Conventional Energy

We use our industry street smarts, deep market experience and problem solving skills to help our energy clients succeed in navigating the complex business and regulatory risks of the 21st Century.

Our approach

With the exponential increase in shale gas production, natural gas will become the fuel of choice for electricity generation.

This places considerable pressure on conventional forms of generation like coal, oil and nuclear and raises long-term questions around fuel diversity, power plant retirements and price stability.

Shale gas presents a plethora of opportunities—increased drilling, new pipelines and new customers, including exports to Europe and Asia. Having a clear understanding of the current outlook and developments in conventional energy systems will be key to making the right decisions about the opportunities ahead.

Our clients are electric and gas utilities, independent power producers, gas producers, pipelines and investors and lenders. Nixon Peabody’s Energy attorneys represent clients in all facets of fossil-fueled and nuclear electric generation, and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution. We’ve been there for more than 50 years and plan on being there for the next 100.

We work with

  • Electric and gas utilities
  • Independent power producers
  • Electric transmission owners
  • Natural gas pipelines
  • Public power entities
  • Coal gasification projects

Recent experience

  • CapX 2020, a $1.7 billion, 700-mile long electric transmission project of 11 transmission-owing utilities to expand the electric transmission grid in the upper Midwest. As Project Counsel, Nixon Peabody represents all 11 utilities in the drafting and negotiation of the key governance and project development documentation. We work with each of the utilities and financing parties as necessary to ensure compliance with each owner’s lending requirements and regularly give advice and counsel on a range of implementing documentation necessary for closing and construction of the project. Our attorneys have advised the owners on antitrust, bankruptcy and procurement issues in connection with the development of the project. Two of our lawyers were honored as “2011 Dealmakers of the Year” by The American Lawyer in connection with this project.
  • Prairie State Generating in connection with the successful negotiation of a target price EPC Agreement in the Prairie State Energy Campus Project. The project is an approximately 1600 MW two-unit, mine-mouth supercritical coal-fired electric generating facility in southern Illinois. In addition, we negotiated the terms of the major equipment procurement packages for the project and represented the public power owners in connection with the Sierra Club’s challenge to the project’s PSD permit.
  • Fortis Inc., a Canadian utility holding company, in representation before the New York Public Service Commission in connection with Fortis’s acquisition of CH Energy Group, Inc., the parent of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, a New York gas and electric utility. A favorable PSC decision was received in June 2013 and work on follow-up and compliance matters is on-going.
  • Trans Bay Cable, the project developer, in negotiating the EPC and site preparation agreements and by consulting on all transmission and interconnection issues in the development of this transmission project, including obtaining FERC approval of incentive rates. Responsibilities include: (a) negotiating with the California ISO and the three California investor-owned utilities regarding an amendment to the Transmission Control Agreement to admit Trans Bay Cable as a participating transmission owner under the California ISO Tariff; (b) negotiating an amendment to the California ISO Tariff to address the revenue recovery of the costs of low-voltage transmission facilities built by non-load serving transmission owners; (c) negotiating with PG&E an Interconnection Agreement, Special Facilities Agreement and Substation License Agreement; (d) preparing and negotiating with the California ISO the terms and conditions of Trans Bay Cable’s Transmission Owners Tariff; and (e) obtaining FERC approval of the foregoing.
  • Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the development and permitting of a 171-mile pipeline from near Albany, New York, to outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Western Massachusetts Electric Company in the NEEWS Greater Springfield Reliability Project, which is a major upgrade of WMECO’s 345 kV and 115 kV transmission system in the municipalities of Agawam, West Springfield, Springfield, Chicopee and Ludlow, Massachusetts.
  • PG&E National Energy Group/National Energy & Gas Transmission in connection with the licensing and environmental impact review of the Athens Generating Project, a 1,100 MW gas-fired combined cycle electric generating facility in the Hudson Valley of New York.
  • Calpine Corporation in connection with project development and the $503 million joint construction and term financing of the 375 MW gas-fired facility in Mankato, Minnesota, and 250 MW combined cycle facility in Freeport, Texas. The project was awarded the “2005 Power Project Finance Best Americas Deal of the Year” by Power Finance and Risk Magazine.
  • Invenergy in connection with development, bridge, construction and term financing of the St. Clair gas-fired power project located in Canada, awarded the Project Finance Magazine “2007 North American Public Power Deal of the Year.”
  • Constellation Energy in connection with state approvals of NRC license renewals for its Ginna and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plants and a power uprate approval for Ginna and in connection with Clean Water Act Best Technology Available matters for both plants.
  • TransÉnergie U.S., Ltd. in connection with licensing in New York of the Cross Sound Cable project, a 345 kV subsea transmission line under Long Island Sound between Connecticut and New York.
  • Lake Charles Cogeneration LLC in connection with tax advice for a coal gasification facility to be constructed in Louisiana.
  • Cross Hudson, an independent transmission project linking PJM and the NYISO, by consulting on all transmission, interconnection, siting and permitting and energy regulatory issues.
  • Southern Cross Transmission LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group, in the development of an HVDC transmission line with an estimated capacity of up to 3,000 MW that will stretch from the eastern boundary of ERCOT through the states of Louisiana and Mississippi to move renewable energy generated in Texas to load-serving entities within the SERC.

    Power co. wants DC Circ. to force action on NY pipeline

    Law360 | December 15, 2016

    This article highlights the latest development in a case involving New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s delayed approval of a permit to start building a natural gas pipeline, which impacts upstate New York power plant developer CPV Valley LLC’s facility operations. Washington DC Energy and Environmental partner Elizabeth Whittle is noted as representing CPV Valley LLC.

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