As a core building block of the global economic engine, the dynamic energy industry has shifted in response to the evolution of technology coupled with regulatory, environmental, economic, political, and social influences.
Increasing attention and resources are being devoted to alternative and renewable energy sources, cleaner fossil-fueled energy, efficiency technologies, and changes in the power portfolio distributed by utilities. At the same time, evolving technologies involving key energy resources, including unconventional natural gas development, solar, wind, hydroelectric, and nuclear power, are changing the shape of energy production, supply, and use across all regions. K&L Gates’ interdisciplinary energy and utilities practice leverages experience from many practices to help address these industries’ unique challenges. Lawyers throughout our offices work together to guide clients through strategic decisions, policy initiatives, commercial transactions, project financing and development, regulatory compliance, tax matters, credit trading, and litigation. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and teamwork, as well as on maintaining a thorough grounding in both the legal and business dimensions of the energy and utilities industries.
Our clients include independent power producers; alternative energy project developers and producers; investor-owned and publicly owned electric, gas, water, and telecommunications utilities; emerging businesses in the smart energy sector; power marketers; oil and gas producers; coal bed methane producers; natural gas and petroleum product storage and transmission companies; members of the nuclear power industry; industrial and commercial energy customers; municipalities; lenders; developers; and contractors.
Our clean technology practice encompasses such diverse renewable energy resources as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, wave, tidal, coal gasification, and various "green" technologies employed in the industry to facilitate the production of clean energy, as well as fuel cell and other energy-storage technologies, distributed power systems, transmission and distribution system management and efficiency enhancements, and energy management software, sensors, and other systems. We have helped develop, finance, site, permit, and evaluate renewable energy projects for clients across the nation and internationally. We help emerging energy and technology companies form and organize; secure tax equity investment, grants, venture capital and other sources of financing; establish strategic alliances; engage in mergers and acquisitions transactions; commercialize their products through technology licensing; and protect their intellectual property.
Our lawyers have helped to finance and develop a wide range of energy facilities across the globe. K&L Gates has represented numerous clients in the evaluation and acquisition of sites, and the financing, permitting, and development of both utility-owned and independent power projects. We have advised and represented clients in the development of electric transmission facilities, petroleum product and natural gas gathering systems and pipelines, and natural gas storage facilities, including an innovative rapid-delivery salt cavern gas storage facility. In the alternative and renewable energy sectors, our team has participated in siting, property acquisition, development, and financing for many wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy projects.
We have successfully represented the sponsors, developers, or promoters of projects as well as commercial and development banks, investors, vendors, landowners, contractors (engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M)), operators, and equipment suppliers. Our lawyers advise on all phases of the project – from the initial concept, government and regulatory issues, structuring, risk management, and development through to bidding, financing, engineering and construction, and beyond.
In handling complex project development and finance transactions, we draw upon the knowledge and skills of our lawyers in related practice areas. This multidisciplinary, firmwide approach gives our clients seamless access to focused advice so that they can make the best decisions for their projects and execute those decisions in the most effective manner. Our bench strength in risk management and insurance coverage, tax, real estate, environmental permitting, regulatory matters, and public policy in multiple jurisdictions enables us to provide high-quality representation from the earliest phases of due diligence through land acquisition, construction, operation, transfer, and decommissioning of projects.
Energy and Utility Legislation and Policy Development K&L Gates has been a key participant in developing state and federal legislation on energy, telecommunications, water, and solid waste matters. We help our energy clients achieve their objectives in numerous significant legislative proceedings, including proceedings involving stranded cost, retail open access, and tax reform legislation. K&L Gates lawyers had substantial involvement in negotiating and drafting Pennsylvania’s retail electric restructuring legislation and regulations and the U.S. federal Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act. In addition, the efforts of our lawyers have strengthened the ability of public power utilities to obtain tax-exempt financing and have broadened the authority of such utilities to produce, purchase, and sell energy.
K&L Gates lawyers have been actively involved in the development of renewable energy portfolio legislation, state assistance for innovative energy projects, and state regulations and policies relating to greenhouse gas emissions, mercury emission control, water management, and beneficial reuse of coal combustion byproducts.
At the federal level, the K&L Gates public policy and law team is actively engaged in energy legislation and regulatory matters. We have successfully lobbied on behalf of clients regarding provisions of every major energy piece of legislation passed by Congress over the past 25 years. We have helped clients secure favorable legislation, tax incentives, and federal appropriations supporting various energy technologies and ongoing energy programs. We have also worked with the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to advance executive actions and regulations important to our energy clients, which include major contractors, utilities, energy technology companies, and local communities. For more information, read our brochure.