Power | White & Case
Power & Energy Law

Power

We help our clients in the power industry to navigate myriad legal challenges , including fluctuating market conditions, regulatory uncertainty, governmental investigations and continuous advances in conventional, renewable and clean energy technologies.

Global challenges require global resources

Whether it’s raising adequate capital to fund needed investment in power production and transmission, solving the challenges of cross-border investments, meeting environmental and regulatory requirements or addressing disputes and governmental inquiries, our clients require in-depth knowledge and experience of the power industry. We possess a deep understanding of global and regional business practices and government regulations, as well as proven domestic power experience in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

We cover the major areas of law in the regions of the world where our power industry clients currently do business, and the regions in which they are looking to expand.

Powering the power industry

We represent a diverse range of clients, including financial institutions and multilateral lenders, private equity firms, integrated public utilities, conventional and renewable power generators, power marketers, merchant transmission providers, project developers, governments and state owned entities, contractors and service companies and large consumers of power.

No matter how complex or challenging the issue is, our clients turn to us for our industry knowledge, proven track record of results and a wide range of power-related legal services.

Changing Energy Markets and Regulation

Over the last few decades the US power industry has undergone a transition from a regulated industry dominated by integrated monopolies to one based upon vertically disaggregated components and competitors. We have pioneered strategies to protect market participants from the vagaries of an unstable market design and have helped our clients navigate the resulting market failures.  Our Energy Markets and Regulatory Group assists clients with regulatory issues, energy project financings, energy company or asset sales and acquisitions, workout assessments, restructurings or bankruptcies and bet-the-company litigations. We work hard to find goal-orientated solutions to the challenges that our clients face based on our extensive understanding of how energy markets work.

 

AWARDS

Law Firm of the Year: Projects & Energy
Chambers Global 2013

Power Sector Legal Adviser of the Year
Infrastructure Journal 2012

"Excellent, completely seamless co-operation – a great group of lawyers."
Chambers Global 2014 (Projects: Power)

"A fine track record across the full range of energy concerns, from infrastructure and renewables projects to high-profile disputes"
Chambers UK 2013: Energy & Natural Resources: UK-wide

"The firm's Johannesburg office handles matters in Southern and Eastern Africa and is regularly instructed by major power sector heavyweights"
Chambers Global 2013: Africa-wide

"Global heavyweight in high-profile transactions and projects across the Mexican energy sphere"
Chambers Latin America 2013: Energy & Natural Resources: Mexico

 

RECENT DEAL OF THE YEAR AWARDS

African Power Deal of the Year 2013
Eskom DoE Peaker Power Projects in South Africa
Project Finance

Europe Renewables Deal of the Year 2012
Northwind near Belgium
Project Finance International

European Power Deal of the Year 2013
Butendiek Offshore Wind Farm near Belgium
Project Finance International

Asia-Pacific Hydroelectric Deal of the Year 2013
Zhaoheng Hydropower in China
Project Finance

M&A deal of the Year for 2013
Fortis Inc. acquisition of CH Energy Group for US$1.5 Billion
M&A Advisor Awards

Americas Power Deal of the Year 2012
Panda Temple Power Project in Texas
Project Finance International

Latin American Project Bond Deal of the Year 2012
Oaxaca Dos and Oaxaca Cuatro Wind Farms in Mexico
Project Finance

Europe Renewables Deal of the Year 2012
Northwind NV offshore Belgium
Project Finance International

Turkish Power Deal of the Year 2012
Tufanbeyli Power Project in Turkey
Project Finance International

Power Deal of the Year 2011
Gebze CCGT Power Plant in Turkey
Infrastructure Journal

Fortis – US$4.3 billion acquisition of UNS Energy, 2014
We represented Fortis Inc., Canada's largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility, in its US$4.3 billion acquisition of UNS Energy Corporation, an energy holding company headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. This transaction follows our representation of Fortis in its US$1.5 billion acquisition of CH Energy Group Inc., marking the company’s initial entry into the US.

Jordanian solar power projects, 2014
We represented International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a group of other lenders on a series of seven solar power projects in Jordan with a total capacity in the region of 100 MW. The seven projects make up the majority of the Round 1 solar power programme in Jordan, which was implemented by the government to encourage the development of renewable energy projects in the country and assist in the diversification of its power generation sources. It is hoped that the success of Round 1 will see Jordan become a leader for renewable energy in the Middle East.

Eggborough Power Station, 2014
We represented Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH), a leading Central European energy group operating mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, in connection with the acquisition of the 2GW Eggborough Power Station located in Yorkshire, England, marking the group's entry into the UK market.

