Practice Areas & Industries: Duane Morris LLP


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Duane Morris attorneys advise clients on the legal, practical and business issues surrounding electricity generation, transmission, distribution, policy, regulation, sale and consumption.

Our experience includes representation of domestic and international producers, regulatory agencies, independent electric transmission system operators and publicly owned utility companies, conventional and alternative energy developers, demand response providers, end users and others. In serving our clients, Duane Morris attorneys draw upon industry experience gained by serving as members of governmental regulatory agencies and from working within the energy industry. One of our attorneys helped establish the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office of Enforcement and was its first director. Others among our attorneys have also served in various capacities at FERC. Furthermore, Duane Morris was integrally involved in the creation of the first Regional Transmission Organization approved by FERC and has served as its counsel in a multitude of issues before FERC and the appellate courts, including the development and implementation of its electric energy and ancillary services markets.

Duane Morris' services include assisting federal and state regulators and agencies in the formation and implementation of regulations and policymaking. Similarly, we represent electric utilities and their operating subsidiaries in regulatory proceedings before FERC and various U.S. Courts of Appeals, including for the District of Columbia and Federal Circuits. Throughout the restructuring of the electric service industry, Duane Morris energy attorneys work closely with clients to develop effective strategies to meet the challenges of deregulation and increased competition. From policymaking on congestion management and negotiating contracts, to civil litigation and appeals in federal and state courts, Duane Morris attorneys address the diverse needs of clients in the electricity industry.

Our attorneys also assist emerging alternative energy companies and existing utilities with the legal, regulatory, tax and financing challenges they face in bringing new electricity to market.

Duane Morris represents developers, investors and sovereigns in complex energy projects throughout the world.


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Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, August 02, 2016
In a recent edition of our Energy, Environment and Resources Update, we discussed the then-pending petition for writ of certiorari from a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholding the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load). On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme...

Energy Sources—Following the Money
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, August 02, 2016
On April 14, 2016, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an energy and water funding bill that would appropriate $2 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy programs (an amount equal to fiscal year 2016...

FERC to Hold Technical Conference on Generator Interconnection Issues
Frederick J. Heinle,Dennis J. Hough, August 02, 2016
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a technical conference for May 13, 2016, to address potential revisions to its generator interconnection procedures and pro forma generator interconnection agreement. The technical conference presents the first opportunity for a...

New York PSC Limits ESCO Marketing to Residential and Small Commercial Customers
Phyllis J. Kessler, August 02, 2016
On February 23, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (“Commission”) issued an order limiting how electric and gas marketers (known in New York as “energy service companies” or “ESCOs”) can market competitive energy supply to residential and small...

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Power Generation Incentive Program on Preemption Grounds
Phyllis J. Kessler, August 02, 2016
On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC. In its opinion, authored by Justice Ginsburg, the Court rejected the attempt by the State of Maryland to incentivize the construction of new power plants through the use of a contract for differences. A...

What Does U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding FERC's Authority over Demand Response Mean for the Future of FERC's Jurisdiction?
, August 02, 2016
On January 25, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) to regulate demand response in the case Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association et al. (“EPSA”).[1] This opinion is...

FERC Declines to Resolve PURPA Dispute
Frederick J. Heinle, July 30, 2016
On January 8, 2016, FERC declined to initiate an enforcement action under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) in a matter involving a solar developer’s access to Connecticut’s renewable energy procurement program. Allco Renewable Energy Limited (Allco) argued that...

Pennsylvania Announces Planned New Methane Rules
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, July 30, 2016
On January 19, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a “nation-leading strategy” to reduce emissions of methane associated with natural gas production, processing and transmission. Citing the fact that Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the nation...

FERC Grants Complaints Based on Affiliate Abuse
Dennis J. Hough, July 28, 2016
In a pair of almost-identical complaints brought by a coalition of wholesale power generators led by the Electric Power Supply Association (Complainants), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (Commission) affiliate abuse rules were recently put to the test. Electric Power Supply...

Long-Term Solar Outlook Remains Strong in Spite of SunEdison, Abengoa Troubles
Frederick J. Heinle, July 23, 2016
The recent financial difficulties for solar developers SunEdison and Abengoa have made headlines and raised questions of whether they foreshadow tough times for the industry as a whole. SunEdison, which has not been profitable in more than five years, faces, in the words of its yield co, a...

