Ryan C. Granholm

Ryan advises energy clients in a wide range of regulatory, permitting, and litigation matters.
AFS_Granholm_Ryan photo

Ryan represents project developers, independent power producers, and large energy consumers in regulatory proceedings, transactional matters, and state and federal trial and appellate courts. He helps clients navigate complicated and ever-changing energy market rules and advocates for clients before state and local regulators.

Prior to rejoining ArentFox Schiff, Ryan served as a Staff Attorney in the Trial Division at the Illinois Commerce Commission, where he gained significant experience litigating public utility commission proceedings involving electric, gas, water, and telephone companies. He participated in several of the first docketed proceedings to implement the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) as well as high profile utility ethics investigations.

Client Work

  • Advises developers of wind, solar, and energy storage facilities regarding state and local permitting and zoning processes.
  • Represents the developer of an interstate carbon dioxide pipeline in contested certification proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission.
  • Counsels renewable energy developers with compliance and regulatory issues related to Illinois Power Agency utility-scale renewable energy credit (REC) procurements and community solar REC procurements under the Illinois Shines/Adjustable Block Program.
  • Represents municipal utilities in negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a large solar facility.
  • Helped two pipeline companies win public utility commission approval to expand their capacity.
  • Second-chaired the firm’s representation of electric generators in a state coal ash rulemaking, helped win dismissal of a federal water pollution suit, and successfully defended that dismissal on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • Helped plan and execute challenges to new Clean Air Act rules in federal appellate court, resulting in a stay and eventual reconsideration of the rules.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


  • "Illinois to Update Renewable Energy Credit Procurement Rules," ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Oct. 26, 2023)
  • "Illinois Enacts New Law to Standardize Local Permitting for Renewable Energy Facilities," ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Jan. 30, 2023)
  • "Illinois Opens Renewable Energy Access Plan Proceeding," ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Jan. 5, 2023)
  • “Federal Hydrogen Funding Program Lifts Off,” ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Nov. 15, 2022)
  • “US Fish & Wildlife Service Hatches Rule to Ease Permitting for Energy Projects,” ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Nov. 1, 2022)
  • Illinois Considers Measures to Encourage New Electric Transmission,” ArentFox Schiff Energy & Cleantech Counsel (Oct. 10, 2022)
  • “Key Supreme Court Cases to Watch in Administrative and Environmental Law,” Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser (Sept. 30, 2022)
  • “Lame-Duck Rules Could Loosen Migratory Bird Restrictions,” Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser (Dec. 1, 2020)
  • “Election 2020: Congressional Review Act Could Allow for Quick Regulatory Reversals,” (co-author) Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser (Nov. 18, 2020)


  • "Illinois Renewable Energy Permitting and REC Procurement Developments," ArentFox Schiff Webinar (Jan. 18, 2024)
  • “Practicing Energy Law at the Illinois Commerce Commission: A Primer on How to Litigate Contested Cases Before the ICC and Shape the Future of Illinois Climate and Energy Policy.” Chicago Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee (Mar. 16, 2023)
  • “Primer and Practice: The Illinois Commerce Commission,” Chicago Bar Association, YLS Environmental Law Committee, Webinar (Oct. 5, 2021)


  • The Legal 500 - Energy Transactions: Conventional Power

Professional Activities

Pro Bono Work

  • In connection with Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Ryan successfully defended a client against weapons charges in juvenile criminal court.
  • Represented pro bono client in contested federal civil rights suit, leading briefing of cross-motions for summary judgment.

Volunteer Activities

  • Ryan is a volunteer mentor in the Chicago Bar Association’s Law Student Career Immersion Mentoring and Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring programs.


The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms