Legal Team

Matt McGovern


Practice Areas


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, JD
  • University of Wisconsin, BA


  • California
  • Wisconsin
  • South Dakota (inactive)

Matt McGovern is Of Counsel at Cleantech Law Partners. He brings a unique perspective to his clients based on many years of experience in private law practice, government service, and politics.

Before joining Cleantech Law Partners, McGovern was the Chair of the Energy and Cleantech Practice Group for a Milwaukee law firm, where he focused on land use permits for commercial-scale solar developments, PACE financing, and representing clients in state and federal administrative proceedings. He assisted with conditional use permit applications for solar projects, helped avoid local regulation of a development that was subject to the jurisdiction of the state Public Service Commission, and provided regulatory analysis for the sale of large solar projects to an investor-owned utility. He also advised Wisconsin’s commercial PACE administrator on policy and financing agreement issues, and formed a nonprofit to lobby for a favorable regulatory environment for electric vehicles.

McGovern’s government relations practice is based on years of experience in government at the federal and local level. He was a senior advisor at the United States Department of Energy (DOE), in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. At DOE, he focused on policy proposals to enable clean energy development, including clarifying jurisdictional issues between FERC and state public service commissions, expanding access to financing for rural electric co-ops, and support for tribal energy loan programs. He also organized the stakeholder engagement process for the Quadrennial Energy Review Reports on the electricity system and infrastructure for transmission, storage, and distribution of energy.

McGovern’s experience working for the Milwaukee County Executive, running for South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, and lobbying Congress on energy legislation gives him insight into the political processes that can make or break a permitting decision. He has spent many years in electoral politics, including state leadership roles in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

McGovern also has experience in eminent domain and business litigation. He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Karen E. Schreier, U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota.
Matt is a member of the Wisconsin Policy Forum’s Research Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Transit Leadership Council. Matt also serves on the Conservation Committee for the Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin, his hometown.

In his spare time Matt is an avid runner, having finished nine marathons, including the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Recent Presentations:

● PACE Wisconsin, Commercial PACE Webinar, April 2020.
● Renew Wisconsin, Renewable Energy Summit, Panel on Electric Vehicles Driving Renewable Energy Growth, January 2020.
● National Association of State Energy Officers (NASEO) Midwest Regional Meeting, A Field Update on Commercial PACE Programs, May 2019.
● Midwest Energy Research Consortium Construction & Engineering Conference, A Roadmap to Implementing Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings, High-Impact Technologies, November 2017.