Shiva Prakash

  • Hosted by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Northeastern University School of Law
  • Issue area Community/Economic Development
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shiva provided transactional legal services, direct representation, and policy advocacy to low-income and environmental justice communities in New York developing affordable, reliable, and clean energy projects that create local economic development and relieve utility burdens.

Lack of access to affordable, clean energy poses a significant challenge for New York City’s low-income communities. With electricity rates 59% higher in New York than the national average and record rates of issuance of power termination notices, low-income families face a crushing utility burden. In addition, these same communities shoulder the lion’s share of the negative health outcomes, unreliability, and climate impacts of aging, conventional, fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Shiva has:

  • Developed legal and business models for community-owned and community-led solar projects in New York City and State, which account for the complexities of tax credit financing, legal entity formation, and governance considerations
  • Provided transactional support, including drafting and review of legal documents and engaging in multi-stakeholder negotiations, to renewable energy project teams led by community groups
  • Assisted in securing a $180,000 predevelopment grant for a largescale community-owned solar project in the Bronx
  • Worked with community partners and technical experts to develop written and presentation materials and guidance for the development of community-based renewable energy projects including land use and zoning considerations, liability concerns, and the interplay between financing and business model development
  • Represented the interests of environmental justice communities seeking to participate in community-owned renewables development in key state regulatory proceedings at New York’s Public Service Commission, including the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) and other REV matters
  • Provided legislative drafting and strategic legal support to a New York climate justice coalition to pass state-level progressive climate legislation that supports community-owned renewable projects

Meet Other Fellows Like Shiva

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Brenda Pfahnl

Host: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: 3M Company, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Current Fellow

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Miles Malbrough

Host: Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

Sponsor: Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation

Current Fellow

Amber VanSchuyver

Host: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Corinna Spencer-Scheurich

Host: Texas Civil Rights Project

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation