Competition from new energy resources and businesses has caused a shift in marketplace dynamics for utility companies. The Energy & Utilities team at Clark Hill is helping meet these new demands by representing clients large and small nationwide in all areas of energy law, utility regulation and deregulation, and project development.
Large industrial corporations, small businesses, trade groups, power producers, municipal utilities, lenders, and individual investors rely on our counsel across the spectrum of energy issues and in negotiations with public utilities.
Our Energy & Utilities practice group assists with regulatory matters arising before state public utility commissions. At the federal level, our lawyers have represented applicants and interveners in rate filings, certificate proceedings, rulemakings, and other proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Electricity and Natural Gas
For companies wanting to break away from sole-supplier local utility monopolies or want to create sufficient leverage to enable them to negotiate lower utility rates, we help to identify and utilize new energy source alternatives.
Familiar with the effects of energy deregulation in states across the country, our team knows that companies that can successfully manage the emerging electricity markets will gain a competitive advantage over those that cannot. We have helped lower barriers to the nationwide electric transmission grid and promote the ability of businesses to install distributed energy resources.
One of the most promising alternatives to local gas utility service is bypass. Our Energy attorneys spearheaded this concept in Michigan and our legal gas bypass strategy was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. We develop feasibility studies, arrange for FERC permits, secure easements for pipelines, negotiate interconnection agreements, procure transportation and storage agreements, negotiate construction contracts, and, in general, devise successful plans for bypass of the local gas utility. The completion of a credible feasibility study enables the client to negotiate with the local distribution company from a position of strength to secure lower gas transportation rates, which could make the actual installation of bypass unnecessary.
Our attorneys have filed applications for electric and natural gas marketers and brokers to conduct business in a state and to expand their current territory. We have provided guidance and employee training presentations and best-practice guidelines to help companies comply with state regulations on marketing their services to customers.
We have also represented demand response and energy efficiency companies in several states in many areas, including rulemakings brought on by legislation requiring state-mandated reductions in energy consumption and demand.
Water and Wastewater
Municipal water and wastewater utilities rely on our counsel in rate cases and regulatory matters such as applications, permitting, distribution system improvement charge filings, enforcement actions, and billing disputes.