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Utilities

More than 150 lawyers across the firm’s global platform work together to guide our clients through strategic decisions, policy initiatives, commercial transactions, project financing and development, regulatory proceedings, and litigation. Our hallmarks are responsiveness and teamwork, as well as 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, and water utilities, independent power producers, alternative energy project developers and producers, 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.

Additionally, electric utilities encounter a myriad of business and regulatory issues. Our energy regulatory practice has the experience from a wide variety of disciplines to address these issues before the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC).

Our energy regulatory team has experience advising clients on compliance with FERC, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs), and state rules and regulations. Our clients include traditional utilities, independent power producers, alternative energy project developers and producers, emerging businesses in the smart energy sector, and power marketers. Lawyers throughout our offices work together to assist our clients with new rulemakings and regulatory initiatives, compliance with market rules, administrative and appellate litigation, and required authorizations involving FERC. 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 industry.  

We have been a key participant in developing state and federal legislation and regulation on energy, telecommunications, water, and solid waste matters. We help our energy clients achieve their objectives in numerous significant legislative and regulatory proceedings, including proceedings involving stranded cost, retail open access and green tariff initiatives, and tax reform legislation. 

We are also one of the leading firms in helping customers’ development mechanisms to allow greater choice with their energy procurement and have represented customers in several states to work with state regulators and utilities to develop green tariffs and other mechanisms to provide greater customer choice for energy procurement.

Capabilities

Cost-based and Market-based Ratemaking Proceedings

Our team can assist in obtaining FERC authorization for market-based and cost-based rates for power sales under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act. We have helped clients prepare and file initial market-based rate filings, triennial market power updates, electronic quarterly reports, and cost-based rate filings for reactive power or other ancillary services. We are also able to submit eTariff filings that comply with FERC’s filing requirements on behalf of clients.    

ISO and RTO Tariffs and Compliance

We have represented clients in connection with the formation and operation of ISOs and RTOs and their respective markets, including PJM, MISO, NYISO, ISO-NE, and CAISO, and in connection with other regional initiatives such as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. We have assisted clients in joining ISOs and RTOs as market participants and represented clients in ISO and RTO stakeholder processes. We have also advised on the development and implementation of energy and capacity market rules and compliance with such rules.  

Mergers and Acquisitions

Our lawyers have frequently obtained FERC approval under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, as well as related approvals, such as Hart Scott Rodino notification and Department of Justice investigations for public utilities and public utility holding companies acquiring or selling generation and transmission assets. As part of the due diligence process, we also regularly evaluate whether proposed acquisitions or divestitures require prior approval from FERC and assist clients in understanding the timeline for obtaining necessary regulatory approvals.

FERC Rulemakings and Regulatory Initiatives

We have advised clients and actively participated in FERC rulemaking proceedings involving, among other issues, reforms or revisions to market-based rate reporting requirements, pro forma interconnection procedures and agreements, and FERC’s merger review policy and procedures.  

Litigation, Investigation, and Appeals

We have represented clients in numerous litigation and enforcement matters before FERC. We have assisted individual clients and corporations with investigations and audits by FERC staff that have focused on various aspects of the electricity markets, such as compliance with RTO and ISO market rules, FERC’s anti-market manipulation rule, and market-based rate requirements. We have also assisted clients with self-reports to FERC and in various aspects of litigation before FERC, such as hearings before administrative law judges, settlement proceedings, technical conferences with FERC staff, conferences, hearings before the commissioners, and appeals of FERC decisions. 

Public Utility Holding Company Act Compliance

We have assisted clients with numerous matters regarding the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) compliance, including preparing applications to register as a public utility holding company, seeking  waiver of various PUHCA reporting requirements, or helping projects obtain certain regulatory statuses, such as an Exempt Wholesale Generator, a Qualifying Facility, or a Foreign Utility Company. 

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