Sidley lawyers regularly represent a broad range of electric generating companies, and the financial institutions that service them, in regulatory and litigation proceedings and transactional matters. We represent some of the nation’s largest electric utilities on FERC regulatory matters relating to transmission tariff and rate issues, including in connection with FERC rate cases and incentive rate filings for large new transmission facilities, and disputes involving electric market operations. Our lawyers have a leading role in the ongoing multi-billion dollar FERC and appellate proceedings relating to resolution of the California electric crisis. In addition to litigation at FERC, Sidley lawyers have been involved in complex litigation in federal and state courts and before state regulatory commissions concerning energy disputes and antitrust and other commercial and contract issues arising from electric utility operations.
Sidley lawyers also frequently advise clients on issues arising from transactions involving electric utility businesses. We have substantial experience in litigation involving utility mergers and in preparation of utility merger applications. We have assisted financial institutions in obtaining approvals for acquisitions or dispositions of assets and interests in electric utility businesses, including Exempt Wholesale Generators (EWGs) and Qualifying Facilities (QFs). We also assist clients, including underwriters’ counsel, in securities and debt issuances and matters involving securitization and structured finance in the electric industry.
Sidley has been extensively involved in all aspects of the restructuring of the electric utility industry. We participated in the development of FERC Order 888 (involving open access transmission of electric power), and its subsequent implementation through imposition of open access tariff rates for utilities throughout the nation. Sidley lawyers have prepared and helped obtain passage of restructuring legislation, both at the state and federal levels, and have substantial experience assisting clients with restructuring decisions in a deregulated environment.
We also represent electric utilities, independent power companies, private equity investors, sovereign wealth funds, and other parties in the acquisition and disposition of electric generating assets, and we represent project sponsors and equity and debt providers in the development and financing of electric generating facilities on a project or corporate finance basis. Our M&A and project development and finance work encompasses both fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) as well as alternative energy (wind, solar and biomass). We have handled every stage of project development and finance, including creation of joint ventures and strategic alliances, permitting of facilities, documentation of all project agreements (including power purchase, fuel supply and transportation, EPC, O&M, interconnection and transmission) and all equity, senior debt and mezzanine debt agreements.