Maria Faconti is a partner in the firm's Austin office and is a member of the Power practice group. Maria is a regulatory and administrative law attorney focusing her practice on the Texas energy markets, energy regulation, and complex energy transactions, specifically within Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
In her Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT) and ERCOT practice, Maria represents power marketers, generators, retail electric providers, private equity investors, developers, and other clients in a broad range of regulatory and administrative matters, navigating the regulatory aspects of participation in the ERCOT market. She assists these clients with interconnection, registrations and certifications, regulatory compliance, including conducting compliance trainings, enforcement matters before the PUCT, Texas Reliability Entity, and NERC, and administrative litigation. She also regularly provides clients with extensive insight and assistance in fully interconnecting to the ERCOT grid.
Additionally, Maria assists generators, data and crypto miners, and other industrial customers structure complex offtake arrangements, including the creation of private use networks and other behind the meter arrangements. Maria regularly drafts and negotiates all required agreements such as, power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, shared facility agreements, and tolling agreements.
Maria also works on energy development and acquisition matters for a wide range of resource types including conventional, wind, solar, storage and bio-fuel, advising clients on all aspects of energy infrastructure development, acquisition, and financing. Maria advises clients on energy regulatory permitting issues for renewable and battery projects in a variety of states, in addition to Texas, including Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, as well as in other electric regions, including Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and the California ISO (CAISO). Maria has represented developers, tax equity investors and lenders in project finance transactions, including battery storage, solar, wind, and gas generation projects and related due diligence, totaling over 100 projects across the US.
Prior to joining private practice, Maria worked as an attorney at the Texas Public Utility Commission. While there she represented the public interest in rate cases of investor owned utilities, municipal utility rate appeals, sale, transfer, merger proceedings, and complaints. Maria also worked on many of the agency’s rulemaking projects, having updated various rules including the retail electric provider (REP)/transmission distribution utility (TDU) Tariff.
- Recognized by Chambers USA for Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation (Electricity) in Texas (2023)
- Listed in the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America for Administrative/Regulatory Law and Energy Law (2021-2024)
- Listed in the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America for Oil and Gas Law (2023-2024)
- Speaker, “Let’s Make a Renewable Energy Deal,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute, 20 June, 2023
- Speaker, “Key FERC and ISO Market Rule Changes on Energy Storage,” YES Energy Summit 2023, 22 February 2023
- Speaker, “Market Design, FERC Updates, and Regulatory Evolution,” Nodal Trader Conference 2022
- Speaker, "The Fallout: Legislative & Policy Update Following the Winter Storm & Energy Crisis," GridNEXT 2021
- Private-Use Networks & Self-Generation: What You Need to Know (Webinar - March 2021)
- Building the Renewable Power Project Webinar Series - Environmental, Permitting and State Regulatory Considerations for Wind and Solar (Webinar - November 2020)
- Moderator, “PPA/Hedge Offtake Panel,” UT Law 15th Annual Renewable Energy Law Conference, 28 January, 2020
- “Reactive Power Compensation for Renewable Energy Facilities: Opportunity Amidst Change,” Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section Report, January 2023
- “Texas Power Report Falls Short On Winter Risks, Other Issues,” Law360, 7 December 2022
- “Lessons From FERC New England Capacity Market Settlement,” Law360, 29 July 2022
- Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. and the Defense Production Act - A Look at Rails Corporation v. Terna Energy USA Holding Corporation, 10 TEX J. OIL, GAS, & ENERGY L. 509.
- How Texas Overcame California as a Renewable State: A Look at the Texan Renewable Energy Success, 14 Vt J. Envtl. L. 411
- Interview, “You gotta fight for your right to sue ERCOT. But is it a good idea?” S&P Global Commodity Insights: Capital Crude Podcast, 6 February 2023