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Overview

Our attorneys have comprehensive knowledge of wholesale electricity markets and have served as national coordinating counsel for large-scale utility integrations and complex, multi-jurisdictional regulatory matters. We have extensive experience representing clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in rule makings, tariff and rate schedule filings, complaint proceedings and enforcement actions. Our attorneys regularly assist clients in the development and implementation of strategies around wholesale electricity market design, new market entry, large-scale integrations, and complex, multi-jurisdictional matters involving both federal and state regulation. This experience also includes representation of clients in appeals of agency actions before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Our clients have included a broad range of Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), investor-owned utilities, transmission only companies, merchant generators and renewable energy developers.

Markets, Rates and Tariff Design. Our attorneys have deep knowledge and expertise in wholesale electricity markets and the RTOs that administer these markets. We counsel RTOs and RTO members in energy and capacity market design, financial transmission rights, competitive transmission development, cost allocation and membership matters. Our practice before FERC includes initial tariff filings and revisions, complaint and settlement proceedings and paper hearings.

Policy and Rulemaking Proceedings. We have extensive experience in representing and advocating for clients in rulemaking proceedings and policy initiatives. These engagements include drafting and submitting comments on Notices of Inquiry (NOIs) and Notice of Proposed Rulemakings (NOPRs), rehearing requests regarding final rules, providing advice on whether and how to seek judicial review of final rules and assistance in taking the steps necessary to comply with new FERC policies.

Energy Evolution and Renewables. The energy industry is experiencing a significant shift from traditional fossil fuel generation to a greater reliance on renewable resources and a concerted effort to incorporate distributed generation. Our attorneys recognize the impact that this shift has on the energy landscape and assist clients in evaluating market entry, transactions and participation options when faced with the intersection of evolving FERC rules and policies with state retail ratemaking. 

Complex and Multi-Jurisdictional Proceedings. With the expansion of energy (and policy) beyond state and federal regulatory silos many industry participants face multiple layers of local, state and federal regulation. Clients rely on our broad experience as national coordinating counsel in complex, multi-jurisdictional matters to set legal and regulatory strategy and manage related proceedings across multiple state and federal jurisdictions. 

Compliance and Enforcement. Industry participants face heightened scrutiny with respect to their actions and compliance with the Federal Power Act and FERC’s rules and regulations. We assist clients in every step of the process from drafting and implementing compliance plans to advising clients during formal and informal FERC investigations and audits to ultimately drafting mitigation plans and negotiating settlements with enforcement authorities, when necessary. 

Noteworthy

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2022 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Energy Law (Regional Tier 2 Cleveland).

Professionals

Experience

Experience

Calfee has represented and worked with a variety of wholesale markets and market participants (e.g., vertically integrated utilities, asset owners/generators, lenders, trading organizations and renewable asset developers) in a diverse range of matters, including:

Large-Scale Strategy and Implementation

  • Led the development and implementation of legal and regulatory strategy for integration of utilities across multiple state jurisdictions for an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating a multi-state/province power grid. These efforts included the integration of additional regional utilities into the organization. Managing these integration processes as national coordinating counsel required an understanding of the interplay between state and federal jurisdiction, administrative rules, technical implementation details and politics to obtain necessary regulatory approvals.
  • Developed multi-state rate case strategy by aligning positions historically taken by different state utilities under parent holding company.

Regulatory Tariff, Market Rules and Rate Design

  • General representation of an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating a multi-state/province power grid before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in tariff and rate schedule filings under the Federal Power Act, including testimony development, tariff design and related defense in response to comments, protests and requests for rehearing. This engagement also involves representation of the organization in complaint proceedings before FERC and appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
  • Served as lead in-house counsel in the development and filing of initial wholesale electricity market rules and supporting testimony for an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating a multi-state/province power grid. Also served on the team that negotiated the successful resolution of the treatment of over 400 pre-existing contracts (i.e., grandfathered agreements) involving power sales, purchases and transmission rights that threatened successful market implementation. The negotiations involved the assignment of delivery obligations, market costs, transmission rights and resource offer obligations related to capacity requirements.
  • Assisted a team of experts in providing a review of proposed wholesale electricity market rules for Ghana’s largest power producer. Assessed the validity of proposed rules with respect to Ghana’s energy legislation and existing power sales contracts. The result of this project was a report providing guidance and recommendations regarding electricity market design and corporate strategy.

PPA Negotiation and On-site Solar Systems

  • Negotiated power purchase agreements and retail service agreements for industrial production facilities throughout the Midwest and Northeast. These efforts have included the negotiation of contracts for the installation of on-site solar power production, including related lease agreements and power purchase agreements for the off-take of the power produced by on-site solar systems.
  • Representing utility customers in the drafting and negotiation of power purchase agreements, including solar power purchase agreements. This representation has included negotiations regarding distribution improvements needed for major projects, integrating distributed generation resources, and assisting energy brokers in negotiating with the CRES provider.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advised an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating a multi-state/province power grid with respect to FERC compliance matters and led the organization’s project to implement a regulatory compliance program focused on ensuring compliance with the organization’s Open Access Transmission and Energy Markets Tariff and other FERC filed rate schedules. The program implemented during this engagement defined the requirements placed on the organization by its filed rate schedules, identified owners for each requirement and performed gap analysis related to the requirements.
  • Led the successful negation of FERC audit penalty, achieving a 70 percent reduction in amount sought by Office of Enforcement.

Renewable Resource Integration

  • Provided subject matter expertise in the delivery of a market entrance and integration analysis for the North American start-up of a multinational energy conglomerate. The market entrance and integration analysis included a review of all North American ISO/RTO energy market rules related to the treatment of wind resources in relation to potential bidding and contracting strategies.
  • Assisted an American electric power and natural gas holding company in fulfilling the registration requirements for a Qualified Scheduling Entity (QSE) in the ERCOT zonal and nodal markets. Delivered scenario-based training related to proposed markets rules and the operation of wind resources in the ERCOT nodal market, bidding and contracting strategies and the impacts of the production tax credit and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

Corporate and Regulatory Strategy

  • Led a team of electric utility company executives and senior staff in the development of possible scenarios for the future development of wholesale electricity markets in the Southwest Power Pool. This project included the delivery of in-depth education on FERC regulation, evaluation of proposed market rules and the development of legal and regulatory strategy recommendations associated with possible development scenarios.

Complex and Multi-Jurisdictional Proceedings

  • National counsel responsible for oversight of inquiries and investigations in seven states and FERC and NERC involving winter storm Uri. This engagement included the management of discovery and responses in all jurisdictions, as well as, oversight of witnesses and written testimony in proceedings before state utility commissions, legislatures and governor’s task forces.
  • Led the development and implementation of legal and regulatory strategy for the integration of utilities across multiple state jurisdictions into a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). Managing these integration processes as national coordinating counsel required an understanding of the interplay between state and federal jurisdiction, administrative rules and technical implementation details to obtain Certificates of Convenience and Necessity and other regulatory approvals.

Services

Services

Calfee is well-seasoned in representing our energy clients in matters relating to:

  • Energy Policy
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate and Regulatory Strategy
  • Contract and PPA Negotiations
  • Wholesale Electricity Market Design
  • Transmission Tariff Design
  • Market Implementation
  • Federal and State Ratemaking

Calfee also provides a broad range of legal services to the energy industry that include regulatory, government relations, construction, transactional, environmental, intellectual property, real estate finance and litigation counseling and representation.

News & Events

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"The team at Calfee, Halter & Griswold has the depth to support various engagements and understands the complex regulatory and compliance environment in the energy field."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings report

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