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Susan Cowell

Senior Counsel

Susan Cowell

Washington, DC

T:+1 202 974 5644

Susan Cowell’s practice focuses on environmental law. She reviews environmental matters requiring the interpretation of the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation and Liability Act, among other environmental laws, as they apply to the financing, construction and operation of power generation and infrastructure projects and the purchase and sale of commercial enterprises. Ms. Cowell also has experience with environmental litigation, including toxic tort claims.

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  • Education

    JD, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2000
    MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1995
    MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1992
    BS, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 1988

  • Representative experience

    Renewable energy

    • Represented the initial purchaser and lenders in the $935 million senior secured debt financing for the Genesis Solar Project, a 250 MW solar thermal energy project in California. 
    • Represented GE Energy on the acquisition and financing of two large wind farms in the US -- the Prairie Rose Wind Project in Minnesota, and the Chisholm View Wind Project in Oklahoma. 
    • Represented Siemens Financial Services, Inc., Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and Union Bank, N.A. in connection with the financing of Pattern Energy’s 151.8 MW Spring Valley wind project, located near Ely, Nevada, the first major wind project in Nevada. 
    • Represented MetLife in the financing and acquisition of the Long Island Solar Farm, a 32 MW solar photovoltaic power project located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. 
    • Represented Gestamp Wind North America and Banco Santander in connection with the purchase, construction financing and tax equity financing of Flat Water Wind Farm, a 60 MW wind farm in Richardson County, Nebraska. 
    • Represented Siemens Financial Services, Inc. in connection with the financing of Pattern Energy’s 101.3 MW Santa Isabel wind project located in the municipality of Santa Isabel on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, the first major wind project in Puerto Rico. 
    • Represented Hudson Clean Energy Partners and its portfolio company, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, in the acquisition of three hydroelectric facilities approximately 60 miles from New York City. 
    • Represented Ormat Technologies Inc. in connection with the development of three geothermal facilities in Nevada and a $350 million debt facility made by John Hancock Life Insurance Company and guaranteed by the US Department of Energy. 
    • Represented borrower on a $220 million financing for the acquisition and development by Macquarie of a portfolio of landfill gas projects in Rhode Island and California. 
    • Represented WestLB AG, New York Branch, as agent for the lender group, in connection with a $100 million project financing for two existing ethanol plants, and the construction of one new ethanol plant, in South Dakota. 
    • Represented WestLB AG, New York Branch, in a $115 million project financing for the construction of an ethanol plant in Georgia.

    Gas and LNG
    • Represented lenders in connection with the approximately $6 billion Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC Project, comprising approximately $3.6 billion of project finance debt and approximately $2 billion of equity. 
    • Represented lenders to Ruby Pipeline Company, in connection with the $1.5 billion greenfield project financing of the $3 billion, 675-mile Ruby natural gas pipeline, sponsored by El Paso and Global Infrastructure Partners. The transaction was selected as the "North American Oil and Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance and as "Oil and Gas Deal of the Year in the Americas" by Project Finance International. 
    • Represented lenders to Elba Express Pipeline, a greenfield natural gas pipeline transporting regassified LNG from the Elba LNG receiving terminal to interconnection points with the Transco pipeline system.


