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Legal Services

Energy & Utilities

Companies in the energy and utility industries face unique challenges and opportunities. There is a growing demand for new and renewable energy sources while there is the continuing critical need to efficiently manage existing resources for reliability. Aging infrastructure must be improved as new technologies develop. In this environment, regulatory experience is a critical component in the existing operating infrastructure and in developing new energy projects. Backed by years of in-depth industry experience, we combine specific knowledge and expertise in this field with seamless collaboration across jurisdictions and practice areas.

The Energy and Utilities Group of Archer and Archer Public Affairs is among the most active in the Mid-Atlantic region, representing clients in all aspects of energy and utility operations and infrastructure development. We offer administrative, regulatory, project development, and transactional counseling. For decades, our attorneys have represented and advised regulated public utilities, generation companies, renewable energy developers, municipalities and municipal authorities, corporations and financers, and advocated to federal, state and local officials on their behalf.

Areas of Focus

  • Electric Power Generation & Transmission
  • Electric, Gas, & Water/Wastewater Distribution
  • Water
  • Renewable Energy
  • Solar
  • Onshore and Offshore Wind
  • Hydrogen and Renewable Natural Gas
  • Oil and Gas
  • Hydropower
  • Telecommunications

 Services

  • State and federal regulatory affairs
  • Negotiating interconnection agreements, joint ownership and development agreements, project operation agreements, purchase/sale agreements, and rights to renewable energy credits
  • Negotiating energy marketing and transportation contracts
  • Representation in administrative and judicial proceedings and investigations
  • Project development and finance
  • Real estate acquisition and condemnation
  • Land use approvals and environmental permitting
  • Environmental litigation, including natural resource defense claims
  • Competition and antitrust
  • Mergers and reorganizations

Electric Power Generation, and Transmission & Utility Distribution 

Archer assists our energy and utility clients with devising and implementing strategies to navigate the ever-changing statutory and regulatory landscape. Our team members represent clients before state public utility commissions, energy offices, state siting boards, environmental agencies, and legislative bodies which impact or regulate the energy and utility industries.

We utilize an interdisciplinary approach and focus on practical, workable solutions that further our clients’ business and operational objectives. We work with transmission and distribution utilities; regulated and non-regulated power generation companies; solar and wind project developers; large electricity consumers; private equity investors and funds; financial institutions; municipal systems; and others impacted by the wholesale and retail markets and applicable regulations.

We provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Regulatory and policy advocacy
  • Rate case advice and filings
  • Licensing or compliance applications
  • Filing for contested regulatory matters
  • Creating power purchase agreements and sales contracts
  • Drafting financing agreements
  • Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  • Representation in litigated proceedings and matters
  • Regulatory compliance plan development
  • Transmission and distribution matters
  • Requests for proposals
  • Linear development of critical infrastructure
  • Contractual matters and disputes

Water

Archer has in-depth knowledge and expertise with water resource law and represents numerous water utilities. For more than 30 years, Archer has represented a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest water resource companies, which owns and operates an expansive water supply system that provides water to 60 municipalities. Archer also represents the largest water utility in New Jersey, serving around two and a half million people in 183 communities in 17 counties throughout the state.

Archer has handled matters that span the full spectrum of water system-related legal issues, including representation before regulatory agencies such as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Division of the Rate Counsel; planning and zoning board applications for water storage and treatment facilities, offices, warehouses, and other facilities; litigation related to adverse actions by regulatory agencies and boards; negotiation, drafting and enforcement of a broad range of contracts and agreements, including the acquisition of small water companies; environmental assessment and advice; real estate and asset acquisitions and sales; personal injury and property damage litigation; negotiation and drafting of easements and licenses; property tax appeals; condemnation proceedings; and employee benefits.

Archer provides experienced and cost-effective counsel across a wide spectrum of issues, including the following service areas:

  • Water transfers
  • Water organization administration
  • Municipal water supply and contracting
  • Water rights administration
  • Litigation
  • Legislation, funding & infrastructure development

Renewable Energy

Archer has been at the forefront of the planning, development and implementation of alternative and renewable energy projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We regularly counsel independent power producers, electric generation and transmission utilities, public power agencies, developers, new businesses and start-up companies, contractors, energy funds, lenders and investors in all aspects of alternative and renewable energy projects. Our team has extensive experience in the development, financing, sale, purchase and operation of alternative and renewable energy facilities. We have handled numerous projects, including, but not limited to, solar, wind, water, geothermal and cogeneration facilities.

