Main

Sarah Main

Associate
New York

I help clients evaluate risks, navigate complex regulatory requirements and secure the permits necessary to advance their projects.

Sarah Main advises renewable energy companies, capital investors and public entities on project development and regulatory compliance. She has been at the forefront of New York’s large-scale renewable energy industry since the inception of Section 94-c, having previously advised clients on Article 10 permitting and siting matters.

Sarah works with clients on all aspects of project siting and permitting, environmental due diligence, offtake agreements and project sale and acquisition. She regularly advocates before public service commissions and state regulatory bodies and has experience participating in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Sarah also works on a wide range of environmental law issues. She assists clients in the permitting of new facilities and ongoing compliance requirements under federal, state and local law, including matters involving the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Quality Review Act, and local waterway regulations. At the local level, Sarah advises clients on zoning, development and public procurement matters.

Sarah leverages her regulatory experience to assist clients in other industry sectors, such as alternative fuels, critical minerals mining and cannabis licensing. 

Education

  • Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, J.D., magna cum laude, 2017
  • Saint Michael’s College, B.A., summa cum laude, 2013

Bar and Court Admissions

BAR ADMISSIONS
  • New York

Experience

PERMITTING AND SITING
  • Advises large-scale solar and battery storage developers, including a proposed 500 MW solar facility, on siting and permitting under Executive Law Section 94-c.  
  • Advises renewable energy developers on local permitting and SEQRA compliance.
  • Advised several solar developers and investors on the environmental risks associated with the acquisition of solar asset portfolios, particularly with regard to jurisdictional wetland protections and brownfield redevelopment. 
  • Represented the Alliance for Clean Energy – New York as an intervenor in Town of Copake v. New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting, involving a challenge by thirteen municipalities, community groups, and conservation organizations to the Office’s regulations implementing the Section 94-c permitting process. 
CONTRACTING AND OFFTAKE
  • Successfully negotiated a complex nonwires-alternatives agreement with National Grid on behalf of developer to provide capacity services through two co-located solar + storage facilities. 
  • Negotiated community solar management services and customer subscription agreements for numerous community distributed generation owners and providers.
  • Advised DER Suppliers and ESCOs on community solar crediting agreements and commodity supply agreements.
  • Conducted a competitive solicitation and secured energy supply agreements for a New York State Public Authority.*
REGULATORY MATTERS
  • Provides ongoing compliance advice to renewable energy generators and energy service companies.
  • Drafted comments on behalf of solar, wind, biomass, and battery storage developers in numerous proceedings before the New York State Public Service Commission.
  • Advised on federal procurement obligations and drafted grant applications on behalf of alternative-fuel producers in response to USDA Funding Opportunity Announcement. 
  • Co-authored applications for New Jersey cannabis cultivation and dispensary licenses. 
  • Advised multiple cannabis firms on medical, adult use, and hemp regulations in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. 
  • Advised the Maryland Public Service Commission on the promulgation of regulations governing the State’s Offshore Wind Program.*
  • Represented the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in the development of the State’s battery energy storage incentive program and advised on a wide range of matters pertaining to clean energy deployment.*
  * Handled prior to joining Foley Hoag 


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • Counsel to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
  • Served as a law clerk to Riverkeeper in an appeal of state and federal environmental challenge before the Third Department. 

Publications

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • Pace Environmental Law Review, Research and Writing Editor 
  • National Moot Court Competition, Semi-Finalist 
  • Institute for Energy Law, Hartwick Scholar Writing Competition, Top 3 Finalist 
  • Pace Law School Grand Moot Competition, First Place Finalist and Best Advocate 
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Delta Epsilon Sigma
  • Pi Sigma Alpha
INVOLVEMENT
  • Women’s Energy Network, Member, Albany Chapter 
  • New York State Bar Association, Energy and Environmental Law Section, Member 
  • New York State Bar Association, Cannabis Section, Member 

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Plastic Waste & Pollution,” American College of Environmental Lawyers Webinar (June 2022)
  • Moderator, “New York’s Climate Plan: Scoping the Path to New York’s Clean Energy Economy,” Foley Hoag Webinar (January 2022)
  • Speaker, “Siting of Major Solar, Wind and Alternative Energy Generation: New Legislation,” New York Association of Towns (September 2020) 
  • Speaker, “Siting of Solar Facilities Under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act,” New York Planning Generation (2020)