Energy and Utilities
Taft provides full-service legal representation to a broad range of energy providers, public utilities, transmission-only utilities, independent power producers, developers, regional entities, and other energy-sector participants. We represent clients across the electric, natural gas, and telecommunications industries.
We are leaders in our fields and we harness our experience to provide clients with unparalleled practical legal advice in the energy and utilities arena. Our team has extensive scientific and technical knowledge about how electric utility plants, electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems, and telecommunications systems operate. Our attorneys have experience with a broad range of electric generation, transmission, and distribution projects and disputes, including acquisitions, power purchases, and construction related to both dispatchable and renewable energy and capacity.
We help our clients navigate a host of challenges in complying with ever-changing regulatory requirements; obtaining regulatory approval for rate increases, riders, major infrastructure projects, and resource plans; undertaking complex transactions and financings; and pursuing and defending litigation. Our attorneys also regularly assist energy and utility clients across numerous interdisciplinary areas of law, including administrative law and contested cases, financing, securities taxation, labor and employment, environmental law, bond financing, and corporate governance. Clients rely on our tested knowledge, perspective, and experience.
Energy Regulatory and Administrative Proceedings
Our Energy and Utility attorneys have extensive experience navigating regulatory and administrative proceedings across multiple jurisdictions and before various regulatory bodies, including:
- Representing natural gas and electric utilities in general rate case proceedings from initial preparation through appeals, including strategy development, testimony preparation, expert retention, discovery, evidentiary hearings, briefings, representation, and appeals.
- Representing natural gas and electric utilities in various disputed rider and current cost recovery proceedings, including gas and electric infrastructure and expansion riders, renewable resource riders, fuel cost recovery adjustments, transmission and distribution riders, cost deferral, and recovery trackers, and affordability programs (among others).
- Representing natural gas utilities, electric utilities, and transmission companies in state regulatory permitting proceedings, including to obtain certificates of need or public convenience and necessity, route permits, advanced determinations of prudence, and other regulatory approvals for electric generation and transmission infrastructure, natural gas pipelines, and large-scale renewable energy projects.
- Supporting utilities in the development of various resource planning submissions.
- Assisting utilities in developing and supporting grid modernization proposals.
- Representing public utilities in obtaining approval for numerous property acquisitions and mergers.
- Representing public utilities in requests for approval of affiliated interest agreements, including for the purchase of capacity and energy from a natural gas plant, sale of a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement, centralized services agreements, tax allocation agreements, and others.
- Representing utilities and developers in numerous federal jurisdictional interconnection agreements and state jurisdictional distribution interconnection agreements before state commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- Assisting public utilities in proceedings investigating the prudence and reasonableness of project costs, including the investigation and prudence review of costs incurred in connection with upgrades at a nuclear power plant, among others.
- Counseling utility clients on various ongoing regulatory compliance matters and assisting utilities in addressing customer complaints.
- Guiding retail electric and natural gas suppliers through certification and compliance processes.
- Representing utilities in numerous environmental matters nationwide, including regulatory compliance, permitting, and remediation.
Energy Litigation and Appeals
We also have significant experience litigating critical matters in state and federal courts, including:
- Representing electric and natural gas utilities in appeals of rate case orders.
- Representing electric utilities in appeals related to Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity.
- Representing electric utilities in appeals of route permit orders.
- Representing electric utilities in appeals of resource planning decisions.
- Representing electric and natural gas utilities in regional transmission organization cost and infrastructure disputes.
- Representing electric utilities in vendor performance disputes.
- Representing electric utilities in litigation involving property damage and business interruption claims.
- Representing utility clients in New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration litigation in several states.
- Representing utilities in litigation pertaining to the application of utility tariffs, exculpatory clauses, and the regulatory jurisdiction.
- Representing natural gas and electric utilities in litigation involving open access of natural gas and electric transmission facilities.
Our attorneys provide business-oriented, practical solutions that integrate our clients’ goals with the complex landscape of energy and utility law, including:
- Assisting clients in negotiation, diligence, financing, and transactional arrangements for the acquisition, development, and sale of various energy projects including generation, transmission, utility operations and facilities, and service companies.
- Representing utility clients in the retirement, decommissioning, environmental closure, and sale and redevelopment of power plants.
- Negotiating power purchase agreements on behalf of utilities and developers for wind energy generation, solar energy generation, natural gas generation, hydroelectric generation, biomass generation, and coal-fired generation in multiple states.
- Negotiating major supply agreements, purchase and sale agreements, consulting services agreements, professional services agreements, software agreements, and maintenance agreements on behalf of utilities.
- Handling negotiation of vendor contracts for major equipment at electric generation facilities, and numerous engineering, procurement, and construction agreements on behalf of utilities.
- Participating in complex PURPA related transactions to transition interconnection and rate treatment from state to federal jurisdiction.
- Representing utilities and developers in numerous electric service agreements with customers, including customers with large behind-the-meter generation and specific metering requirements.
- Negotiating generator interconnection agreements, facilities construction agreements, and related documents for multiple entities nationwide pursuant to open access transmission tariffs.
- Advising and assisting on pole attachments and right-of-way matters, including the development, negotiation, and administration of Pole License Agreement, National Electrical Safety Code compliance, and administration of right-of-way ordinances.