Panda Moxie Patriot power project, 2013
We represented Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Ares Capital Corporation, Union Bank and Investec as joint lead arrangers in connection with the energy project financing of Panda Power Funds' planned US$652 million, approximately 800 MW (nominal) natural gas-fired, combined-cycle Moxie Patriot power generating station being developed in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

The Moxie Patriot project is sited on the Marcellus Shale, estimated to be the second-largest natural gas field in the world. The project's proximity to such a large supply of natural gas is expected to provide a significant operating cost advantage for the power plant.

The Moxie Patriot transaction was the fifth financing of a power plant by Panda Power Funds that we were involved with in a 17-month period.

Dynegy US$2.8 billion power plant acquisition, 2013
We represented Dynegy Inc. in its US$2.8 billion acquisition of Duke Energy Corp.'s PJM merchant generation and retail businesses, consisting of 11 merchant natural gas and coal-fired power plants, located in Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania and comprising 6,089 MW of capacity.

This purchase is part of a series of recent purchases by Dynegy. The company simultaneously purchased another 10 power plants from Energy Capital Partners. These two purchases will nearly double Dynegy’s power-generating capacity and boost Dynegy's overall generating capacity to about 26,000 megawatts. They will also give Dynegy a larger share of the electricity market and will possibly make it the third- or fourth-largest merchant power company in the US, selling electricity at market prices, not regulated rates.

Ruwais Power Company PJSC – Shuweihat S2 refinancing, 2013
We represented Ruwais Power Company PJSC and its sponsors  on the inaugural issuance of US$825 million of 6% senior secured bonds due 2036 and the related refinancing of the Shuweihat 2 independent water and power project (IWPP) in Jebel Dhana, United Arab Emirates.

This transaction represents the first project bond offering by an independent water and power project in the Middle East. The project bond was used to partially refinance existing facilities with commercial lenders and Japan Bank for International Cooperation. This transaction was selected as "2013 Middle East Bond Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 Middle Eastern Project Bond Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Chaglla hydroelectric power project, 2013
We represented Empresa de Generación Huallaga S.A. as borrower and Odebrecht Energia S.A. as sponsor in the development, construction and project financing of the US$1.2 billion 406 MW Chaglla hydroelectric power generation project in Peru.

The financing structure incorporates unique features for a project of this type, including limited contingent equity sponsor support and no completion guarantee. The negotiations involved advisors in a number of jurisdictions, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Peru. The Chaglla financing was the first time that the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development's (BNDES) and the Inter-American Development Bank co-financed a power project.

This transaction has won many awards including "2013 Americas Renewable Deal" of the Year by Project Finance International magazine and "2013 Power Deal of the Year" by Infrastructure Journal.

Butendiek offshore wind farm, 2013
We represented wpd group, as project developer and shareholder, in the €937 million financing for the 288 MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The wpd group is part of an investor group consisting of Marguerite Fund, Siemens Project Ventures, Industriens Pension and PKA. Valued at approximately €1.3 billion, this project was financed with €937 million in loans from a consortium led by KfW IPEX-Bank, UniCredit and Bremer Landesbank, and also included the European Investment Bank, the Danish export credit insurance company EKF and nine commercial banks. This deal was selected as "2013 European Power Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International.

Occidental Petroleum, 2013
We represented Occidental Petroleum in a case of first impression in which we successfully challenged state protocols and US federal laws to secure the right to sell surplus electricity to the US power grid in California. Careful navigation of the regulatory path led to a solution that avoided pitting state and federal authorities against each other, and ultimately allowed the company to refocus its strategy to increase oil and gas production at its Elk Hills Oil Field while improving efficiency and lowering operating costs. Our work on this matter earned a "Standout" ranking – the highest ranking possible – by the Financial Times in its FT North America Innovative Lawyers 2014 report and Dan Hagan, the Firm’s lead lawyer on the matter, was "Commended" for his work.

Rajasthan Sun Technique solar project, 2012
We represented the international lenders (including Asian Development Bank, FMO, and Axis Bank), as common lenders' counsel, in connection with Reliance Power's approximately US$392 million financing of the 100 MW Rajasthan Sun Technique concentrating solar photovoltaic (CSP) solar power project in the village of Dhursar, State of Rajasthan, India. Upon completion, this project will be one of the largest solar power plants in India. This deal was selected as "2012 Asia-Pacific Solar Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Electric reliability investigations, 2011
We represented a public utility client in six concurrent investigations conducted by federal and state regulators into blackouts that occurred in the Southwest United States. The investigations were the first multiagency review of an electric reliability event under the mandatory electric reliability standards that resulted in joint agency findings. Each investigation concluded without a finding of any violation by our client.  

