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 country to address reliability, planning and regulatory oversight issues associated with the shift from central power planning to local distributed systems and renewable energy.

Sullivan has been at the forefront of advising its clients on these regulatory changes affecting the landscape of the electric utility industry. We understand 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.

Our 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

  • Filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan on behalf of Adobe Systems Inc., Mars Incorporated, IKEA North America Services LLC and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
  • Represented the Conservation Law Foundation in support of the Cape Wind offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, including in federal court litigation, administrative and regulatory matters
  • Represented a former lender in litigation commenced by the unsecured creditors' committee seeking to avoid and recover certain transfers made and liens granted under SunEdison's $750 million secured credit facility
  • Represented a 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) 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
  • Represented a major trade association in litigation challenging rulemakings under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard
  • Advised developers and investors in connection with power purchase agreements and other energy-related offtake arrangements, feedstock and fuel agreements, engineering, procurement and construction, interconnection, transmission, operation and maintenance and other project agreements
  • In connection with various debt and equity financings, advised lenders, underwriters and issuers in connection with air emission and other environmental compliance issues affecting electric utilities and power companies

Key Contacts

Related Practices

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