News & Insights

Energy Law Exchange

July 9, 2018

King & Spalding’s Practice in Puerto Rico

King & Spalding has an active practice in Puerto Rico with many exciting energy related projects and, in April 2017, formed a“King & Spalding Puerto Rico Working Group” currently consisting of: Vera de Gyarfas, Sarah Borders, Ken Culotta, Kelly Malone, Chris McCoy, Jim Bowe, Art Steinberg, Alec Koch, Eric Hirsch, Tony Rothermel and its founder, Steve Kupka.

King & Spalding is currently engaged by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to provide both litigation and federal government affairs representation.  Alec Koch and Eric Hirsch are representing PREPA with a SEC matter and an investigation regarding the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB). Steve Kupka represents the PREPA Board of Directors and executive management team in Washington for all their federal lobbying efforts. 

King & Spalding is also representing the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico’s newly created Debt Recovery Authority (DRA) through Art Steinberg in our NYC office on some debt related restructuring matters.  Other private sector companies we represent in Puerto Rico matters include MCS, Interboro Systems, Asurion Corp., DR Horton, Inc. and Carnegie Learning.

Recently, King & Spalding was the Co-Sponsor of the Government of Puerto Rico’s Public-Private Partnerships Authority P-3 Summit in San Juan. Several members of the King & Spalding Puerto Rico working group attended the Summit and met with key officials of the Administration of Governor Ricardo Roselló and the FOMB. King & Spalding was approved by the PR P-3 Authority to provide legal services for any of their upcoming transactions. 

Left to Right- Steve Kupka- Partner, King & Spalding (DC Office), The Honorable Luis G. Rivera Marin (Puerto Rico Secretary of State, Acting Chief of Staff to the Governor), Omar J. Marrero (Executive Director of Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority; Executive Director of the Central Office of Recovery and Reconstruction of Puerto Rico; Chairman of the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority), Carla Campos (Executive Director of Puerto Rico Tourism Company).

One of the largest upcoming opportunities for the P-3 Authority will be their role in the privatization of PREPA.  The Governor signed into law last week legislation that will start the privatization process in the next few months.  King & Spalding has been short listed to serve as the lead counsel in this privatization effort and will be interviewing with both PREPA and P-3 Authority representatives in the next month to compete for this role. 

It is estimated that the federal government will be providing Puerto Rico with over $70 billion dollars of direct aid to the Commonwealth in the coming years. The US Department of Energy is working with the leadership at PREPA to design and rebuild the entire PREPA energy grid and provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with the most modern and resilient energy system  in the world. Recently, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was appropriated over $20 billion dollars in CDBG Disaster Relief funds. The P-3 Authority just submitted an RFQ for PREPA Utility Scale Energy Storage Systems on the island. There are clearly going to be many opportunities for King & Spalding clients to participate in the rebuilding of the Puerto Rico power grid, LNG projects and other renewable energy needs for PREPA.