Energy Regulatory

Crowell & Moring excels at guiding energy clients through a complex and constantly changing regulatory environment. The firm's energy attorneys have been consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which recently described them as "one of the top choices for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) looking for FERC counsel." Citing "excellent strategic planning," Chambers USA praises the firm's energy attorneys because "they understand how the regulatory side affects investment." Electric, natural gas, LNG, and oil companies rely on the firm's energy attorneys for support in a myriad of regulatory matters, from electricity market development to natural gas transportation and storage to transaction structuring and due diligence. The firm helps these clients navigate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state regulatory proceedings, litigate successfully in federal and state courts, and address complex environmental regulatory issues at every level so they can meet their business objectives.

Electricity Market Development and Operations

Crowell & Moring attorneys are in the forefront of energy industry restructuring and is actively involved in every region of the United States on a daily basis. The firm participates in the formulation of the laws, rules, and policies that govern restructured power pools, power and ancillary services markets, transmission planning and operations, and regional transmission organizations. Crowell & Moring counsels clients and represents them in regulatory proceedings and in court on all kinds of energy matters, including issues related to the transition of the energy sector from a tightly regulated, vertically integrated industry to a more unbundled and competitive market, and, in some cases, back to a more regulated market.

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Electric System Reliability and Operations

Our attorneys represent clients in all legal aspects of system reliability, including contracting for interconnection and transmission reliability studies, formation of and operation of control areas, establishment of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and regional standards, negotiation of local area reliability agreements, and use of distributed generation to maintain reliability.

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Interconnection Services, Agreements, and Costs

Firm attorneys participate in the formulation and implementation of, and compliance with, the laws, rules, and policies that govern regional power pools, power and ancillary services markets, transmission planning and operations, and regional transmission organizations. Among other matters, we assist clients in contracting for interconnection and transmission reliability studies and advise clients in connection with negotiations and approvals of generator interconnection agreements.

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Electricity Transmission

For more than 15 years, Crowell & Moring attorneys have been at the forefront of the transformation of the nation's transmission system brought on by FERC's Order No. 888. Our Energy Practice professionals pioneered the drive for open access and comparable service, standardized interconnection, financial congestion management, open regional transmission planning, and competition for ancillary services. Today, transmission is undergoing another transformation, driven by the need to integrate renewable electricity generation, the need for major new transmission infrastructure projects, and the increasing number of companies with new technologies entering transmission development and ownership.

With decades of experience as lawyers, in-house counsel, and non-lawyer FERC senior staff, our Energy Practice has unmatched expertise in all aspects of the transmission business. We provide advice to clients in all areas of transmission, including the rights and obligations under FERC's open access transmission tariff, cost-of-service and market-based rate design, incentive rates, and state siting and generator interconnection. The practice also represents clients in all regions of the country on project development, including large infrastructure and transmission projects, and counsels renewable energy companies on the unique transmission issues they face. Companies hire the firm not only to navigate existing regulatory hurdles, but to overcome them. Our cutting-edge work gives clients the advantage they need to make their commercial goals a reality.

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Natural Gas and LNG Regulatory Capabilities and Experience

Our attorneys guide clients in the natural gas and LNG industries through the complex regulatory landscape. The firm's clients in the United States, Canada, and abroad include interstate natural gas pipelines; natural gas storage projects; LNG facilities; natural gas supply projects; natural gas utilities, including local distribution companies (LDCs); gas-fired electric generators; industrial end-users; and natural gas producers and marketers. On behalf of its clients, Crowell & Moring provides support across the entire spectrum of regulatory matters, from market development to natural gas transportation and storage, to transaction structuring, due diligence, and environmental permitting and compliance. The firm helps its clients in proceedings before FERC, state public utility commissions and siting boards, and all other federal and state agencies that address issues affecting the natural gas and LNG industries.

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Gas-Fired Electric Generation Companies

We help generators secure natural gas supplies and transportation services from producers, marketers, and interstate pipelines. These companies include:

  • Calpine Corporation
  • Competitive Power Ventures, Inc.
  • Constellation Power Source
  • Duke Energy Corporation
  • GenPower LLC
  • NRG
  • Ocean State Power
  • PG&E National Energy Group
  • Selkirk CoGen Partners, L.P.

The firm has negotiated transportation and supply arrangements for countless electric generation projects with interstate pipelines, producers, marketers, and local distribution companies. In the post-Order No. 637 industry, the ability to work closely with clients to craft and implement innovative services is tremendously valuable. Our attorneys help generator clients maximize the value of natural gas services by designing creative and flexible pipeline services and terms and conditions. Examples of these services include short-term off-peak services, short-term storage services, and interruptible services with enhanced priority. The firm also assists clients in assessing the benefits and pitfalls of FERC's negotiated/recourse rate program for electric generators, particularly in the context of competitive pipeline projects.

Crowell & Moring's attorneys are knowledgeable about the complex task for electric generators of ensuring that gas supply and transportation contracts are coordinated with and complement the requirements of electric power markets. The firm's experience in crafting rate provisions and contracts helps to ensure that gas supply and transportation contracts are compatible with the maximum effective dispatch of the facilities at the lowest cost.

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Transaction Structuring, Approvals, and Due Diligence

Crowell & Moring helps clients to structure transactions to eliminate or minimize regulatory oversight under the FPA, the Natural Gas Act, state statutes, and federal and state codes, and standards of conduct. The firm also conducts regulatory due diligence for its clients and helps them to obtain federal and state approvals, declaratory orders, and no-action letters for transactions.

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Due Diligence

Our attorneys have conducted regulatory diligence for the acquisition of energy assets offered for sale, lease, or inclusion in joint ventures by, among others, Enron Corporation; Atlantis Energy Systems, Inc.; Mirant Corporation; Dynegy Inc.; El Paso Corporation; Panda Energy International, Inc.; Reliant; and Calpine Corporation. Firm attorneys have assisted the following clients, among others, with regulatory due diligence:

  • Constellation Energy Group
  • Competitive Power Ventures Inc.
  • Invenergy LLC
  • Kelson Energy
  • Reliant Energy, Inc.
  • Warburg Pincus LLC
  • KeySpan Corporation
  • LS Power Group
  • Duke Capital Corporation
  • Duke Energy Corporation
  • TECO Energy
  • Pepco
  • Loews Corporation
  • TransCanada PipeLines Limited
  • PSEG Enterprises
  • NYPA
  • AGL Resources Inc.
  • GFI Investments/Oak Tree Capital Management, L.P.

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