Pa Banner Energy
Pa Banner Energy
Pa Banner Energy



Because of Hawai‘i’s unique location, the islands present a perfect testing ground for cutting-edge energy entrepreneurs. However, this also creates a need to navigate the strict laws and rules that regulate these areas.

Our attorneys are some of the most experienced in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, and have represented utilities, developers, lenders, landowners, contractors, and consumers in various aspects of energy projects, including solar, wind, geothermal, gas, oil, electric, and battery storage, among others. We are known for formulating innovative solutions to complex problems with a record of consensus building amid the intricacies of regulatory, political, and business environments in the energy and utilities arena.

What We Do

  • Alternative/Renewable Energy
  • Electric Industry
  • Petroleum Industry
  • Procuring Entitlements
  • Regulated Services
  • Unregulated Services

We provide strategic advice to local, national, and multi-national entities on a wide variety of topics related to energy and/or public utilities including financing, governance, operations, organization, external environments, corporate culture, customer service, compliance, and opportunity evaluation.

Together, with other firm practice groups, the Energy Group offers full-service representation, covering your needs in areas such as environmental, real estate, land use, zoning and entitlements, corporate, finance, labor and employment, and tax, just to name a few. If you need legal advice with respect to energy and/or utility matters, we have the experience and expertise to help in the following areas:

Alternate/Renewable Energy

Our attorneys have been instrumental in the remarkable growth of the renewable energy industry in Hawai‘i on both the utility and non-utility sides, by helping clients develop, structure, finance, buy, and sell renewable energy projects consistent with the State of Hawai‘i’s efforts to achieve a renewable portfolio standard of 100% of electrical energy generated by renewable energy resources by 2045.

We pride ourselves on our broad experience with all facets of the renewable energy industry, including, without limitation, development, construction, purchase and sale, renewable energy credits, storage of renewable energy, and financing of renewable energy projects.

Our renewable energy expertise includes wind, solar, biomass, biofuels, battery storage, geothermal, and landfill gas projects.

Electric Industry

Our attorneys have represented and advised electric utility companies, independent power producers, landowners, developers, financial institutions, and others in a wide variety of electric industry matters, including matters pertaining to Alternative/Renewable Energy previously discussed, as well as in the traditional regulated utility arena discussed below.


Although there are new developments of biofuels, hydrogen-powered cells, renewable energy, and other environmentally-friendly fuel sources appearing on the market, petroleum products continue to be one of the most widely used energy resources.

We have a unique understanding of Hawai‘i’s petroleum industry through assisting clients in matters involving refinery operations, tank farm operations, service station/convenience store operations, product sales and exchanges, pipeline matters, jobbers, financing, licensing, offshore mooring, legislation, and government regulation.

Our attorneys have been lead counsel on some of Hawai‘i’s most complicated and notable commercial transactions, including the sale of one of Hawai‘i’s largest independent gasoline marketers.


Regulated Services

We represent and advise public utility companies and common carriers providing electric, water, wastewater, petroleum, communication, and transportation services in rate, regulatory, and other administrative proceedings, appeals from administrative decisions, on state and federal laws regulating utilities, in contract negotiations, and on general corporate issues. We provide guidance and advice in the formulation of strategic planning frameworks, regulatory frameworks, case management, regulatory interaction, and government affairs.

Unregulated Services

We also provide advice on organizational and operational matters to enable clients to operate as unregulated entities providing utility type services. We also assist associations, non-profits, non-utility providers, and other organizations in purchase power contracts. Our clients also include companies that closely interact with regulated public utilities, such as Qualifying Facilities selling energy to electric companies.

  • Developing governmental and regulatory strategies for over $1 billion in projects.
  • Managing over $10 billion in complex commercial negotiations and transactions.
  • Providing strategic advice to local, national, and multi-national entities on complex matters in petroleum, utility (electric, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and transportation), and alternative energy industries.
  • Calvert G. Chipchase was lead brief author for insured in Aloha Petroleum, LTD. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA., 25 F. Supp. 3d 1305 (D. Hawai‘i 2014). The federal district court held that the insured was entitled to litigate its policy dispute in Hawai‘i and was not compelled to arbitrate the dispute under a separate agreement relating to payments.


Nakanishi CraigNakanishi Craig

Craig I. Nakanishi


Craig has extensive experience representing clients in the petroleum, electric, and alternative/renewable energy industries. He is the Chair of the firm’s Energy Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Technology Group.

Nakanishi Craig