Future
Climate and Energy Law Symposium
10.07.14
California – Germany Comparative Energy Policies
BERC Energy Symposium
10.11.13
Lessons Learned
Conference on Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer in the U.N. Climate Negotiations
10.26.09
The Way Forward
World Energy Justice Conference 
10.24.09

Publications

A Success Born of Crises: California & Renewable Energy
07.11.16
Navigating the Landscape of the California Renewables Portfolio
California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter
08.2011

News

Education

J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California – Berkeley, 2010
B.S., Stanford University, 2004

Bar Admissions

California
Colorado
U.S. District Courts for Northern District of California, Central District of California, and Eastern District of California