Utility & Energy Law
Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC has significant experience in regulatory proceedings and matters before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), in most instances involving the Public Utilities Act. From advising clients about compliance with applicable statutory requirements and regulations, and providing assistance in obtaining regulatory approvals, to representing clients in contested cases before the ICC, we have broad experience in matters involving regulation of retail electricity, electric transmission, renewable energy, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and oil and gas pipelines.
Utilities and other developers of electric transmission lines, oil, natural gas and other pipelines must seek and receive eminent domain authority from the ICC for easements across private land for their projects before undertaking condemnation proceedings in circuit court. Developers of wind and solar power projects do not ordinarily have and cannot obtain such authority, so must instead rely on negotiating easements and leases on a voluntary basis with landowners. The lawyers at Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC regularly represent parties in connection with negotiating utility and developer easements as well as in contested proceedings for regulatory approval of such projects, and in connection with eminent domain proceedings.
Renewable energy development – mainly wind and large solar farms – present many new and challenging legal issues. Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC provides legal representation for renewable energy developers, from navigating the many state and local legal, regulatory and permitting requirements, to assisting with utility electric system interconnections, qualification for government benefits, renewable energy credits, electricity off-take agreements, and other matters. We also have experience with long term leases and easements, both for developers and on behalf of landowners, involving issues relating to many aspects of farmland, including treatment of soil and field tile, deconstruction, and property tax treatment.
The ICC has jurisdiction over billing disputes between public utilities and their customers. We have experience in helping resolve billing disputes, either through negotiation, informal proceedings before the Commission, or formal adversarial proceedings.
The energy world is changing. The proliferation of rooftop solar, electric energy storage, and distributed generation is changing the utility and energy landscape. Community solar, municipal owned utility renewable projects, and large scale solar are all becoming more common. Biomass gas generation and biofuels continue to grow. Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC is experienced and positioned to assist clients to navigate through this constantly altering landscape. Our attorneys include former Administrative Law Judges, former utility general counsel, and experienced corporate attorneys.
We are members of the Illinois Solar Energy Association.
Contact our Utility & Energy attorneys today