New BLM Guidelines Establish Mitigation Fees for Solar Projects on Public Lands in Southwestern United States
Phyllis J. Kessler, July 23, 2016
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) expanded its roadmap for development of solar projects on government land by releasing new guidelines on March 2, 2016. The new guidelines expand the federal government¿s approach to its Western Solar Plan, which commenced in 2012.

PHMSA Seeks Expansion of Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Regulations
Dennis J. Hough, July 23, 2016
On March 17, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) announced proposed new safety regulations concerning onshore natural gas transmission and gathering pipelines. These proposed regulations would expand and enhance the reach of PHMSA’s pipeline...

FERC—National Labs Discuss Grid Modernization
Frederick J. Heinle, July 22, 2016
At its April 21, 2016 meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) invited representatives from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence...

NYC Council Approves Plastic Bag Fee
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, July 22, 2016
Joining the ranks of a growing number of cities and communities across the United States and around the globe, New York City will soon move to limit the use of plastic bags in the retail and grocery sectors. On May 5, 2016, a plastic bag fee bill (Intro. No. 209-A, 2014) was passed by City Council,...

New York Public Service Commission Energy Market Restructuring May Be Framework for Changes Nationwide
, July 22, 2016
The New York Public Service Commission ("PSC") issued a groundbreaking order on May 19, 2016, under its Reforming the Energy Vision ("REV") initiative. The REV’s overarching goal is to empower customers to determine their energy future by increasing the level of...

California Public Utilities Commission to Be Restructured
Thomas M. Berliner, July 21, 2016
Through a deal entered into between the California legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, the embattled California Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") will be restructured and reformed. Following a series of crises, including a 2010 major gas pipeline explosion that killed several people...

FERC Debates Future of PURPA
Frederick J. Heinle, July 21, 2016
At a June 29, 2016, conference, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") considered whether changes should be made to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ("PURPA"). PURPA aimed to increase generation capacity and change the generation mix by ending the...

What Does Trend Towards Residential Demand Charges Mean for Overall Rate Design?
Phyllis J. Kessler, July 21, 2016
In several states, utilities have been moving toward incorporating demand charges into residential rates. In June, Arizona Public Service Company filed a rate case, which included a proposal for three alternative demand charge rates for residential customers, while proposing to reduce volumetric...

Cuba’s Renewable Energy Plans Offer Opportunities for U.S. Investors
, January 19, 2016
Cuba recently announced plans to install more than two gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030. According to Rosell Guerra, director for renewable energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the additional capacity will result in renewables comprising approximately one-quarter of...

New York PSC Adopts Net Metering of Community Distributed Generation Projects
, January 19, 2016
In July 2015, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order establishing a Community Distributed Generation program, effective October 19, 2015. The program is intended to make renewables and other forms of distributed generation (DG) available to end users who are otherwise...

Renewable Energy Tax Incentives Extended
, January 19, 2016
On December 18, 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed by President Obama and became law, extending a number of key renewable energy tax incentives. Of keen interest to many investors and developers, the law extends the PTC (the Section 45 Production Tax Credit) and the ITC (the...

New York Public Service Commission Staff Supports Continuation of Net Metering
Phyllis J. Kessler, October 09, 2015
By statute, New York state utilities are required to offer net metering of electricity to generators of certain renewable energy resources, depending on the size of the project. Net metering means that, to the extent that there is surplus energy that is not used by the utility customer on behalf of...

U.S. District Court Preliminarily Enjoins EPA and ACOE "Waters of the United States" Final Rule
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, September 08, 2015
On August 27, 2015, a federal district judge in North Dakota preliminarily enjoined the final rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), titled "Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States," which was set to take effect...

FERC Green-lights Puerto Rico Offshore LNG Import Terminal; Project's Ocean-Going Regasification Unit Is First of Its Kind Before the FERC
Sheila Slocum Hollis,Dennis J. Hough,Ilia Levitine, September 07, 2015
On July 24, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its authorization pursuant to Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act[1] for the siting, construction and operation of the Aguirre Offshore GasPort (GasPort),[2] subject to certain environmental and operational conditions. The...