We regularly assist clients with the following:

  • Regulatory and permitting matters
  • Real estate issues
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Corporate and financing matters
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Structuring of transactions to maximize tax benefits and other incentives
  • Patents prosecution and licensing agreements
  • Interconnection agreements
  • Joint ownership and development agreements
  • Project operation agreements
  • Purchase/sale agreements

Solar

Archer has broad experience advising clients in the financing, structuring, construction, development and operation, investments and transactions of solar energy projects. In working with power generation developers, investors and financing parties, as well as with electric utilities, we have developed a broad understanding of the issues and challenges facing the industry, and know the business, its laws and regulations. Our work has helped bring together new and existing industry participants and has helped existing power generation participants broaden their involvement.

We assist clients in a variety of ways, including:

  • Structuring solar transactions to facilitate tax credits and other federal and state incentive programs, including Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
  • Financing solar projects, including debt financing, sale-leaseback arrangements, back-leveraging, financing receivables and Department of Energy loan guarantees
  • Performing due diligence and structuring corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures and corporate and shareholders’ agreements
  • Negotiating construction, supply and vendor contracts (including offtake, power purchase agreements and energy hedges) and operation and maintenance and servicing agreements
  • Leading-related project development real estate transactions, including purchases and sales, permitting, siting, environmental matters and regulatory compliance

Wind

Our team advises investors, lenders, utilities, sponsors, developers and other industry participants in all facets of onshore and offshore wind transactions. We offer clients a full range of experience and a multidisciplinary approach in financing, tax, environmental, project development and real estate. We help clients navigate all aspects of finance, construction, procurement, leasing and permitting; negotiation of project and off-take agreements; and focus on tax-efficient structures to monetize existing projects and develop new facilities that optimize tax benefits.

We lead clients through large and complex wind projects. Archer provided legal counsel, bid support, land use services, and contracts development and review for an offshore wind developer that was awarded the largest individual contract to develop an offshore wind project by the State of New Jersey. We stay on top of issues that impact our clients, including integration into the electric grid, state and federal legislation, and regulatory and commercial developments such as siting and incentives.

We assist clients with the following:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Alternative energy grants and tax credits
  • Project development and permitting
  • Site control
  • Project financing
  • Environmental and wildlife
  • Grid interconnection
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Tax equity transactions

Hydrogen and Renewable Natural Gas

With the push to reduce carbon emissions, hydrogen has emerged as a critical contributor for providing abundant low-carbon energy to power a wide range of industries. Archer is strongly positioned to advise clients on issues related to hydrogen development investments, whether it’s promoting hydrogen-supportive policies, resolving regulatory challenges, or structuring transactions.

Archer’s attorneys draw on a range of complementary legal disciplines to support clients in a variety of ways, including:

  • Development of production, transportation, distribution and storage facilities for hydrogen and related products
  • Structuring and negotiation of agreements, including supply and offtake agreements; engineering; procurement; construction; gas supply; and power purchase agreements
  • Investments in hydrogen projects and related joint ventures, including tax structuring
  • Financing for companies and projects
  • Patenting and licensing of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies
  • Environmental, health and safety regulatory issues
  • Permitting and compliance counseling
  • Incident response and crisis management

Oil and Gas

Our energy group focuses on issues involving all aspects of the oil and gas industry, from exploration, production and development, to processing and transportation, to export and marketing. We handle transactional, environmental, regulatory, and litigation matters. We provide legal solutions that anticipate issues arising from the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry.

Highly experienced in a broad array of oil and gas transactions and disputes, we provide practical, strategic and tactical advice to oil and natural gas companies, including upstream, midstream and downstream; pipelines; refineries; public and private energy companies; private equity sponsor; portfolio companies; banks; investors; operators; and marketers.

We handle a broad range of legal issues for the oil and gas industry, including:

  • Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
  • Asset purchases and sales
  • Financing
  • Joint ventures and other commercial arrangements
  • Project development
  • Regulatory approvals
  • Cost of service, cost allocation and rate design proceedings
  • Negotiation and drafting of transactional contracts and agreements
  • Securities law compliance
  • Antitrust and competition law
  • Bankruptcy and restructuring
  • Regulatory compliance and due diligence
  • Environmental matters
  • Intellectual property, including patents
  • Tax matters
  • Litigation and operational disputes

Hydropower

We assist clients with a variety of issues affecting the hydropower sector. Our counsel encompasses a broad range of areas, including energy, water, environmental, financial, political, regulatory, and litigation. We provide advice on environmental impacts and mitigation, power supply, water supply, recreation, historical preservation, and local economic development.

