Mike Krikava is a former member of the firm’s board of directors. He practices principally in the areas of:

  • Public utility regulation
  • Energy law
  • Independent power project development
  • Wind energy project development
  • Administrative law and procedure
  • Commercial litigation

Mike focuses his practice on energy law and related commercial transactions, regularly representing energy companies before a variety of regulatory bodies. He is a member of various energy sector groups and is active in the renewable energy sector. Mike’s practice includes significant experience with wind energy development and his participation in numerous projects in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. His recent representative experience includes:

  • representing transmission-owning utilities in state, federal and local permitting for major power line construction;
  • negotiating power purchase agreements for more than 3,000 megawatts of wind energy generation, representing both developers and off-takers;
  • representing clients in numerous contested regulatory proceedings;
  • representing clients in the development, construction and acquisition of major infrastructure assets.

During 1995 and 1996, Mike spent a year away from the firm handling international project development in the energy sector. He returned to the firm to develop the current Energy Law Practice Group.

In addition, Mike assists nonprofit clients with incorporation and tax exempt issues. He has worked with a variety of nonprofit clients including religious organizations, an adoption support service group and a music organization.

While in law school, Mike was a member of the Law Review.


  • Honoree, Minnesota Super Lawyers

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America (2007 – present)

  • Honoree, Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers®, Energy Law, Minneapolis (2022)

  • Honoree, Top Lawyers, Energy Law, Minnesota Monthly (2022)

All Service Areas

All Industries


  • State - Colorado
  • State - Minnesota
  • State - Wisconsin
  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Notable Matters

Representative Regulatory Experiences:

  • Provide ongoing advice to procurement contracting for multiple clients relating to the supply, engineering and construction of energy infrastructure.
  • Assist in the development of partnership arrangements for the joint ownership of power plant and transmission assets.
  • Participated in the 2013-14 investigation and prudence review of costs incurred in connection with upgrades at nuclear power plant.
  • Sought permits to proceed with the major construction of up to 500 MW of new natural gas fired generation in Minnesota and North Dakota during 2013 and 2014.
  • Participated in 2013-14, to seek permits to proceed with major construction of 345 kV transmission facilities from south-central Minnesota to Iowa, including environmental review, permitting activities and associated real estate work.
  • Assisted multiple clients during 2013 and 2014 in obtaining permits to construct segments of major 345 kV transmission facilities in southern Wisconsin.
  • Participated in retail rate cases for multiple clients in Minnesota during the years of 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 1992, 1991, 1989.
  • Obtained Minnesota route permits in 2012 under Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E in 2011 for 345 kV transmission line from the Twin Cities to La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Obtained Wisconsin Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity permits for Wisconsin portion of the line.
  • Obtained route permits in 2011 for 345 kV transmission line from the Twin Cities to St. Cloud, Minnesota.
  • Obtained Certificate of Need in 2009 and route permit 2010 for 230 kV transmission line from Bemidji to Grand Rapids Minnesota.
  • Obtained route permit in 2009 under Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E for 345 kV transmission line from Brookings, South Dakota to the Twin Cities.
  • Obtained Certificate of Need in 2007 under Minn. Stat. 216B.243 for 600 miles of 345 kV transmission lines throughout the State and connecting Minnesota to North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Obtained route permits in 2007 and 2009 for a series of 115 kV transmission lines in Southwestern Minnesota.
  • Obtained Certificates of Need under Minn. Stat. 216B.243 and route permits under Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E from 2007-2013 for a series 115 kV transmission lines in the metropolitan Twin Cities area.
  • Obtained Certificate of Need under Minn. Stat. 216B.243 and site permit under Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E in 2005 for natural gas power plant in the suburban Twin Cities.
  • Obtained Certificate of Need in 2002 under Minn. Stat. 216B.243 and route permits under predecessor statute to Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E for 345 kV and 115 kV transmission lines in Southwestern Minnesota for the purpose of obtaining 825 MW of generator outlet capacity from the wind-rich Buffalo Ridge region.
  • Sought and obtained Minnesota permits in 2000 for the development and construction of 345 kV transmission line from Duluth, Minnesota to eastern Wisconsin.
  • Assisted client in the acquisition of 500-mile major transmission line in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Represented client in the transactional arrangements for the ownership and development of jointly-owned coal-fired power plants in North Dakota and Nebraska. 
  • Assisted client in the due diligence to take partial ownership stake in proposed coal-fired power plant in Illinois. 
  • Assisted in the acquisition of 250 MW coal-fired powerplant in Northern Minnesota.
  • Assisted in the financing of 450 MW coal-fired power plant in North Dakota.
  • Assisted in the purchase and sale of transmission and substation assets in Southern Minnesota between electric providers.
  • Provided assistance in the repowering of existing coal-fired power plants into combined-cycle natural gas generation.
  • Developed form agreements for major infrastructure procurement programs.
  • Advised and assisted on pole attachments and right-of-way matters, including the development, negotiation and administration of Pole License Agreement, NESC compliance and administration of Right-of-Way Ordinance.
  • Handled negotiation of vendor contracts for major power train equipment at multiple electric generation facilities.
  • Represented client regarding the design and construction projects using various project delivery systems including EPC, design, supply, furnish and install.
  • Assisted in the transition of wholesale customers to interconnection customers, including asset transfers and associated new interconnections, as well as regulatory proceeding establishing FERC jurisdictional pro-forma transmission-to-load interconnection agreements and state regulatory approvals.  Totaling over 70 different transactions in one year. 
  • Participated in complex PURPA related transactions to transition interconnection and rate treatment from state to federal jurisdiction.
  • Wrote contract forms for purchase of demand side management services for New York-based utility.