    • Representation of a consortium in connection with the procurement for the Goethals Bridge replacement project.
    • Representation of Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. in connection with the concession to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the I-69 Section 5 Project in Indiana and related private activity bond financing. 
    • Represented a consortium bidding for the concession to develop, design, sublease, construct, finance, operate and maintain the West by Northwest Managed Lanes Toll Road Project in Georgia, USA. 
    • Represented a consortium bidding for the concession to finance, operate, maintain and rehabilitate the PR-22 and PR-5 toll roads in Puerto Rico. 
    • Represented senior lenders, led by The Royal Bank of Scotland and Union Bank of California, as joint lead arrangers, on the $534 million financing of two gas fired peaking power projects in Connecticut developed by GenConn Energy, a joint venture between NRG Energy and The United Illuminating Company. 
    • Represented Fortune Brands, Inc. in the $1.225 billion sale of its Acushnet Company subsidiary, the leading and most profitable golf equipment company in the world featuring the iconic Titleist and FootJoy brands, to a group led by Fila Korea Ltd., the owner of the Fila sporting goods brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea. The transaction was honored as the 2011 M&A Deal of the Year by The M&A Advisor
    • Represented World Fuel Services Corporation, a global leader in the marketing and sale of marine, aviation and land fuel products, in its acquisition of Western Petroleum Company, one of the largest independently owned petroleum marketing companies in the US
    • Represented Société Générale in the US$210 million construction financing of PL Propylene, a 1.2 billion lb/year propane dehydrogenation plant to produce propylene.
  • Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
  • Publications
    • Ms. Cowell is a regular contributor to the “Environmental Update” section of the firm's Project Finance NewsWire.
    • "Environmental Update – Obama, Carbon Emissions, Greenhouse Gas, EPA, Cooling Water, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), Federal Jurisdictional Waters, Wetlands," Project Finance NewsWire, June 2014
    • "Environmental Update - Methane Hydrate; Wastewater Discharge Guidelines," Project Finance NewsWire, April 2013
    • "DC Circuit Lets Stand its Decision to Vacate Cross-State Clean Air Rule (Special Update)," Client Alert, January 28, 2013
    • "First Auction Of California Cap And Trade Program Proceeds Despite Lawsuit (Special Update)," November 14, 2012
    • "Environmental Law," Chief Executive Legal Guide, August 2012
    • "Pollution Limits Set Aside (Special Update)," Client Alert, August 23, 2012
    • "Appeals Court Upholds US Greenhouse Gas Rules (Special Update)," Client Alert, June 27, 2012
    • "US Mercury Rule Survives Senate Vote (Special Update)," Client Alert, June 20, 2012
    • "EPA Proposes Greenhouse Gas Limitations for New Power Plants (Special Update)," Client Alert, March 2012
    • "US Fish And Wildlife Service Voluntary Land-Based Wind Project Guidelines (Special Update)," Client Alert, March 2012
    • "Environmental Update March 2011; new US Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines could curtail further wind development," Project Finance Newswire, March 2011
    • "Environmental Update; federal government moved closer in August to regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by regulation," Project Finance Newswire, September 2010
    • "Environmental Update; thresholds announced for "prevention of significant deterioration” or PSD program," Project Finance Newswire, July 2010
    • "Environmental Update; US Fish & Wildlife Service decision affects permitting for new wind, solar and geothermal projects in the western United States," Project Finance Newswire, April 2010
    • "Environmental Update; Animal Welfare Institute v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC," Project Finance Newswire, February 2010
    • Co-author, "End of Turf War Between Federal Agencies Benefits Advanced Hydro Projects," Natural Gas & Electricity, August 1, 2009
    • Co-author, "Advanced Hydro Projects to Benefit from End of Turf War Between Federal Agencies," May 29, 2009
    • "Environmental Update; US government has legal authority to regulate greenhouse emissions from new motor vehicles," Project Finance NewsWire, April 2007
    • "Environmental Update; California Greenhouse Gas Measures," Project Finance NewsWire, November 2006
    • "Law at the Air/Water Interface: Is There a Gap Between the Regulation of Toxic Pollutants Under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act?," Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal, 2002
    • "Pretrial Mediation of Complex Scientific Cases: A Proposal to Reduce Jury and Judicial Confusion," Chicago-Kent Law Review, 2000
    • Co-author, "Tributary Loading of Mercury to Lake Michigan: Importance of Seasonal Events and Phase Partitioning," Science of the Total Environment, 1998
    • Co-author, "Partitioning and Transport of Total and Methyl Mercury in the Fox River, Wisconsin (USA)," Environmental Science & Technology, 1998
    • Co-author, "Trace Metal Assessment of Lake Michigan Tributaries Using Low-Level Techniques," Environmental Science & Technology, 1996
    • M.S. Thesis, "Stormwater Infiltration: Assessment of Urban Pollutant Removal", University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995
    • Co-author, "Follow Up to the Grade A Dairy Farm Water Well Quality Survey," Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 1992