INDUSTRIES & PRACTICES

powering service obligations

Electric Power
TRUSTED COUNSEL TO THE ELECTRIC UTILITY INDUSTRY.

Overview

Dorsey has a long history of working with:

  • Electric utilities
  • Independent power producers
  • Power marketers
  • Financial institutions
  • Investors

Our interdisciplinary teams collaborate efficiently, seamlessly and creatively. We become an extension of your team. We believe understanding our clients’ business needs provides the power you need to stay ahead.

Focus Areas:

Federal Regulatory + -
M&A, Capital Markets, and Project Development & Finance + -
Bankruptcy and Restructuring + -
Federal Enforcement and Compliance + -
Litigation + -
State Regulatory (Upper Midwest) + -

Experience


FERC

Representative FERC Power Matters:

  • Represented electric utility in federal regulatory matters related to its development of a 220-mile, cross-border transmission project running from Canada into the United States.
  • Represent and regularly advise electric utility and power marketing clients on matters relating to FERC enforcement, market manipulation, collusion, and compliance (including client training seminars).
  • Represent and regularly advise generation developers, power marketers, financial institutions, and utility customers on strategic-level generator planning, interconnection, energy storage, and participation in all energy markets and regional transmission organizations around the United States (New England, MidAtlantic, Southeast, MidContinent, Southwest, West, and Northwest).
  • Represent and regularly advise generation developers, power marketers, financial institutions, and utility customers concerning financing, acquisitions, and sales of generation and energy storage assets.
  • Represent and regularly advise electric utility clients on federal and state holding company and affiliated interest matters related to unregulated power marketing affiliates.
  • Represent and regularly advise multiple utility clients in federal and state PURPA enforcement cases, federal and state “avoided cost” proceedings, PURPA contract negotiation, and “legally enforceable obligation” proceedings.
  • Represent multiple electric utility clients in both “stated” rate and formula rate transmission and full requirements contract rate cases (including requests for Order No. 679 rate “incentives”).

Hydroelectric

Representative Hydroelectric Power Matters:    

  • Represented municipal government in contested hydroelectric license application proceeding.    
  • Performed due diligence review on potential acquisition of hydroelectric facilities and advised on related regulatory issues.    
  • Successfully represented hydroelectric licensee in Second Circuit appeal of FERC order granting hydroelectric license.    
  • Successfully represented major utility in D.C. Circuit appeal of FERC order granting surrender of hydroelectric license.    
  • Represented irrigation district with respect to proposed study plans in support of its intent to re-license hydroelectric project.

M&A, Capital Markets, and Project Development & Finance

Mergers & Acquisitions    

  • Represented investor owned utility in the negotiation of build-transfer purchase agreements for the acquisition of 150 MW wind farm in North Dakota and 200 MW wind farm in Minnesota.    
  • Represented an investor owned utility in connection with the exercise of ROFO rights and the negotiation of a purchase agreement for an 80 MW wind farm located in South Dakota.    
  • Represented municipal power agency in the purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Minnesota.     
  • Represented investor-owned utility in the sale of transmission assets in Texas.    
  • Represented electric generation and transmission cooperative in the purchase of 100% of the equity interests in a cogeneration partnership.

Capital Markets  

  • Represented regional investor-owned utility on multiple public and private debt and equity offerings.
  • Represented utility on formation of public utility holding company structure.
  • Represented a generation and transmission cooperative in a $1.59 billion debt refinancing and increased its credit facility through a series of complex. transactions. The refinancing, among the largest ever pursued by a wholesale generation and transmission cooperative, included a $500 million Rule 144A bond offering.    
  • Represented leading energy company on multiple public preferred stock offerings.    
  • Counsel to municipal power agency in connection with its bond issues.

Project Development & Finance    

  • Represented investor owned utility in the joint development of a coal plant located in South Dakota.    
  • Represented investor owned utility in the joint development of a transmission project in Minnesota.    
  • Represented municipal power agency in the development of two gas-fired facilities in Minnesota.     
  • Represented municipal power agency in connection with the negotiation of multiple power purchase agreements, including for wind power, solar power and landfill gas generated power.    
  • Represented independent power producer in development of gas-fired combined cycle facility in Minnesota.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring

  • Represented troubled utilities in financial restructuring, including handling the sale of generation and transmission assets and customer contracts out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Represented electric cooperative in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Represented financial institution in connection with foreclosures against several wind turbines in California.
  • Represented the receiver in a Minnesota Receivership Act proceeding involving the sale of a biomass power plant in Minnesota to its lenders.
  • Represented leading provider for onshore receiving and processing facilities in the prosecution of its $240 Million mechanic’s lien claim in Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, which claim arose out of the construction of a 700 megawatt supercritical coal-fired power plant.

Litigation
Commercial Litigation    

  • Defended energy technology company against antitrust and RICO claims allegedly arising from instability in California energy market; obtained dismissal of all claims, affirmed on appeal.    
  • Defended major regional energy company against class claims brought on behalf of all commercial businesses in Minnesota that conducted business with the company alleging fraud in connection with an electric light replacement and rebate program; obtained denial of class certification prior to trial and dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.    
  • Defended energy company in consolidated nationwide class action involving claims of violation of federal securities laws; case settled favorably.    
  • Defended national energy, information and technology corporation in securities class action, alleging false statements in connection with forward energy trades; obtained dismissal of all claims.    
  • Represented municipal power agency in connection with a breach of power sales contract claim in Minnesota district court.    
  • Represented county in Wyoming on litigation concerning state taxing authority over out-of-state electric utility assets.    
  • Represented client in a litigation matter concerning coatings applied to electric power plant.

Construction Litigation    

  • Represented construction and engineering company in arbitration and related litigation arising out of the construction of a $1.9B coal-fired power plant in West Virginia.    
  • Represented EPC contractor in arbitration against project owner and engineer regarding an approximately 700-megawatt (net) supercritical coal-fired electric generation plant.    
  • Represented energy utility in construction claims arising from the demolition of a coal-fired power plant, including claims for breach of contract, change of scope, cardinal change, and alleged failure to properly survey asbestos containing material in the plant for abatement and disposal.    
  • Represented the energy plant owners in a substantial case involving a power plant rewind, which was settled after mediation.     
  • Successfully represented an equipment supplier in a multi-million dollar arbitration involving construction of two power plants in northern California.

Environmental (State and Federal)    

  • Lead trial counsel for defendant in action under federal and state law for alleged PAH (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon) contamination of industrial site; jury verdict and judgment for defendant following two-week trial.

State Regulatory (Upper Midwest)

Legislative and regulatory counsel on the full range of state utility regulatory matters, including:

Certificates of Need    

  • Certificate of Need for gas-fired power plants.    
  • Certificate of Need for transmission system project.    
  • Certificates of Need for power uprate projects.    
  • Certificates of Need for on-site storage of spent fuel.

Rate Cases and Regulatory Recovery    

  • Legislative counsel that enabled the formation of statewide transmission upgrade plan, streamlined regulatory treatment and out of rate case/cost recovery benefits.    
  • Counsel on multiple gas and electric rate cases (Minnesota and Iowa).    
  • Legislative and regulatory counsel on a variety of state rate recovery/prudence review matters.

Accolades

Contacts

John Seymour, III
Industry Group Chair

Industries & Practices

  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • Capital Markets
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Governance & Compliance
  • Environmental
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Project Development & Finance
  • Tax