Counsel of Record in the following regulatory cases:

  • Computer Tool & Eng’g, Inc. v. Northern States Power Co., 453 N.W.2d 569 (Minn. Ct. App. 1990) (litigation pertaining to the application of utility tariffs and the binding nature of exculpatory clauses).
  • City of Saint Paul v. Northern States Power Co., 462 N.W.2d 379 (Minn. 1990) (litigation pertaining to open access of natural gas facilities and the impact such open access concepts have on municipalities).
  • Northern States Power Co. v. F.E.R.C., 176 F.3d 1090 (1999) (litigation pertaining to open access of electric transmission facilities and the limits of federal authority over retail utility service).
  • Interstate Power Co., Inc. v. Nobles County Bd of Com’rs, 617 N.W.2d 566 (Minn.  2000) (amicus curiae brief on the issue of a local unit of government’s authority to regulate the placement and taxation of utility infrastructure).
  • In Re Minnesota Power for Approval of 2008 CIP Tracker, Court File C2-00-456, 2000 WL 1847621 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2000) (litigation pertaining to cost  recovery of expenses  incurred in connection with utility conservation program, the filed rate doctrine and limits on retroactive ratemaking).
  • In the Matter of Minnesota Power Transmission Line Known as the Arrowhead Project, Court File C4-01-1022 (Minn Ct. App. Jan. 15, 2002) (successful defense of the grant of permits to construct 345 kV transmission line from Duluth, Minnesota to the Wisconsin border).
  • Alliant Energy v. Nebraska Public Power Dist., 347 F.3d 1046 (CTA 8 2003) (contract dispute over member of voluntary association for responsibility for contract charges imposed by FERC).
  • In the Matter of 1999 All Source Request for Proposals, 676 N.W.2d 326 (Minn. Ct. App. 2004) (successful defense of regulatory order pertaining to the purchase of electric energy from Canada).
  • In re Complaint by Shark, Court File A05-21, 2005 WL 3527152 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 27, 2005) (defense of regulatory order denying ratepayer complaint).
  • In re MISO Day 2 Costs, Court File A07-0730, 2008 WL 1748236, (Minn. Ct. App. April 15, 2008) (successful defense of regulatory order authorizing utility recovery of costs incurred as a result of MISO Day 2 energy market).
  • Excelsior Energy Inc. v. Minnesota Public Utilities Comm’n et al, 782 N.W.2d 282 (Minn. Ct. App. 2010) (litigation pertaining to statutory preference for innovative energy project and the costs associated with coal gasification technology).
  • In re Great River Energy, Court File A09-1646, 2010 WL 2266138 (Minn. Ct. App. 2010) (successful defense of route permit order pertaining to 345 kV transmission line from Brookings, South Dakota to the Twin Cities).
  • Otter Tail Power Co. v. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwa, 2011 WL 2490820 (D. Minn. June 22, 2011) (litigation pertaining to the rights and obligations of installing infrastructure across the historic boundaries of an Indian Reservation).

Power Purchase Agreements

  • Negotiated long-term bilateral power purchase agreements for both utilities and developers.
  • Assisted in the development of form purchase agreements for multiple clients.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreements for over 5,000 MW of wind energy generation.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreements for over 2,000 MW of natural gas energy generation.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreements for over 1,500 MW of hydro-electric energy generation.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreements for over 1,000 MW of coal-fired generation in multiple states.
  • Negotiated power purchase agreements for about 200 MW of biomass electric generation.
  • Assisted in the development of master tariff form agreements.

Interconnection and Service Agreements

  • Represented utilities and developers in numerous federal jurisdictional interconnection agreements and related disputes.
  • Represented Midwestern utilities for numerous state jurisdictional distribution interconnection agreements.
  • Represented Midwestern utilities for numerous electric service agreements with customers including customers with large behind-the-meter generation and specific metering requirements.
  • Negotiated over 50 generator interconnection agreements, facilities construction agreements and related documents for multiple entities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, New  Mexico pursuant to open access transmission tariffs.