Energy and Public Utility

Energy and Public Utility


We have one of the strongest energy and public utility law practices in the Pacific Northwest. We represent municipal-owned governments and consumer-owned utilities, independent power producers, and industrial and commercial retail customers of investor-owned utilities in all aspects of energy and public utility law, including:

 The financing and development of electric generation projects, including wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, and natural gas-fired turbine facilities.

Wholesale and retail power purchase and sale agreements, as well as transmission and other ancillary services agreements. 

Issues related to retail distribution, ratemaking, service territory disputes, and line extensions. 

Our work encompasses the following:

General utility representation. Cable Huston advises consumer-owned and municipal entities in all aspects of the ownership and operation of an electric utility. This work includes the formation and acquisition of a utility, service territory issues, utility ratemaking, the negotiation of wholesale and retail power purchase and sale agreements, the development and financing of generation resources, the negotiation of electric transmission agreements, the financing and construction of distribution and transmission facilities, public contracting, public meetings, and public records issues.

Finance. The securities and finance practice at Cable Huston focuses on electricity, water, wastewater, waste management, and telecommunications infrastructure development.  We help prepare and review offering statements to potential investors, and provide certain legal opinions in connection with the issuance of municipal bonds.  We have represented various clients in connection with financing and/or refinancing the Trojan Nuclear Plant, the Wauna Cogeneration Facility, the EWEB-PacifiCorp Wyoming Wind Project, the Klamath Cogeneration Facility, the Pelton-Round Butte hydroelectric project and other hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal and solid waste facilities located in various states.  We have particular experience with tax-exempt, non-recourse public financing.

Energy facility siting, licensing, and permitting. Cable Huston has significant experience in siting, licensing, and permitting gas-fired power plants, wind generation facilities, cogeneration facilities, geothermal facilities, high-voltage power lines, substations, and other utility facilities. This work includes meeting air and water quality requirements, obtaining land use permits, water rights, state energy facility siting council certificates, and public right-of-way permits, and complying with state and federal environmental laws. We have also been actively involved in all legal aspects of decommissioning a nuclear power generating station.

Hydroelectric facility relicensing. We have represented clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the federal courts to seek and contest applications for new licenses and renewals for existing licenses for hydroelectric facilities.

Energy regulation. We regularly represent clients before FERC and state utility commissions throughout the region. Our attorneys assisted in drafting Oregon’s electric, direct access legislation and regularly assist our consumer-owned utility clients in matters of self-governance.

Power marketing. We help clients draft and negotiate contracts for the wholesale or retail purchase and sale of power. We represent clients before the Bonneville Power Administration in contract negotiations, transmission disputes, and rate matters.

Risk management. We advise clients concerning financial hedging instruments such as swaps, physical commodity transactions, and other transactions arising under ISDA, EEI, WSPP, and other master agreements and related schedules.

Representative Clients

Clatskanie People's Utility District

Columbia Rural Electric Association

Emerald People's Utility District

Eugene Water & Electric Board

Hermiston Energy Services

Kootenai Electric Cooperative

Lakeview Light & Power

Northwest Industrial Gas Users

Northwest Intergovernmental Energy Supply

Obsidian Renewables, LLC

Public Utility District No. 1 of Cowlitz County, Washington

Richland Energy Services

Tillamook People’s Utility District

Turlock Irrigation District

Umatilla Electric Cooperative