Energy - Hydropower

Van Ness Feldman is home to the premier hydropower law practice in the United States and to one of the largest and most experienced teams of attorneys available.  Our current and recent matters involve over 50 percent of all FERC-licensed hydroelectric capacity in the country.  Additionally, the firm advises developers of new hydropower projects, including conventional large and small hydro, pumped storage, and emerging technologies such as ocean and tidal projects.

Van Ness Feldman offers a singular combination of legal pragmatism, practical and comprehensive knowledge, and political perspective to help our clients identify effective solutions to emerging business problems.  We understand how to efficiently navigate important and time-sensitive client business matters through approval processes in key regulatory agencies.  This experience and familiarity in regulatory matters allow us to work closely and effectively with policy and career staff within agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Forest Service, the Departments of the Interior and Commerce, and other federal and state agencies, to craft solutions that achieve our clients’ business objectives while meeting regulatory requirements. 

Our clients represent the full range of hydropower owners and developers, from investor-owned utilities, to state and municipal power agencies, to large and small independent power producers.  We also represent a range of other entities with interests in hydroelectric projects including irrigation districts and water supply agencies, purchasers of federal hydropower, and equity investors in hydropower development.

We offer clients the benefit of many years of experience, a deep insight into the complex interplay of judicial, policy, and regulatory developments affecting the hydropower sector, and a forward-looking perspective that allows clients a broad range of legal options.  The firm’s knowledge and experience in this highly specialized, technical area are invaluable to the success of our clients.  Our capabilities include: 

  • FERC licensing and relicensing proceedings including negotiating complex licensing settlements;
  • FERC license and settlement implementation;
  • Regulatory compliance including enforcement proceedings;
  • Non-FERC federal and state regulatory requirements;
  • Dam safety and infrastructure security;
  • Water rights and supply contracts;
  • Environmental permitting;
  • Land use and real estate;
  • Asset transactions, including license transfers and due diligence review;
  • Power purchase contracting;
  • Design and development of public policy and federal tax strategies;
  • Litigation before state and federal courts; and
  • Administrative litigation, including hearings at FERC as well as under the hydropower reform provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.


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Professionals

Richard A. Agnew

Partner and Chairman

Washington D.C.

202.298.1815

raa@vnf.com / vCard

Gary D. Bachman

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1880

gdb@vnf.com / vCard

Steve Baruch

Senior Energy Analyst

Washington D.C.

202.298.1832

sjb@vnf.com / vCard

John H. Clements

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1933

jhc@vnf.com / vCard

Tyson C. Kade

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1948

tck@vnf.com / vCard

Ray Liaw

Partner

Seattle

206.623.9372

hrl@vnf.com / vCard

Matthew A. Love

Partner

Seattle

206.829.1809

mal@vnf.com / vCard

Jenna R. Mandell-Rice

Associate

Seattle

206.623.9372

jrm@vnf.com / vCard

Malcolm C. McLellan

Partner

Seattle

206.829.1814

mcm@vnf.com / vCard

Brian J. McManus

Of Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.3720

bzm@vnf.com / vCard

Joseph B. Nelson

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1894

jbn@vnf.com / vCard

Michael R. Pincus

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1833

mrp@vnf.com / vCard

Charles R. Sensiba

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1801

crs@vnf.com / vCard

Michael A. Swiger

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1891

mas@vnf.com / vCard

Robert G. Szabo

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1920

rgs@vnf.com / vCard

Mealear Tauch

Paralegal

Washington D.C.

202.298.1946

mzt@vnf.com / vCard

Andrew M. VanderJack

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1941

amv@vnf.com / vCard

Michael Weiner

Legislative Assistant

Washington D.C.

202.298.1848

mrw@vnf.com / vCard

Sharon White

Associate

Washington D.C.

202.298.1871

slw@vnf.com / vCard

Julia Scarpino Wood

Partner

Washington D.C.

202.298.1938

jsw@vnf.com / vCard

James W. Ziglar

Senior Counsel

Washington D.C.