Our clients represent hydropower owners and developers, such as investor-owned utilities, state and municipal power agencies, and independent power producers.  We also represent other entities involved with hydroelectric projects, including water supply agencies, purchasers of federal hydropower, and equity investors in hydropower development.

Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • FERC licensing
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Water rights and supply contracts
  • Environmental permitting
  • Land use and real estate
  • Asset transactions, including license transfers and due diligence review
  • Power purchase contracting
  • Design and development of public policy and federal tax strategies
  • State and federal litigation

Telecommunications

Our group incorporates the firm’s extensive transactional and regulatory experience in wireless and wireline telecommunications, drawing upon the expertise of attorneys in several of the firm’s departments, including litigation, business counseling, tax, intellectual property, labor and employment, environmental, land use and zoning, and commercial law.

We work with clients in the many areas of telecommunications, including leasing, regulatory proceedings, setting of utility rates, siting and land use, interconnection, environmental law, real estate, taxation, business, project and operational finance and litigation. Over the years, our attorneys have represented clients before the FCC, the courts, state legislatures and state commissions on a wide range of issues.

Our team regularly assists clients with a broad range of services, including, but not limited to:

  • Rights-of-way access and permitting
  • Negotiating real estate and other land use agreements
  • Obtaining certificates of public convenience and necessity
  • Negotiating interconnection agreements
  • Negotiating end-user agreements
  • Government services, including state and federal relations
  • Federal and state consumer regulations and compliance
  • Commercial litigation, including antitrust, construction, and contract and licensing disputes
  • Data privacy and security
  • Tax matters
  • M&A, project finance and development
  • Patent licensing, enforcement and defense
  • Trademark portfolio development, clearance, enforcement, and defense

Project Development and Finance

Helping clients develop and finance successful projects requires significant legal expertise combined with a thorough understanding of the energy industry, including market dynamics, tax structures, regulatory environments, and investor and lender sensitivities. Our team is comprised of attorneys with extensive experience in the numerous legal disciplines that shape energy projects.

Our attorneys help clients navigate virtually all legal aspects of their businesses, including:

  • Turn-key project development and redevelopment design
  • Structuring
  • Financing
  • Implementation
  • Regulatory advice
  • Tax matters
  • Environmental permitting
  • Litigation/dispute resolution
  • Debt restructures and insolvencies on both the debtor and creditor sides

We routinely work with energy companies, utilities, municipalities, project sponsors and developers, banks and institutional investors, private debt and capital providers, insurance companies and other energy industry participants on a wide range of energy project transactions.

Energy Litigation

Archer’s cross-discipline team of litigators and trial attorneys are well versed in the unique issues and matters our energy clients face. We have represented clients before all key federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies and their state counterparts, including the Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others.

We provide representation to electric utilities and power producers, independent system operators (ISOs), regional transmission organizations (RTOs), stand-alone transmission companies, oil and gas companies, renewable energy companies, pipeline owners, lenders, utility holding companies, and other industry participants in a wide range of disputes.

Areas in which we represent clients include, but are not limited to:

  • Class actions
  • Operating agreement disputes
  • Business interruption claims
  • Royalty and state tax issues
  • Rates and tariffs matters
  • Warranty and insurance claims
  • Contract disputes
  • Construction Disputes
  • Regulatory reviews and rate-making proceedings
  • Government investigations
  • FERC enforcement and investigations
  • State Public Utility Commission actions
  • Antitrust and unfair competition claims
  • Permitting and land use challenges
  • Environmental litigation
  • Accident or injury
  • Criminal investigations

Energy Transactions

Successful transactions for the purchase of power or construction of generation require knowledge and experience in the commercial, financial, regulatory and environmental rules, regulations and practices driving energy markets. Archer’s energy team provides comprehensive counsel on complex commercial transactions and handle transactions in all sectors of the energy industry. Combining business, regulatory, and transactional experience, we represent clients’ interests in connection with the following:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, sales and divestitures
  • Strategic alliances and joint ventures
  • Asset and debt portfolios
  • Private equity and venture capital investments
  • Trading and commodity agreements
  • Project development and financings
  • Power purchase and power sale agreements
  • Real estate matters
  • Procurement and construction contracts
  • Interconnection agreements
  • Antitrust and competition laws
  • General corporate, commercial and contract matters
  • Intellectual property and data security

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