Power
About

We help our clients in the power industry to navigate myriad legal challenges , including fluctuating market conditions, regulatory uncertainty, governmental investigations and continuous advances in conventional, renewable and clean energy technologies.

Global challenges require global resources

Whether it’s raising adequate capital to fund needed investment in power production and transmission, solving the challenges of cross-border investments, meeting environmental and regulatory requirements or addressing disputes and governmental inquiries, our clients require in-depth knowledge and experience of the power industry. We possess a deep understanding of global and regional business practices and government regulations, as well as proven domestic power experience in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

We cover the major areas of law in the regions of the world where our power industry clients currently do business, and the regions in which they are looking to expand.

Powering the power industry

We represent a diverse range of clients, including financial institutions and multilateral lenders, private equity firms, integrated public utilities, conventional and renewable power generators, power marketers, merchant transmission providers, project developers, governments and state owned entities, contractors and service companies and large consumers of power.

No matter how complex or challenging the issue is, our clients turn to us for our industry knowledge, proven track record of results and a wide range of power-related legal services.

Changing Energy Markets and Regulation

Over the last few decades the US power industry has undergone a transition from a regulated industry dominated by integrated monopolies to one based upon vertically disaggregated components and competitors. We have pioneered strategies to protect market participants from the vagaries of an unstable market design and have helped our clients navigate the resulting market failures.  Our Energy Markets and Regulatory Group assists clients with regulatory issues, energy project financings, energy company or asset sales and acquisitions, workout assessments, restructurings or bankruptcies and bet-the-company litigations. We work hard to find goal-orientated solutions to the challenges that our clients face based on our extensive understanding of how energy markets work.

 

AWARDS

Law Firm of the Year: Projects & Energy
Chambers Global 2013

Power Sector Legal Adviser of the Year
Infrastructure Journal 2012

"Excellent, completely seamless co-operation – a great group of lawyers."
Chambers Global 2014 (Projects: Power)

"A fine track record across the full range of energy concerns, from infrastructure and renewables projects to high-profile disputes"
Chambers UK 2013: Energy & Natural Resources: UK-wide

"The firm's Johannesburg office handles matters in Southern and Eastern Africa and is regularly instructed by major power sector heavyweights"
Chambers Global 2013: Africa-wide

"Global heavyweight in high-profile transactions and projects across the Mexican energy sphere"
Chambers Latin America 2013: Energy & Natural Resources: Mexico

 

RECENT DEAL OF THE YEAR AWARDS

African Power Deal of the Year 2013
Eskom DoE Peaker Power Projects in South Africa
Project Finance

Europe Renewables Deal of the Year 2012
Northwind near Belgium
Project Finance International

European Power Deal of the Year 2013
Butendiek Offshore Wind Farm near Belgium
Project Finance International

Asia-Pacific Hydroelectric Deal of the Year 2013
Zhaoheng Hydropower in China
Project Finance

M&A deal of the Year for 2013
Fortis Inc. acquisition of CH Energy Group for US$1.5 Billion
M&A Advisor Awards

Americas Power Deal of the Year 2012
Panda Temple Power Project in Texas
Project Finance International

Latin American Project Bond Deal of the Year 2012
Oaxaca Dos and Oaxaca Cuatro Wind Farms in Mexico
Project Finance

Europe Renewables Deal of the Year 2012
Northwind NV offshore Belgium
Project Finance International

Turkish Power Deal of the Year 2012
Tufanbeyli Power Project in Turkey
Project Finance International

Power Deal of the Year 2011
Gebze CCGT Power Plant in Turkey
Infrastructure Journal

Experience

Fortis – US$4.3 billion acquisition of UNS Energy, 2014
We represented Fortis Inc., Canada's largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility, in its US$4.3 billion acquisition of UNS Energy Corporation, an energy holding company headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. This transaction follows our representation of Fortis in its US$1.5 billion acquisition of CH Energy Group Inc., marking the company’s initial entry into the US.

Jordanian solar power projects, 2014
We represented International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a group of other lenders on a series of seven solar power projects in Jordan with a total capacity in the region of 100 MW. The seven projects make up the majority of the Round 1 solar power programme in Jordan, which was implemented by the government to encourage the development of renewable energy projects in the country and assist in the diversification of its power generation sources. It is hoped that the success of Round 1 will see Jordan become a leader for renewable energy in the Middle East.

Eggborough Power Station, 2014
We represented Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH), a leading Central European energy group operating mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, in connection with the acquisition of the 2GW Eggborough Power Station located in Yorkshire, England, marking the group's entry into the UK market.

