Archive: September 2018

Speakers Confirmed! A Briefing of Financing and Legal Strategies for Energy Procurement by Colleges and Universities
The Blockchain Energizer – Volume 35
Energizing the Future With Blockchain: How the Environment and Energy Sectors Can Benefit From the Technology Behind Bitcoin
FirstEnergy: Bankruptcy Court Asserts Primacy Over FERC; Approves Rejection of Power Purchase Agreements
Trump Administration Releases Clean Power Plan Replacement Proposal

Speakers Confirmed! A Briefing of Financing and Legal Strategies for Energy Procurement by Colleges and Universities

K&L Gates is excited to announce that we have confirmed the speakers for our Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) pre-conference working on Monday, October 1, 2018 at our office in Pittsburgh.

The full agenda is featured below.  Please note that you do not need to attend the full AASHE conference to participate in our complimentary workshop.

For more details and to register click here.


2:00 P.M. – 2:05 P.M.

2:05 P.M. – 2:45 P.M.
Introduction by George Summerfield, K&L Gates, Chicago
Cities, communities, industry are all facing similar struggles with decarbonization of the grid and transportation. Electrification, paired with the speed, flexibility and opportunities of the digital and data era, are accelerating energy transitions for mobility and the grid and their respective roles in a decarbonized future. Universities are not alone. They are also looking for ways to take better control of their energy sources and demonstrate to current and future students and stakeholders their commitment to a more sustainable energy future. The benefits for a cleaner energy transition for universities are clear. These include saving on the cost of energy, emitting less pollution, engaging in federal and state incentives, and ultimately leading by example by decarbonizing facilities and operations and stewarding the next generation of decision-makers. Prioritization of efforts and resources and bold commitments to 100% renewable energy are needed for a faster transition and enhanced resilience for universities.

SPEAKER: Elizabeth A. Kócs, PhD, MBA
Energy Initiative – Director of Strategy & Operations
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Faculty Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago
MRS Energy & Sustainability – Editor-in-Chief, Materials Research Society

2:45 P.M. – 3:45 P.M.
Higher Education institutions are often focused on investing in their academic mission. With limited state and federal funding available, they are faced with multi-faceted challenges like modernizing their aged utility infrastructure with more sustainable technologies, reducing ongoing utility costs, ensuring resilient operations and deploying capital to fund these initiatives that are outside of their core mission. Unique commercial structuring with the ability to tap third party capital resources can help mitigate these challenges and help develop and deliver the campus of tomorrow.


  • James Wrathall, Counsel, K&L Gates (Moderator)
  • Edmundo de la Fuente, Counsel, K&L Gates, Houston
  • John Givens, Senior Developer, Campus Energy Infrastructure, ENGIE North America
  • Santanu Khan, VP Business Development, Head of Campus Energy Infrastructure Investment, ENGIE North America
  • Jeffrey Matthews, Director, Investment Banking, Barclays

3:45 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

4:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.


  • Teresa Hill, Partner, K&L Gates, Portland (Moderator)
  • Rob Andrejewski, Director of Sustainability, University of Richmond
  • Christen Blum, Commercial Director, Edison Energy
  • Dennis Carlberg, Sustainability Director, Boston University
  • George Nelson, Director of Origination, ENGIE

5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.

The Blockchain Energizer – Volume 35

By Buck B. Endemann, Benjamin L. Tejblum, Daniel S. Cohen

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and health care to real estate and supply chain management. Many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space. To subscribe to the Blockchain Energizer, please click here.

Come out and say hello to Blockchain Energizer co-author Buck Endemann as he presents on blockchain and renewable fuel standard, RINs, and biodiesel issues at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) conference in Chicago on October 1–3, 2018!


  • Clean Energy Blockchain Network to Provide an Automated Clean Energy Certification Service and EV Charging Station that Powers Low-Income Households.
  • Share&Charge Foundation Plans to Create an EV Charging Stations Network Using the Energy Web Foundation’s Blockchain Platform.
  • ENGIE and Maltem Establish “Blockchain Studio” to Provide Software to Facilitate Commercial Adoption of Blockchain-based Applications.

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 35 of the Blockchain Energizer, click here.

Energizing the Future With Blockchain: How the Environment and Energy Sectors Can Benefit From the Technology Behind Bitcoin

Please Join K&L Gates and ELI and use our Sponsor Discount Code!

Join K&L Gates’ Buck B. Endemann and Ben L. Tejblum, along with an expert panel in San Francisco, CA for a detailed seminar on how blockchain operates as well as how it can be applied in the environmental and energy sectors.


Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

K&L Gates is pleased to offer a registration discount to colleagues and friends of the firm. To receive the discount code, please email

FirstEnergy: Bankruptcy Court Asserts Primacy Over FERC; Approves Rejection of Power Purchase Agreements

By Charles A. Dale III, William M. Keyser, David A. Mawhinney, and Michael L. O’Neill                      

In a closely watched battle between FirstEnergy Solutions (“FirstEnergy”) and the Ohio Valley Energy Corporation (“OVEC”) that could have significant implications for the U.S. power sector, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio asserted its primacy over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in deciding whether to allow FirstEnergy to repudiate certain FERC-regulated power purchase agreements (“PPAs”). In a decision with significant implications for all participants in rapidly evolving wholesale power markets, the bankruptcy court applied the highly deferential business judgment standard instead of the more stringent standard applied by FERC when evaluating proposed changes to PPAs featuring mutually agreed-upon filed rates. The court’s decision is now the subject of a direct appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the outcome may inspire additional action by Congress and the president.

To read the full alert, click here.


Trump Administration Releases Clean Power Plan Replacement Proposal

Advancing President Trump’s campaign promise to end the “war on coal,” on August 21, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a new rule to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). Unlike the CPP, the proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule (the “ACE Rule”) does not set numerical standards or targets for greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Instead, the ACE Rule would give states flexibility to set their own standards of performance for existing coal-fired power plants. EPA asserts that the ACE Rule will eventually reduce GHG emissions to a similar extent as the CPP would have; however, according to EPA, the ACE Rule would reduce GHG emissions by 1.5% by 2030, compared to 32% by 2030 under the CPP. Interested parties will have 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the ACE Rule.

To read the full alert, click here.

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