The attorneys in Polsinelli’s Public Utilities practice appear regularly before state public utility commissions throughout the country and understand the unique challenges of investing in and operating energy assets and other regulated industry services, such as telecommunications, under multiple layers of regulation, including at the local, state, regional and federal levels.  Our team includes former leaders of state and federal regulatory agencies and our collective effort is focused on helping clients navigate the complex and dynamic regulatory landscape to achieve their business goals.

Our Public Utilities attorneys are fully equipped to assist regulated and non-regulated utilities with a broad spectrum of legal issues. We routinely advise utilities, independent power producers and industrial power consumer clients regarding state and federal regulatory issues before the many state utility commissions, regional transmission organizations, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Specifically, our experience includes:

  • Applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity from state utility commissions.
  • Structuring and obtaining regulatory approval for mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances in the energy and public utility industries.
  • Electric transmission certification and line siting proceedings.
  • Drafting and obtaining approval of rate and tariff changes.
  • Right-of-way and condemnation proceedings.
  • Service territory issues, including franchise drafting and negotiation.
  • Representation of municipal utilities and joint action agencies for municipal utilities.
  • Representation of rural electric cooperatives, including distribution cooperatives and generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives. 
  • Monitoring and pro-active involvement in the development, implementation, and structuring of regulatory and legislative changes at the state and federal levels for energy industry clients.
  • Negotiation of power purchase agreements, building transfer agreements and advising clients on the regulatory implications of each.
  • Electric transmission interconnection processes at various regional transmission organizations (RTOs).
  • Open Access Transmission Tariff issues at the FERC. 
  • Integrated resource planning for electric public utilities.
  • Representation of industrial and commercial clients regarding electric and natural gas supply options, special rate tariffs, and other rate and supply issues.
  • Representation of companies involving major infrastructure development and projects involving electric transmission, gas pipelines, water systems, and oil and gas gathering systems.
  • Integration of distributed energy resources.
  • Electric vehicle incentives and regulatory implications regarding the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
 
  • Lead regulatory and development counsel for a multi-state/multi-jurisdiction high-voltage, direct current electric transmission line under development, representing more than [$9 billion] in investment
  • Lead regulatory and development counsel to major electric transmission utility expansion.
  • Represent major investor-owned gas utility in significant rate case approval before the state regulatory body 
  • General regulatory counsel to large electric and gas cooperatives involving all facets of rate, tariff and transmission service issues
  • Represent major electric utility transmission entity as lead counsel in its expansion of electric transmission facilities
  • Assist major electric utility in drafting, implementation and approval of comprehensive energy plan encompassing construction of a $2 billion, 850-MW base-load supercritical electric generating facility, environmental upgrades to existing plant, wind resource development, demand side management programs and rate stability programs. During the implementation phase, assisted with multiple rate case(s) and various other regulatory issues
  • Represent a major industrial consumer of power in negotiations with electric utility on new electric service agreements
  • Represented major electric utility in analysis, planning, implementation and regulatory approvals for coal-fired electric generating facility retrofit
  • Assisted electric cooperatives with multiple rate cases and other regulatory issues, including purchase power agreements (PPAs), and construction of gas turbine generation facilities.
  • Assisted major electric cooperative with addressing rights and responsibilities under Notice to Construct (NTC) received by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and assisted with subsequent issues related to designating rights and responsibilities under the NTC to a large electric transmission company
  • Negotiated large generator interconnection agreements with major transmission companies and RTO
  • Assisted electric cooperatives with multiple rate cases and other regulatory issues, including purchase power agreements and construction of natural gas generation facilities.
  • Represented major investor-owned utility with solar development initiatives, including regulatory and legislative issues
  • Counsel to a state Finance and Administration Department for development of a $1.1 billion P3 project involving privatization of its statewide dark fiber network, which earned the “Deal of the Year Award” for 2015 from Bond Buyer and the “Excellence in Development Finance Project Award”, a top award from the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)
  • Represented a major electric cooperative with development and regulatory approvals of state-of-the-art energy efficiency programs
  • Represent a major natural gas marketer in tariff disputes with a gas utility regarding gas cost penalties associated with 2021, Storm Uri costs
  • Represent independent transmission owners in regulatory and expansion certificate issues.  
  • Represent a municipal utility in a service territory dispute regarding a large industrial electric consumer
  • Represent an intrastate gas pipeline entity in its development, access to gas supply, and regulatory approvals for service to non-profit, farmer-owned gas utilities  
  • Represented many large industrial manufacturing facilities in electric supply agreements with investor-owned utility
  • Represent major industrial consumers of power in negotiations and contracts with energy suppliers on special rate contracts and energy-efficient services  
  • Represent various Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) entities throughout Missouri for both commercial and residential projects
  • Represented large electric cooperative in sale and transfer of electric transmission facilities.  
  • Represented largest U.S. retailer on electric supply agreements in multiple states 
  • Represented transmission-owning public utility regarding the sale of the public utility to a foreign holding company, obtaining state regulatory approval for the sale
  • Represented developer on a 10.5 MW solar installation on a United States military base and guided the client through state public utility law and the Federal Enclave Doctrine to arrive at a fully financeable, large-scale solar project
  • Represented a major U.S. bank in the evaluation and termination of sale-lease-back arrangement at a multi-unit major coal generating facility
  • Represented major interstate gas pipeline company in major pipeline expansion from Wyoming to Western Missouri 
  • Represented a natural gas company in its pipeline expansion into the fastest-growing area of Missouri.  Services include real estate acquisitions, condemnation and construction contracts. 
  • Represented major energy company in oil and gas gathering facilities assessment
  • Represented client in acquisition of rural natural gas gathering and distribution facilities from bankruptcy and formation of a non-profit public utility for major agricultural users in Western Kansas 
  • Representation of a developer in the sale of over 20 MW of power from photovoltaic projects to tribal utilities in Kansas and Oklahoma