Energy

Pierce Atwood's energy law attorneys understand the importance of energy to successful businesses and strive to help our clients, from utilities to end use customers, reach their energy goals. Whether their goal is navigating and complying with federal and state regulations, managing the cost of energy supplies, hedging energy market risks, developing and permitting clean energy resources, or expanding transmission and pipeline infrastructure to meet regional reliability needs, our energy lawyers are there every step of the way.

Our energy law attorneys represent private and public entities in the energy sector from Maine to California and from Bulgaria to Saudi Arabia. In the U.S., our clients include:

  • Regulated electric utilities
  • Gas utilities
  • Pipelines
  • State governments and regulators
  • Producers, buyers and sellers of electricity and natural gas
  • Hydropower facilities
  • Independent power developers
  • Energy marketers

Pierce Atwood energy lawyers are well-positioned to help energy storage clients reach their business development goals. We have extensive experience working with energy storage companies, inside knowledge of FERC and public service commissions, and strong connections with the management and staff of the nation’s grids. We know the challenges facing the energy storage marketplace, how various technologies can help to alleviate those challenges, and have extensive experience working with ISOs/RTOs and utilities to mitigate reliability and  any other potential infrastructure problems.

We work with clients in virtually all aspects of utility regulation, energy project development, energy procurement, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and smart grid implementation.

We also offer in-person and webinar-based FERC and ISO risk and compliance solutions for power marketers.



Salem Harbor
Redevelopment of a
65-acre site


On behalf of our client Iberdrola Energy Projects, Inc., we successfully negotiated a project labor agreement (PLA) with more than 24 trade unions for the construction of a $750 million combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) electric generating power plant in Salem, Massachusetts.

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Electricity Rate Case Success

In this complex, highly publicized regulatory proceeding, our team achieved a settlement for Central Maine Power Company that will translate into more reliable service and fairer and more stable rates for CMP’s customers.

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Calpine Acquires Fore River Generating Station for $530 Million

Firm client Calpine Corporation has acquired the North Weymouth, Mass. Fore River Generating Station from Exelon Corporation for $530 million. This acquisition further extends Calpine’s New England presence.

NTE Energy Secures Equity Financing

Firm client NTE Energy, a power developer and energy services provider, has secured equity financing for three natural gas-fired power plants currently under development.

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Areas of Expertise

Electricity

Central Maine Power Company

Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company

NextEra

PG&E Corporation

California Department of Water Resources/Energy Resources Scheduling Division

NTE Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Co.

Harvest Power, Inc.

Pierce Atwood attorneys have comprehensive expertise in all aspects of electricity regulation at both the state and federal levels.  We have represented transmission and distribution utilities, generators, large electricity consumers, and state agencies in state proceedings and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on matters such as rates (traditional cost of service and alternative performance-based), merger approvals, stranded costs, regulatory compliance, transmission siting, environmental and safety requirements, RTO participation, rulemakings, and complaint proceedings.
Energy Litigation

Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company

Central Maine Power Company

California Department of Water Resources/CERS

Bringing together its general expertise in complex litigation and appellate practice and its specific expertise in state and federal energy law and regulation, Pierce Atwood for many years has been a "go to" firm for litigating energy-related matters in federal and state courts and before regulatory agencies. In particular, because of its long and successful history representing public utilities and other energy-related entities, Pierce Atwood attorneys in recent years have been lead litigation counsel in a series of multi-million dollar energy related lawsuits, involving:

  • Power purchase agreement disputes and rate challenges
  • Ownership and contract disputes
  • Transmission siting
  • Bankruptcy contract rejections and filed-rate doctrine disputes
  • Nuclear decommissioning and spent fuel storage issues
  • State and local tax matters

This experience has culminated in the firm successfully representing the State of California in three multi-billion dollar proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as three nuclear power plants seeking recovery of over $200 million from the DOE in the Federal Court of Claims.

Energy Storage

Pierce Atwood attorneys have extensive experience working with companies that seek to incorporate alternative technologies onto the grid or distribution systems, including synchronous condensers, compressed air, batteries, flywheels, tidal wave, etc. All of these companies seek our services to gain an understanding of the regulatory environment, to help use existing rules and regulations to establish a market for their technology, and to develop successful, innovative legal and strategic initiatives to ensure that their technologies are chosen to include on the grid.

We have successfully negotiated with utilities and grids to initiate pilot programs to test new technologies that are incorporated onto the grid or a distribution system. We have also worked with these entities to collect the data needed to demonstrate success - both for the development of future projects and to encourage investors to help finance those projects.

We have also been successful working with ISOs/RTOs and FERC to help develop innovative tariffs to allow new technologies to operate on the grid and to be paid for the benefits they provide and have led efforts on behalf of our clients that have resulted in FERC Orders Nos. 755 (pay for performance for frequency regulation), 784 (Third-Party Provision of Ancillary Services; Accounting and Financial Reporting for New Electric Storage Technologies ) and 792 (interconnection of small generation interconnection agreements).

