Since its creation, the dynamic energy industry has evolved in response to the proliferation of new and cheaper technology coupled with regulatory, environmental, economic, political, and social influences.
Our clients are devoting increased attention and resources to alternative and renewable energy sources, cleaner fossil-fueled energy, efficiency technologies, and changes in the power portfolio distributed by utilities. Concurrently, changes in energy technology provide new and innovative opportunities for our clients to produce, transmit, and distribute energy across the world.
We leverage experience from many practices to help address these industries’ unique challenges. Lawyers guide clients through strategic decisions, policy and regulatory 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 investor-owned and publicly owned electric, gas, water, and telecommunications utilities; independent power producers; alternative energy project developers and producers; emerging businesses in the smart energy sector; power marketers; oil and gas 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 team also has experience with all types of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, wave, tidal, coal gasification, and various green technologies employed in the industry to facilitate the production of clean energy. We have also assisted clients with 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 around the world. 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 capabilities include:
Project Development and Finance
Our lawyers have helped to finance and develop a wide range of energy facilities across the globe. We have 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 and operation and maintenance), 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.
Our lawyers have advised generation owners and developers on a wide range of transmission and interconnection issues across the United States. Our team works with clients operating inside and outside of independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs). We have represented solar generation developers and owners in addressing issues that arise with respect to interconnection agreements, shared facility agreements, and transmission service requests, as well as the market rules and regulations that govern these services.
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 from across the globe and allows them to 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.
Facility Environmental Compliance and Operations
We represent energy and utility clients in the full range of issues concerning facility operations and environmental compliance. We have represented public and private entities in connection with the development and long-term operation of hydroelectric, thermal, wind, and waste-to-energy generation facilities; transmission facilities; water and wastewater facilities; and gas and oil pipeline and production facilities. Beyond traditional permitting and compliance activities, our lawyers have significant experience in the development and implementation of market-based environmental compliance programs, including the negotiation and completion of transactions involving water quality and air emissions credit trading.
Our practical approach to resolving operating, environmental, and related challenges has facilitated the successful completion and continued operation of many projects. We help our clients earn public recognition for their civic responsibilities, while enabling them to achieve their business goals quickly and cost effectively.
Transactions and Power Trading
Mergers and Acquisitions
Our lawyers have represented numerous clients with mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of energy assets, including in the acquisition and development of renewable energy, gas, coal, and nuclear electric generating facilities and other utility facilities. We have represented both sellers and purchasers in auctions of entire energy companies, fleets of electric generating facilities, and individual projects, as well as in the negotiation and completion of other utility asset transfers. We have also assisted clients in due diligence reviews of generating facilities and other utility facilities and applications for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
We have represented industrial hosts or project developers in the acquisition and disposition of energy facilities located at pulp and paper facilities, municipal waste landfills, petrochemical facilities, and other industrial facilities. In addition, the firm has assisted various energy and utility clients in the formation of joint ventures, alliances, and public/private partnerships.
Energy Sales and Purchases, Hedging Transactions, and Other Commercial Transactions
We have negotiated and drafted numerous wholesale and retail electric power and natural gas purchase and sale, energy derivatives, electric transmission, interconnection, operation and maintenance, gas transportation, advanced billing, licensing, and other agreements. These contracts involve a wide range of transactions, including long-term and short-term energy and capacity purchases and sales. We also represent a wide range of clients in the purchase and sale of renewable energy credits, verified emissions reduction certificate, emissions allowances, and other environmental trading products.
Our clients in these transactions include investor-owned and public power utilities, independent power producers, power marketing companies, banks, investment banks, local distribution companies, wholesale and retail customers, and telecommunications services providers, including providers that are unregulated affiliates of electric utilities.
Federal and State Regulation
Our energy regulatory lawyers advise on all aspects of federal and state regulatory matters, including with respect to the FERC, RTOs, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and state public utilities commissions.