Panda Moxie Patriot power project, 2013
We represented Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Ares Capital Corporation, Union Bank and Investec as joint lead arrangers in connection with the energy project financing of Panda Power Funds' planned US$652 million, approximately 800 MW (nominal) natural gas-fired, combined-cycle Moxie Patriot power generating station being developed in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

The Moxie Patriot project is sited on the Marcellus Shale, estimated to be the second-largest natural gas field in the world. The project's proximity to such a large supply of natural gas is expected to provide a significant operating cost advantage for the power plant.

The Moxie Patriot transaction was the fifth financing of a power plant by Panda Power Funds that we were involved with in a 17-month period.

Dynegy US$2.8 billion power plant acquisition, 2013
We represented Dynegy Inc. in its US$2.8 billion acquisition of Duke Energy Corp.'s PJM merchant generation and retail businesses, consisting of 11 merchant natural gas and coal-fired power plants, located in Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania and comprising 6,089 MW of capacity.

This purchase is part of a series of recent purchases by Dynegy. The company simultaneously purchased another 10 power plants from Energy Capital Partners. These two purchases will nearly double Dynegy’s power-generating capacity and boost Dynegy's overall generating capacity to about 26,000 megawatts. They will also give Dynegy a larger share of the electricity market and will possibly make it the third- or fourth-largest merchant power company in the US, selling electricity at market prices, not regulated rates.

Ruwais Power Company PJSC – Shuweihat S2 refinancing, 2013
We represented Ruwais Power Company PJSC and its sponsors  on the inaugural issuance of US$825 million of 6% senior secured bonds due 2036 and the related refinancing of the Shuweihat 2 independent water and power project (IWPP) in Jebel Dhana, United Arab Emirates.

This transaction represents the first project bond offering by an independent water and power project in the Middle East. The project bond was used to partially refinance existing facilities with commercial lenders and Japan Bank for International Cooperation. This transaction was selected as "2013 Middle East Bond Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 Middle Eastern Project Bond Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Chaglla hydroelectric power project, 2013
We represented Empresa de Generación Huallaga S.A. as borrower and Odebrecht Energia S.A. as sponsor in the development, construction and project financing of the US$1.2 billion 406 MW Chaglla hydroelectric power generation project in Peru.

The financing structure incorporates unique features for a project of this type, including limited contingent equity sponsor support and no completion guarantee. The negotiations involved advisors in a number of jurisdictions, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Peru. The Chaglla financing was the first time that the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development's (BNDES) and the Inter-American Development Bank co-financed a power project.

This transaction has won many awards including "2013 Americas Renewable Deal" of the Year by Project Finance International magazine and "2013 Power Deal of the Year" by Infrastructure Journal.

Butendiek offshore wind farm, 2013
We represented wpd group, as project developer and shareholder, in the €937 million financing for the 288 MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The wpd group is part of an investor group consisting of Marguerite Fund, Siemens Project Ventures, Industriens Pension and PKA. Valued at approximately €1.3 billion, this project was financed with €937 million in loans from a consortium led by KfW IPEX-Bank, UniCredit and Bremer Landesbank, and also included the European Investment Bank, the Danish export credit insurance company EKF and nine commercial banks. This deal was selected as "2013 European Power Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International.

Occidental Petroleum, 2013
We represented Occidental Petroleum in a case of first impression in which we successfully challenged state protocols and US federal laws to secure the right to sell surplus electricity to the US power grid in California. Careful navigation of the regulatory path led to a solution that avoided pitting state and federal authorities against each other, and ultimately allowed the company to refocus its strategy to increase oil and gas production at its Elk Hills Oil Field while improving efficiency and lowering operating costs. Our work on this matter earned a "Standout" ranking – the highest ranking possible – by the Financial Times in its FT North America Innovative Lawyers 2014 report and Dan Hagan, the Firm’s lead lawyer on the matter, was "Commended" for his work.

Rajasthan Sun Technique solar project, 2012
We represented the international lenders (including Asian Development Bank, FMO, and Axis Bank), as common lenders' counsel, in connection with Reliance Power's approximately US$392 million financing of the 100 MW Rajasthan Sun Technique concentrating solar photovoltaic (CSP) solar power project in the village of Dhursar, State of Rajasthan, India. Upon completion, this project will be one of the largest solar power plants in India. This deal was selected as "2012 Asia-Pacific Solar Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Electric reliability investigations, 2011
We represented a public utility client in six concurrent investigations conducted by federal and state regulators into blackouts that occurred in the Southwest United States. The investigations were the first multiagency review of an electric reliability event under the mandatory electric reliability standards that resulted in joint agency findings. Each investigation concluded without a finding of any violation by our client.