Energy Storage: Representative Matters
International

We advise governments, energy regulators, state-owned utilities, private investors, and multilateral lending institutions throughout the world on energy and energy-related matters, including drafting of power purchase agreements and transmission agreements; memoranda of understanding regarding infrastructure investments; cross-border trading of electricity; establishing sustainable legal and regulatory frameworks; power market design and organization; tariff and pricing methodology; competition; compliance with international best practices, including the European Union’s Third Energy Package, and privatization.

 

Learn more about our recent international energy projects.

Natural Gas

Unitil

Enbridge, Inc.

Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia

Macquarie Energy

Maine Natural Gas Corp.

Downeast LNG

Whiting Oil & Gas

If the watchword of the 1990s was natural gas "from Austin to Boston," the catchphrase for the next millennium must be "Canonsburg, Pennsylvania to the world." Pierce Atwood's natural gas practice helps natural gas traders, marketers, producers, pipelines, local distribution companies (LDCs), end-users and LNG developers take full advantage of the vast promise of the Marcellus shale. We provide comprehensive and practical advice to help our clients manage regulatory and public policy risk as well as develop effective strategies for success in the competitive aspects of the gas industry.

Federal Issues (FERC, DOE, and CFTC)

  • Rates and tariffs
  • Transportation and capacity release requirements
  • Enforcement investigations, self-reports, no-action letters, Hot-Line complaints
  • Compliance training and manuals
  • Certificates and abandonment
  • Reporting requirements
  • Hinshaw and intrastate pipelines
  • Gathering and processing
  • Import and export authorizations
  • Clearing and exchange-trading regulations and exemptions

 

State Issues

  • Rates and tariffs
  • Facilities siting, safety and environmental impact
  • Cast iron pipeline replacement
  • New distribution projects
  • Jurisdictional determinations
  • Fuel supply
  • Government relations

 

Transactional Matters

  • Purchase and sale agreements – NAESB and ISDA
  • Hedging plans and agreements
  • Transportation and storage agreements
  • Interconnection agreements
Renewable Energy

Ocean Renewable Power Company

Aroostook Wind Energy Project

Southwest Windpower

Fox Islands Wind, LLC

Primary Power International

Boralex Industries, Inc.

Our interdisciplinary Renewable Energy Team brings together expertise in all aspects of renewable energy project development to assist developers, power producers, and investors throughout the United States and internationally. Whether the renewable source is wind, solar, hydro, tidal, biomass, or biogas, our lawyers have experience in the core areas that make or break a renewable energy project:

Impacting Policies & Regulations

  • We partner with our clients to shape policies and regulations that support the advancement of renewable energy. For example, we represent a large national trade association, which is active on policy formation surrounding alternative fuels and biofuels laws and regulations. We also represent the National Energy Storage Association as well as a number of storage companies on a variety of federal and state issues that affect their businesses.

Environmental Permitting & Licensing

  • Successful completion of a project often requires understanding the environmental laws and regulations and the political influences that affect how a project proceeds through the permitting and siting process. In some cases, we work with clients to amend the applicable law or local ordinances so their projects may proceed. We also assist clients with obtaining local, state, and federal permits, permitting compliance, license renewals and modifications, and the acquisition, creation, and sale of greenhouse gas allowances/carbon credits. When a project's useful life comes to an end, we also assist with license surrender and decommissioning.

    For example, we have experience helping owners of hydropower projects address fish passage and endangered species issues, achieve desired results in complex stakeholder negotiations as part of FERC licensing, and obtain state water quality certifications. We have also assisted in permitting all aspects of biomass electrical generation, biomass-fired co-generation at industrial facilities, and landfill gas-to-energy facilities. Learn More>

Regulatory Compliance

  • Our attorneys are experienced practicing before federal agencies including:
    • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
    • Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, MISO, CAISO, ERCOT)
    • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • United State Patent & Trademark Office

We also have extensive experience in numerous states and regulatory agencies on issues affecting the facility.

Innovative Project Finance

  • Our team coordinates with developers, investors, and lenders to design financing strategies that maximize tax incentives and renewable energy credits. We also advise on a wide array of corporate and commercial structures, and we work with our clients to identify and analyze project risks up-front, prepare and review letters of intent, term sheets, and other documentation, and ensure compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements. Additionally, we have helped clients obtain key U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loans, state grants, and incentives for renewable energy projects.

Negotiating Agreements

  • From small-scale wind development projects to large biogas development projects around the globe, we help our clients to negotiate power purchase and interconnection agreements.

Learn more about our work in the Energy, Utilities, and Renewables Industry.