Energy

Electricity and Renewable Power

Dorsey & Whitney has significant experience and is well versed in both traditional and evolving electric matters on both a State and Federal level. For example, our energy attorneys are experienced with such matters as the sale and purchase of generation and transmission assets, cost-of-service and market-based rate proceedings, transmission and interconnection issues, and drafting and negotiating power purchase agreements. Our energy attorneys regularly provide structuring advice relating to Qualifying Facility and Exempt Wholesale Generator status under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and the Federal Power Act.

With respect to new and evolving electricity related matters, our attorneys are active in assisting and advising clients on electric industry restructuring and the development of energy markets. Our attorneys have been in the forefront in the development of new policies associated with retail access, generation interconnections and the divestiture of transmission assets. Our attorneys have also been closely involved with renewable energy projects associated with hydro, solar, waste product, and biogas.

In conjunction with other practice groups within the firm, Dorsey & Whitney energy attorneys have handled all aspects of power plant development for a wide range of (fired by wood waste, waste coal, diesel oil, natural gas and even animal manure) and have extensive hands-on experience drafting and negotiating related construction contracts (turnkey, EPC and separate services), fuel supply and transportation (gas, oil, and coal) agreements, power purchase agreements (both inside the fence as general energy services contracts for cogeneration plants, and to investor owned utilities or non-U.S. governmental agencies), site lease or purchase documentation, and (from traditional bank lenders, institutional lenders, public financing, and those involving ECAs and LMAs), and insurance (including political risk insurance from traditional sources as well as private insurance covering a wide variety of risks for equity investors).

Representative Power Plant and Energy Project Work
  • Represented sponsors, lenders, and investors in leveraged lease or purchases of power projects;
  • Represented bidders in the acquisition of U.S. and foreign generation assets;
  • Performed the full range of due diligence, including assessing structural and economic feasibility and risk analysis;
  • Represented the lender syndicate (banks and institutional investors) in the financing of the award winning Sweeny Gas-Fired Cogeneration Merchant Power Plant, and lender syndicates in the financing of gas-fired cogeneration plants in New York, New Jersey, Florida and California, a coal-waste fired plant in Pennsylvania and a wood waste fired plant in North Carolina;
  • Represented the sponsors of the Las Flores I (150 MW) and Las Flores II (100 MW) Power Projects in Colombia;
  • Represented the sponsor in development, construction and financing of four major refineries in Mexico (with an aggregate financing amount exceeding $2 billion);
  • Represented the non-Brazilian sponsors in the development, construction and financing of the $2.2 billion Bolivia-to-Brazil natural gas pipeline;
  • Represented lenders financing numerous natural gas pipelines in the Eastern and Western United States;
  • Represented the lender in the production payment financing of the largest oil field in Texas; Represented the developer/owner of two power plants in Brazil;
  • Represented the principal sponsor in developing the first independent power plant in El Salvador;
  • Represented the sponsor in development of a coal fired power plant in Utah; Represented the project company in initial development of a coal-fired co-generation power plant in New Jersey;
  • Represented the sponsors in restructuring the indebtedness of its power plant in Colombia;
  • Represented the non-regulated subsidiary of a major U.S. utility in its acquisition and financing of coal and gas-fired generating assets and in the acquisition of four operating gas-fired generating facilities, two gas-fired generating projects in advanced development and additional development sites in the Southeastern U.S.;
  • Represented the non-regulated subsidiary of U.S. utility in bidding and acquiring divested utility generation assets in the Northeastern U.S.;
  • Acted as coordinating project counsel for all aspects of a 550 MW gas-fired generating project in southern Minnesota;
  • Represented fuel supplier and potential power purchaser in connection with the development of a proposed, mine-mouth, coal-fired electric generating facility in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming;
  • Served as lead counsel in financing and permitting of major heavy oil extraction project using tertiary recovery technology;
  • Acted as general counsel to power agency in connection with its bond financings, operation of its 1600 MW coal fired generating station in central Utah and the transmission and sale of power to various California municipalities; 
  • Represented rural electric cooperative in connection with the valuation and financial restructuring of its 400 MW coal fired generating station in eastern Utah.

Representative Electricity and Renewable Power Work
  • Represented large consumers before the California Public Utilities Commission challenging the States’ imposition of surcharges resulting from the purchase of high cost power during 2001 electric crisis;
  • Represented a power marketing company at FERC in connection with actions taken by the New York ISO and ISO New England;
  • Successfully represented the developer of a natural gas fired merchant power plant constructed in central Ohio;
  • Successfully represented large consumers, including a chain of national convenience stores and fast food restaurants, in California and Texas in purchasing electric power from non-utility companies;
  • Successfully represented three national hotel chains in purchasing electricity in several states for multiple sites including providing advice on demand-side management;
  • Successfully represented an IPP in a unique acquisition and financing venture involving a significant portion of their generating assets which required FERC authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act;
  • Successfully represented a national power marketer in breach of contract actions brought against other wholesale purchasers and sellers of electricity associated with the Midwest Price Spike for electricity in 1998;
  • Successfully represented an IPP in FERC proceedings concerning the recertification of electric power projects as Qualifying Facilities and the recertification of electric power projects as Exempt Wholesale Generators;
  • Represented a large power producer in connection with proposed electric generating facilities on Indian lands and in a matter concerning the transportation of natural gas by pipeline for a proposed electric generating plant in Mexico;
  • Represented a rural electric cooperative in connection with the construction and ownership of power plants in Arizona and Colorado;
  • Advised clients in connection with the 2000-2001 energy crisis in the Western states with respect to electricity pricing and transmission issues;
  • Successfully represented IPPs in various Federal Power Act proceedings at the FERC;
  • Provided structuring advice relating to QF and EWG status under PURPA, PUHCA, the FPA and other relevant laws for various power producing concerns;
  • Handled various matters relating to electricity transmission and interconnection issues;
  • Advised clients on the general restructuring that is taking place with respect to electricity generation and transmission pursuant to the FERC’s Standard Market Design initiative;
  • Advised renewable energy concern on interlocking directorate issues under the FPA;
  • Successfully represented the non-regulated subsidiary of a major U.S. utility in its acquisition and financing of coal and gas-fired generating assets and in the acquisition of four operating gas-fired generating facilities, two gas-fired generating projects in advanced development and additional development sites in the Southeastern U.S.;
  • Represented the non-regulated subsidiary of a U.S. utility in bidding and acquiring divested generation assets in the Northeastern U.S;
  • Advised a major semi-conductor manufacturer on various aspects of the FERC’s regulation of wholesale sales and purchases of electric energy;
  • Acted as special energy regulatory counsel to IPP in connection with financing the acquisition of several power plants;
  • Successfully represented renewable energy company in its acquisition of solar power venture and in various solar power projects in the West; 
  • Represented renewable power provider utilizing waste-coal and biomass anaerobic digestion technologies on various energy regulatory issues involving PURPA, PUHCA, and the FPA.