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Joe Donovan

Member
fax +1 202.572.8683

Joe Donovan advises electric and gas companies, renewable generation developers, municipalities and large commercial manufacturers on sophisticated transactional and regulatory matters. He also supports emerging technology companies with go-to-market commercial and financial strategies.

Joe is a leading energy regulatory and transactional lawyer with substantial experience in the generation and transmission of electricity, transport of oil and natural gas, and development of LNG facilities. Joe advises renewable, nuclear, natural gas, and other power generation developers, as well as electric transmission owners, interstate oil and natural gas pipeline owners and shippers, landfill renewable gas project developers, and project financing entities.

In addition to his energy experience, Joe has also developed a unique second pillar to his practice in which he supports companies with emerging technologies in the development of their international go-to-market strategies and capitalization efforts. Joe has supported emerging companies in the clean hydrogen energy, solar/storage, banking, distributed ledger, water, waste management, plastic recycling, internet, and data connectivity, aerospace design, and cellular app processing sectors.

Education

J.D., Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas
B.A., Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

Recognitions

Irish Legal 100, 12th Edition (2019)

Up and Coming Individual, Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Guide, 2003-2005

Retail Energy Suppliers Association (RESA), Committee on State Regulatory Compliance, Co-Chair, 2013-2014

Co-Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Energy Markets and Finance (2018-2019)

Memberships

International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, Board of Directors

Energy Bar Association

American Bar Association

State Bar Licenses

District of Columbia, Illinois, Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., C.D. of Illinois
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois

Representative Experience

  • Represented a microgrid distributed energy project developer in negotiating an offtake arrangement with a large casino in which the casino would purchase all the generated electricity from the facility to serve its operations and those of its retail restaurant and shopping tenants.
  • Represent financing entity related to a renewable distributed generation project providing electricity to a casino that filed for bankruptcy.
  • Represent minority owner of three nuclear generation facilities in the United States in the sale of its minority ownership interest to the majority owner. The scope of the engagement includes managing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state commission authorizations required to close the transaction and supporting the transactional team in due diligence matters.
  • Represent municipal owner of two underutilized LNG storage and trucking facilities in the United States in negotiating a complex public-private partnership and revenue sharing model to optimize utilization of the facilities.
  • Represent developer of the first natural gas power generation project in Afghanistan since before the Soviet occupation, involving a multi-phase plan for up to 200 MW of generation. The engagement involved introducing advanced international finance structures to an emerging country with no experience in managing infrastructure developments. The overall total value of the project is more than US$250 million.
  • Represent landowner in the ongoing development of a 400 MW solar generation facility in New Mexico, including negotiation of underlying JV membership interest in the development company and sophisticated joint bidding agreement.
  • Outside general counsel to startup company with emerging advanced hydrogen energy technologies currently securing capital injection for commercialization of products.
  • Outside general counsel to startup developing distributed ledger-based platform marrying companies needing project or equity finance with private equity sources, allowing for transparent pricing and transactional closing terms.
  • Outside general counsel to startup with innovative design for advanced airplane seating configuration for extended flights.
  • In-house counsel for the largest vertically structured utility company, with direct oversight of more than $2.5 billion in generation, retail energy and demand response M&A projects, including a fleet of natural gas generation units in Texas. Lead all due diligence and licensing efforts for the projects, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state and ISO/RTO authorizations, compliance and licensing review and offtake arrangements. Post-transaction responsible for integrating the new assets into the company’s regulatory and compliance processes.
Articles
  • Author, “Falling off the Edge (of the Grid),” Pratt’s Energy Law Report, March 2018
  • Author, “The Mobiles are FAST – Including Mobile Substations in Strategic Transformer Reserve Program,” Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine, August 2016
  • Author, “The Further Repudiation of Environmentalists Demands for Regional Environmental Assessments of Unrelated Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects,” Pratt’s Energy Law Report, February 2016
Presentations
  • Presenter, “Surviving the Start-Up Valley of Death,” Maryland Energy Innovator Accelerator membership panel, February 2021
  • Presenter, “The View from the Swamp – Government Influence and Regulations of the Grid in a Trump Administration,” Weidmann Electrical Technology Annual Technical Conference, September 2017