King & Spalding’s energy lawyers provide comprehensive counseling and representation on the full range of energy regulatory, reliability, markets, and compliance matters, including electric, natural gas, and oil pipeline matters arising under the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”), the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 (“PUHCA”), the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Interstate Commerce Act (as it pertains to oil pipelines), and the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 and related legislation. Our lawyers regularly represent clients in complex energy regulatory litigation before, and investigations by, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Department of Energy, the Department of State and other federal and state regulatory bodies, and in related appellate and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. They also advise clients seeking to comply with the ever-changing regulatory requirements of FERC and other agencies, reliability standards and requirements adopted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) and regional reliability organizations, and market rules and protocols of the various independent system operators (“ISOs”) and regional transmission organizations (“RTOs”).
Electric Transmission Tariff and Market Rules Issues
King & Spalding represents Independent Power Producers (“IPPs”) and power marketers in proceedings on electric transmission tariff and market rules matters in all U.S. electric power markets, counseling and representing clients on issues arising under Order Nos. 888, 889, 890 and 1000 and ISO/RTO market rules, such as resource adequacy (e.g., capacity markets and reliability must-run compensation), ancillary services markets, self-supply of station power, black start service, and congestion rights. King & Spalding’s lawyers have successfully pursued actions against ISOs, RTOs, and vertically-integrated transmission providers on a host of transmission- and markets-related issues, including congestion and capacity disputes, right of first refusal and queuing issues, and network vs. point-to-point transmission issues.
Merchant Power, Transmission, LNG, Natural Gas Pipeline, and Natural Gas Storage Infrastructure Projects
King & Spalding counsels clients on a wide range of regulatory and transactional issues in connection with the development, construction, ownership, and operation of natural gas storage, natural gas pipeline, gas gathering and processing plants, oil pipelines, merchant generation, and transmission projects in various U.S. markets. Our lawyers also advise clients on the development, permitting, construction, and operation of LNG receiving and export terminals.
We are accustomed to applying our specialized knowledge of the natural gas, oil and gas midstream and electric power sectors in assisting clients with their evaluation and execution of asset and company acquisitions and dispositions.
King & Spalding advises a number of clients on compliance with NERC electric reliability standards and requirements, and represents clients in challenges to improper implementation of reliability standards and requirements by NERC registered entities. Our lawyers represent clients on registration and audit issues at the NERC regional level, at NERC, and before FERC, including in negotiations at the NERC regional level on both the applicability of and compliance with reliability standards and requirements.
Electric Market-Based Rate Authority
Our lawyers routinely advise and represent IPPs and power marketers seeking to obtain and maintain authorization to sell electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates, including initial applications, change in status filings, updated market power analyses, and electronic quarterly transactions reports. King & Spalding’s lawyers also assist clients with compliance issues attendant to having rates on file with FERC, including interlocking directorate and related issues.
Compliance and Enforcement
King & Spalding’s lawyers assist clients with the development and implementation of comprehensive electric power and natural gas compliance plans and strategies, including conducting in-house training seminars on FERC’s and the CFTC’s rules and regulations. Our lawyers also represent clients in audits and investigations before FERC and the CFTC.
King & Spalding regularly counsels and represents IPPs attempting to obtain and maintain exempt wholesale generator (“EWG”) status under PUHCA and qualifying facility (“QF”) status under PURPA. Our lawyers assist clients with issues relating to eligibility for EWG and QF status, including EWG exclusivity requirements, QF operating requirements, and reporting requirements.
King & Spalding represents IPPs on various issues surrounding their interconnection with the transmission grid, including the negotiation of, and litigation arising out of, interconnection agreements, reactive power compensation, station power, and generator imbalances. Our lawyers led the IPP sector’s successful challenge to FERC’s network upgrade transmission crediting policy and have been on the front line in reactive power compensation and other interconnection-related issues.
Electric and Natural Gas Restructuring
King and Spalding has been extensively involved in a wide range of federal and state proceedings relating to the restructuring of electric and natural gas markets, including proceedings involving the development and implementation of Order Nos. 888, 889, and 890, development of, and reforms to, various ISO and RTO markets, and implementation of standards of conduct for electric and natural gas transmission providers.
Natural Gas Pipeline and Storage Certificate Issues
Our lawyers have successfully obtained certificates of public convenience and necessity from FERC for natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, including a large number of high-deliverability natural gas storage projects throughout the United States.
Natural Gas and Oil Pipeline Rate and Tariff Issues
Our lawyers have actively participated in proceedings before FERC and other federal and state regulatory bodies involving rates, terms, and conditions of service of natural gas and oil pipelines on behalf of a wide range of clients including pipelines, local distribution companies, natural gas marketers, major energy consumers and IPPs. We regularly assist clients in the structuring and prosecution of tariff change filings and in their evaluation of, and responses to, tariff change filings made by natural gas and oil pipelines.
King & Spalding’s lawyers routinely assist clients (both on the buy side and the sell side) in structuring transactions to comply with regulatory requirements, performing regulatory due diligence with respect to such transactions, securing regulatory approvals for those transactions, and ensuring that all post-transaction compliance filings are timely submitted.
Bankruptcy-Related Regulatory Issues
Our lawyers have been extensively involved in advising and representing clients with regulatory issues relating specifically to energy company bankruptcies, including regulatory approvals necessary to affect successful restructurings and alleged conflicts between bankruptcy court and FERC jurisdiction.