Sarah Johnson Phillips
Sarah Johnson Phillips is an associate in the firm's Energy Development practice group, where she focuses on project development, commercial transactions, and energy and environmental regulatory matters. She has particular experience working with clients in the wind, solar, biomass, biofuels, mining and agribusiness sectors on financing, mergers and acquisitions, project development, regulatory approvals, transmission and interconnection issues and renewable energy incentives.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Sarah served as a Minnesota Justice Foundation-sponsored law clerk at Farmers' Legal Action Group and a researcher for the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Regulatory (CCSReg) Project at the University of Minnesota. Prior to law school, Sarah worked for five years in the renewable energy nonprofit sector in Minnesota, concentrating on energy policy, community wind energy and climate change issues.
Energy and Environmental Regulatory
- Assisted clients in obtaining regulatory approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for wind energy projects.
- Advised mining company on state-level environmental review requirements for industrial sand mining and local permitting matters.
- Assisted industrial client in resolving complex Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act enforcement actions.
- Advised agribusiness companies on obtaining grain warehouse and grain buyer licenses.
- Advised on regulatory frameworks for distributed generation and net metering for clients developing distributed wind and solar energy projects.
- Performed environmental and regulatory due diligence for agribusiness, mining and energy companies acquiring or investing in wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, industrial sand mining and agricultural processing facilities.
- Provided the technical advisory committee of the California Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel with research and analysis of carbon sequestration legislation in other states, the relationship between enhanced oil recovery and sequestration, and property rights issues.
- Assisted client in making a tax equity investment in a 100 MW wind project.
- Represented a Missouri-based biodiesel producer in connection with its registration of a $6 million intrastate securities offering with the Missouri Securities Division.
- Assisted clients with the acquisition of development assets of a 60 MW wind project in the Pacific Northwest, an operating 47 MW biomass facility in California and solar projects in the Midwest.
- Worked with wind, biofuels, agribusiness, and clean technology clients on public and private equity and debt financing for new project developments, project expansions and renewable energy technology innovations.
Professional and Civic Activities
- Corporate Secretary, Wind on the Wires
- Member, National Mentoring Committee, Women of Wind Energy
- Mentoring Committee Chair, Women of Wind Energy, Twin Cities Chapter
- Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
- Member, Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Regular contributor to the Stoel Rives Renewable Energy & Climate Policy Law Blog
- "Carbon capture and storage policy in the United States: A new coalition endeavors to change existing policy," (co-author), Global Environmental Change, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 2011, Pages 313-323
- "Twisting in the Minn. Wind," Law360, May 20, 2011
- "A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private and Non-profit Project Development," (co-author) National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Nov. 2010
- "Enhanced Oil Recovery as Carbon Capture and Sequestration," (co-author), White Paper, prepared for the California Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel, Aug. 10, 2010
- "State Regulation of Geologic Sequestration: 2010 Update," (co-author), Proceedings of Ninth Annual Conference on Carbon Capture & Sequestration, Pittsburgh, PA, May 10 -13, 2010
- "State Policy on Geologic Sequestration," (co-author), CCSReg Project, Sep. 25, 2009
- "Community Wind Tool Box," Windustry, first published Dec. 15, 2006
- "Harvest the Wind: A Wind Energy Handbook for Illinois," (co-author), Jan. 1, 2004
- University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 2009, cum laude
Symposium Editor, Minnesota Journal of International Law
Dean's List, 2007-2008
- Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, 2009
- Carleton College, B.A., geology, cum laude
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