Adams and Reese represents both public and private utilities as well as regulated and unregulated entities. Our attorneys have served in all facets of the industry, from general counsel for state regulatory agencies to lobbying at state and federal levels. We work with clients across multiple utility services, including power generation (traditional and renewable) and water utilities, as well as telecommunications providers including wireless carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), cable television services, and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).
The Utilities team provides full-service representation to our utilities and telecommunications clients, including transactional advice, contract drafting and review, financing, site selection, and other operational matters. We also have substantial litigation experience, including actions to enjoin unfavorable legislation, tort, and labor and employment issues. Significantly, our attorneys and government relations professionals are adept at regulatory review and representation before state and federal agencies. Our team has considerable experience advising clients in appearances before state public service commissions, state licensing boards, and federal regulatory bodies.
Our team also works routinely with attorneys in other practice areas, including real estate (utility easements, solar leases, etc.), energy and renewable energy (energy credits, community solar programs, alternative energy projects, etc.), and corporate (tax incentives, employee benefits, and executive compensation, among other areas).
Consider these examples of recent work experience:
- We provided regulatory advice to a Solar Qualifying Facility (SQF) seeking to build projects in South Carolina, including the interconnection agreement and power purchase agreement (PPA). This representation included monitoring proceedings at the South Carolina Public Service Commission implementing the South Carolina Energy Freedom Act and additional requirements of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).
- The Adams and Reese Utility Team represented a utility and transmission provider in a litigation dispute with a solar developer, including issues related to PURPA and the particulars of PPAs and interconnection agreements.
- We are assisting a regional water utility provider with public service commission applications.
The utility team at Adams and Reese consists of practitioners with significant experience across the various operational and regulatory needs of utility and telecommunications companies. Our team practices across our Southeast footprint, with a depth of experience dealing with state public service commissions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Our team also represents clients in front of federal regulatory agencies, including OSHA and the FCC.
The utilities and telecommunications team provides advice and representation for regulated and unregulated entities in all areas. Our areas of expertise include:
Regulatory Representation: Our team provides regulatory advice to clients at the federal, state, and local levels. This includes rulemaking proceedings at state public service commissions, monitoring legislation, and assisting with required approvals for transactions involving telecommunications utilities. We also assist with filing regularly required reports with relevant commissions across our footprint states. Our team stays abreast of all relevant laws, including requirements under power purchase agreements (PPA), obligations of utilities under PURPA, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Tax and Operational Advice: We routinely represent clients in the standard operation of their businesses, including financing, real estate acquisition, dispositions, and lease negotiations, labor and employment concerns, and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, we are adept at interpreting and negotiating the federal, state, and local tax concerns for public and private utilities, including newer taxation requirement for renewable energy programs.
Cybersecurity: Utility companies have increasingly become the targets of ransomware and other cybersecurity attacks. It is critical for utilities and other critical infrastructure to monitor operational technologies and industrial control systems. Our team includes members with significant cybersecurity experience, providing advice to utilities on their security practices as well as assisting in the event of a network breach.
Dispute Resolution: Our utilities team includes seasoned litigators who represent utility and telecommunications entities in dispute resolution, both with governmental agencies or in litigation. These disputes often include aspects of regulatory oversight.
- Assist multistate energy holding company with participation as a bidder in the competitive procurement of renewable energy RFP process before the South Carolina Public Service Commission.
- Provide telecommunications client with regulatory advice and monitoring of proceedings at the Louisiana Public Service Commission related to relevant rulemakings.
- Represented a natural gas distribution company with a petition for declaratory order from the public service commission regarding exemption from commission regulation regarding its installation of a renewable natural gas processing facility in Greenwood, SC.
- Advised a wastewater treatment entity with regard to matters pending before or subject to the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
- Represent cable telecommunications industry trade association before the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
- Assist and advise national telecommunications provider with respect to legislative, administrative, legal, and regulatory issues and matters of interest to the client and may impact its local and national business and operations.
- Assist local water utility with federal grants and funding for infrastructure projects.
- Negotiation of wholesale water and wastewater agreement between City and a utility submetering company.
- Provide consulting services regarding management of a non-profit focused on promoting the energy industry in Alabama.
- Provided guidance to an energy utility on a TCPA declaratory ruling that applies to certain calls and texts made by utilities to their customers.
- Provided advice to regional power company on a variety of contractual aspects applicable to community solar programs, solar leases, and other alternative energy programs.