Our regulatory services include:
- Transmission rates and contracts
- FERC and state regulatory compliance for both new and operating projects
- RTO planning and transmission cost allocation issues, including FERC Order No. 1000 compliance
- Handling energy and capacity market disputes
- Administrative litigation
- Interconnection agreements
- RTO tariff requirements and compliance
- NERC compliance and audits
- Certificates of public convenience
Regional Transmission Organizations and Regional Energy Initiatives
The firm has represented clients in connection with the formation and operation of U.S. regional transmission organizations, including the PJM Interconnection, LLC, the New York ISO, ISO New England, the Midcontinent ISO, and the California ISO. We have also worked with other regional initiatives such as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council Reliability Management System and the Western Interconnection Organization. The firm has participated in market reform and reorganization initiatives in several regions of the United States. In addition, the firm has taken a leading role in forging multiparty contractual arrangements governing facilities such as the Four Dam Pool and Bradley Lake projects in Alaska and the mid-Columbia dams in Washington.
Utility Regulation and Restructuring
We represent a diverse group of investor-owned utility and public power utility clients, including gas, electric, water, sewer, transportation, and telecommunications utilities. Our services include advice on restructured utility operations, the sale and purchase of generating assets, and strategies for success in newly competitive areas of utility operations. We have assisted utility clients in diversifying their operations through acquisitions, geographic expansions, and the development of ancillary services.
Our lawyers have broad experience in restructuring public and private utility entities. For example, the firm recently assisted a large investor-owned utility in formulating, obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for, and implementing a comprehensive corporate restructuring. As a result of our extensive municipal law experience, we have coordinated efforts around the United States and internationally to create or reorganize municipal utilities. We also represent public and private clients in forming entities to finance, construct, own, and operate particular utility facilities.
Hydropower Development, Relicensing, and Compliance
Our team has considerable experience in the siting, permitting, construction, operation, and implementation of water, wastewater, and reclaimed water projects across Australia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East, including innovative public-private partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and asset transfers. We have worked on major water projects, ranging from traditional water source development, treatment, and distribution system development to high-tech desalination and high-quality reclaimed water sources. We have actively represented individual water, energy, and other utilities, as well as private developers and industries in obtaining permits for groundwater and surface water withdrawals, industrial water supply, and wastewater treatment, reuse, and discharge projects. In the United States, our team handles licensing processes and water access arrangements for hydropower projects including the FERC licensing process in the United States, as well as decommissioning procedures for dam removal and habitat restoration. We are adept at working with the large number of stakeholders in relation to hydropower projects, negotiating solutions to preserve recreational and indigenous access to water resources, address migratory fish passage issues, and develop environmental plans relating to endangered and threatened species, and related sensitive habitat.
Energy Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Our lawyers have special experience in the application of antitrust laws and competition policy to regulated and recently deregulated industries, particularly in the energy, transportation, communications, and solid waste industries. The firm regularly represents clients in civil and criminal investigations and enforcement actions, transactional matters, and federal and state regulatory proceedings involving competition issues. We work closely with economists in the preparation of market power analyses for use in federal and state regulatory proceedings, including at the FERC. We also routinely represent clients in connection with related antitrust and trade regulation issues, including during the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification review process, and, where required, responses to civil investigative demands issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
Energy and Utility Legislation and Policy Development
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. Our lawyers have 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.
Our 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, our 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 FERC to advance executive actions and regulations important to our energy clients, which include major contractors, utilities, energy technology companies, and local communities.
We represent clients before FERC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, state public utility commissions, and in state and federal courts. These representations can include the commencement or defense of commercial litigation, cost-of-service rate proceedings, defense of regulatory enforcement actions, defense of private lawsuits involving alleged violations of federal or state law (including class actions), and even defense during criminal investigations and prosecutions. Our lawyers have represented clients who receive administrative or grand jury subpoenas, during the execution of search warrants, during difficult negotiations with government officials, and can conduct efficient and thorough internal investigations for the purpose of advising company stakeholders about potential wrongdoing by company officers, employees, or contractors.