Hayden S. Baker Partner (212) 660-3040 vCard
Elias B. Hinckley Partner (202) 775-1210 vCard
Merrill L. Kramer Of Counsel (202) 775-1224 vCard
James R. Wrathall Counsel (202) 775-1206 vCard

Energy companies, project developers and private equity firms are investing heavily in renewable energy, combined power & heating (CHP) systems and “behind the fence” distributed energy systems. These activities have spawned a myriad of regulatory initiatives throughout the U.S. to address reliability, planning, and regulatory oversight issues associated with the shift from central power planning to local distributed systems and renewable energy.

Sullivan & Worcester's energy lawyers have been at the forefront of advising its clients on these regulatory changes affecting the landscape of the electric utility industry. S&W understands the regulatory framework on which the energy business is built. The firm’s leading regulatory practitioners can guide clients through state and federal regulatory hurdles associated with project development and project finance.

S&W's regulatory lawyers advise their clients on issues associated with buying and selling energy to and from independent transmission system operators and power exchanges (including with the California ISO, New York Power Pool, New England Power Pool and PJM), obtaining open-access transmission services, negotiating power purchase agreements, obtaining market-based rate authority, establishing affiliated companies to provide electric service, and exempting cogeneration and alternative energy production facilities from federal and state regulation.

Our lawyers represent a variety of energy developers, private equity and banking clients, real estate companies, hospitals, universities, large commercial users and utilities. We have years of experience representing clients before federal agencies, state public utility commissions, and state and federal courts, in proceedings involving the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, the Public Utility Holding Company Acts of 1935 and 2005, the Natural Gas Act, and the Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005, along with various state restructuring initiatives. 

Representative Client Work

  • Representing coalition of on-site renewable energy developers and users in proceedings before the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) in relation to two state-wide energy initiatives: 1) the Reforming the Energy Vision, a program to improve the state's reliance on distributed power generation; and 2) the Clean Energy Standard, which sets a goal of achieving 50% renewable energy generation by 2030
  • Advising on federal and state regulatory frameworks governing purchases and sales of capacity, energy, electric transmission, electricity storage facilities, natural gas transmission and storage, and ancillary services including backup, regulation, spinning reserve and reactive power
  • Negotiating and drafting power purchase, fuel supply, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), interconnection, transmission, operation and maintenance (O&M) and other project agreements
  • Appearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and state regulatory agencies: obtain nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions of service
  • Obtaining FERC exempt wholesale generator (EWG) and qualifying facility (QF) status for project developers; obtaining exemptions, waivers and approvals for electric transmission and power sales arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions
  • Obtaining access to nondiscriminatory transmission and ancillary services through regional transmission organizations (RTO's), independent system operators (ISO's), power pools, municipalities and rural electric cooperatives
  • Assisting on investigations and enforcement matters before the FERC and state enforcement authorities
  • Obtaining power marketer status; assisting in preparing and filing market power studies, triennial updates and quarterly filings; advising on affiliate sales
  • Obtaining consents, waivers, approvals, easements and rights of way for construction of transmission, generation, pipeline, and storage facilities
  • Obtaining regulatory waivers and approvals for distributed generation systems and energy supply companies (ESCO's)
  • Advising on retail transmission access rules
  • Advising energy companies on Standards of Conduct, compliance programs, interlocking directorates, and affiliate transactions
  • Assisting clients in advocating, formulating and implementing energy laws and public policies, including those governing renewable energy development
  • Advising on municipal, rural electric cooperative power transactions and financings
  • Obtaining "regulatory path" approvals in connection with restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings

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