Photo of Sahir Surmeli

Sa Surmeli is Co-chair of the firm’s Energy & Sustainability Practice and has worked on capital markets offerings for over 20 years. A Member in the firm, he practices in the Boston office. He represents emerging growth and established energy technology, information technology, life sciences and retail companies, investors and investment banks in public offerings and private financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships. Sa is listed among the “Top 100 Cleantech & Renewables Lawyers” by Euromoney’s LMG Cleantech & Renewable Energy, and he is also ranked among the “Top 100 People Shaping Cleantech on Twitter” by Watershed Capital.

On November 1, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $3.7 million in grants to increase the adoption of cost-saving clean energy technologies by Massachusetts low-income residents as part of the Commonwealth’s Affordable Clean Residential Energy Program (ACRE).

Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.7 Million in Grants for Clean Energy Technology

On October 31, 2017, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development heard testimony on six bills introduced this session addressing the use of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts. Each of the bills includes provisions that would place restrictions on the use of non-competes, with the aim of introducing more fairness to a dynamic skewed against workers, as Representative Lori Ehrlich argued in her testimony. Business interests claim non-compete agreements hurt innovation, a topic that became a focus of the hearing. The committee also considered arguments to update the state’s trade secret laws as well as to include language in the legislation that provides for strong garden leave and notice provisions in order to induce companies to reduce the use of non-competes. The bills are expected to remain before the committee until after the new year. The Massachusetts House and Senate passed bills to limit the use of non-competes last year, but negotiations between the branches broke down in conference committee. To learn more, please follow the link to our partner page at ML Strategies.

The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), the nation’s foremost clean energy advocacy group, recognized our own Tom Burton as one of eight clean energy industry leaders at NECEC’s 10th Annual Green Tie Gala on October 26 in Boston. Tom and the seven other awardees received special “Decade of Influence” Green Tie Gala Awards for their work advancing the clean energy economy over the past decade. Joining Tom in receiving this esteemed honor:

  • Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
  • Ian Bowles, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WindSail Capital Group
  • Steve Cowell, President, E4TheFuture
  • Tim Healy, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EnerNOC
  • Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs
  • George P. Sakellaris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ameresco
  • Mitch Tyson, Tyson Associates, NECEC Board Chair

We are proud to have served as a sponsor for this event, which was comprised of 400+ attendees. We congratulate Tom and the seven other clean energy trailblazers on this wonderful accomplishment!

Continue Reading Tom Burton Recognized as Clean Energy Leader by Northeast Clean Energy Council

On October 13, former Nevada Senator Harry Reid and current Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval hosted the ninth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, NV. Each year, the 3-day summit brings together leaders of industry, government, and advocacy organizations in an effort to shape the United States’ energy policy agenda and facilitate the country’s progress towards a clean energy economy.

Continue Reading National Clean Energy Summit Sets the Stage for the Future of Sustainability

For the seventh consecutive year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts the most energy-efficient state in the United States. The council’s 11th annual report, released September 28, 2017 in the wake of recent extreme weather events, highlighted the importance of energy-efficiency as a tool to help communities recover from storms and economic shocks. While many states, such as Idaho, Florida, and Virginia made vast improvements over last year, Massachusetts continued to pave the way for sustainability through continued leadership in energy-efficient transportation policies and utility-sector energy efficiency programs.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Named Most Energy Efficient State for Seventh Consecutive Year by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

On July 20, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report directing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop solutions to improve the cyber and physical security and overall resilience of the US electrical grid. The report, which was first initiated by Congress following the massive outages caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2014 and is further driven by recent malware infections found on the servers at a nuclear plant, addresses threats to the grid posed by natural disasters and malicious cyberattacks.

Continue Reading National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Release Report Recommending Ways to Improve the Resilience of Nation’s Electric Grid

This year is proving to be the year of investing in innovative energy technology.  Mercom Capital Group reports that in the first half of 2017,  over $1 billion in venture capital and private equity funding has been invested in battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies worldwide, exceeding the first-half funding benchmarks in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, surveyed the combined venture capital funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) and mergers & acquisitions across 89 companies in three separate sectors – Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency. Total investments in these areas amounted to $1.03 billion across the first half of 2017, a marked 25% jump from $807 million in the first half of 2016.

Continue Reading Global Funding in Sustainable Energy Tops $1 Billion in First Half of 2017

On June 2nd, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued record requests for proposals from qualified developers to build renewable energy projects that will generate 2.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity a year. The two requests combined total the largest renewable RFP issued in any state. Alliance for Clean Energy New York estimates that the solicitation “will drive between 600 and 1,600 megawatts of new capacity depending on the mix of technologies ultimately developed.”

Continue Reading NYSERDA and NY Power Authority Seek to Fund Proposals for New Clean Energy Projects: First Round Submissions Due July 13th

On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, sparking serious concern about the future of global efforts to mitigate climate change. In response, cities, states, and corporations across the United States are collaborating to submit a plan to the United Nations ensuring that the U.S. fulfills its emissions targets under the Paris accord – with or without support from the United States federal government.

Continue Reading U.S. States, Cities, & Corporations Unite to Uphold Paris Climate Accord