Microgrid development and its related regulatory regime are very new and rapidly evolving areas of law. We help clients navigate state, regional transmission organization/independent system operator (RTO/ISO), and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulatory mandates to avoid commercial and regulatory risks. We excel at guiding our microgrid clients through and, at times, in shaping the complex regulatory environment.
We have advised clients on all sides of microgrid transactions, starting from preparing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) all the way through final testing and negotiating output arrangements. Our clients’ projects have involved a system capable of operating completely “uncoupled” from the grid, developing a backup system available for emergencies, increasing system resilience or reliability, and satisfying renewable procurement goals.
An important component in any power generation project transaction is skillfully preparing and negotiating the underlying commercial agreements—such as power and thermal energy purchase agreements, Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), and financing arrangements—that are critical in successful microgrid project development.
Clark Hill’s Energy lawyers have supported diverse governmental authorities, industrial clients, and distributed generation developers in all aspects of navigating the complex issues related to bringing microgrids to fruition.
- In order to satisfy resiliency concerns, represented a large airport authority in drafting and negotiating a complex series of definitive agreements for a microgrid project using a sophisticated public-private partnership model. The scope of our engagement included advising the client on transactional, due diligence, financing, and regulatory issues, resulting in a successful “islanding” of all required electricity for the airport in the second quarter of 2021.
- Advising a natural gas utility in developing a microgrid project utilizing renewable generation assets to offset reliance on grid power for critical liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility.
- Advising a leading distributed generation developer in several microgrid projects in Illinois.
- Assisting a number of industrial clients in assessing and implementing alternative energy supply and delivery options, including planned microgrids, throughout the contiguous United States and Puerto Rico.
- Advising a landfill operation in developing a microgrid project utilizing landfill gas as the generation fuel source, which is better for the environment than flaring the gas, reduces its reliance on grid power, and increases its economic efficiency.
- Represented a developer of a privately owned microgrid in a state utility commission dispute related to whether the microgrid impermissibly encroached upon the local utility’s franchise, as well as the eventual sale of the microgrid from the developer to the utility as part of an agreed-upon settlement.