202.298.1802

jwz@vnf.com / vCard

News

Van Ness Feldman Named 1st Tier Conventional Power and Oil & Gas Firm by The Legal 500, United States, 2017

Kyle Danish Co-Authors Article on Trump Regulatory Reform Agenda

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Acquire Kerr Hydro Project in Historic Transaction

The Legal 500 Names Van Ness Feldman 1st Tier Energy Regulatory Firm

Mike Swiger Receives National Hydropower Association's Dr. Kenneth Henwood Award

Tidal-Power License Issued for Snohomish County PUD

Van Ness Feldman Elects Six New Partners

Rick Agnew and Jon Simon Featured at NHA's Alaska Regional Meeting

Van Ness Feldman Named 1st Tier Energy Regulatory Firm by The Legal 500, United States, 2013

Events

HydroVision International 2017

Midwest Hydro Users Group 2017 Spring Meeting

2017 EBA Annual Meeting & Conference

The Mighty Columbia Conference

2016 ACWA Regulatory Summit

National Hydropower Association's Alaska Regional Meeting

National Water Resources Association's Western Water Seminar 2016

HydroVision International 2016

HydroVision International 2016

2016 Spring Midwest Hydro Users Group Meeting

2015 Fall Midwest Hydro Users Group Meeting

National Hydropower Association Alaska Regional Meeting

HydroVision International 2015

Energy-Water Nexus - Issues Facing Public Power in the Future

The Clean Power Plan & Hydro Power: How EPA's Proposed 111(d) Rule Impacts Hydro

APPA's Legal Seminar

Comprehensive Review of Hydropower in the Northwest

EBA Primer Series: An Introduction to Hydropower Law and Regulation

HydroVision International 2014

NHA 2014 Alaska Regional Meeting

NHA 2014 Annual Conference

NHA's 2013 Alaska Regional Meeting

National Hydropower Association Alaska Regional Meeting

NHA/NWHA 2011 Northwest Regional Meeting

NWHA Small Hydro Workshop

NHA 2011 Alaska Regional Meeting

NWHA 2011 Annual Conference "Hydropower: Generating a Clean Future"

New MOU for Hydropower on Federal Lands

Changes Affecting Hydropower Projects

HydroVision 2008

NWHA 2008 Annual Conference: "The Climate of Hydro"

Alternative Energy: Regulations & Technical Developments

Alerts

FERC Reexamining Policy Governing Length of Hydroelectric Licenses

2016 Election Results: Impacts of the Presidential and Congressional Races

Use of Drones for Monitoring and Inspection of Energy Infrastructure

Army Corps Proposes Renewal of Nationwide Permits for Work in Waters of the U.S.

Congress Establishes Federal Permitting Reforms for Major Infrastructure Projects

D.C. Circuit Overrules FERC's Effort to Narrow Section 7 Municipal Preference

New BIA Rule Could Have Unintended Consequences for Business in Indian Country

Federal Agencies Issue Revised Interim Final Rules for Trial-Type Hearings; Seek Comments

Policy Outlook for 2015

FERC Holds that Federal Power Act Preempts State Shoreline Management Act for Hydro Tidal Project

OUTLOOK 2014: KEY POLICY DEVELOPMENTS

FERC Limits Hydro Municipal Preference to Projects in Vicinity of Municipality

Fifth Circuit Holds that Federal Power Act Preempts Certain State Property Damage Claims

Federal District Court Orders Washington State Agencies to Repair Culverts that Block Fish Passage in Violation of Tribes' Treaty Fishing Right

FERC Issues Declaratory Order that Ends Practice of Assessing Charges for Use of Non-Federal Lands Subject to Power Site Reservation

FERC Issues Final Rule on Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands by Hydropower Licensees

Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit on Clean Water Act Issue

Updates

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 7

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 6

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 5

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 4

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 3

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 2

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 4, Issue 1

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 12

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 11

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 10

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 9

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 8

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 7

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 6

Hydro Newsletter - Special NHA Edition - Volume 3, Issue 5

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 4

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 3

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 2

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 1

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 12

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 11

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 10

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 9

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 8

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 7

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 6

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 5

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 4

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 3

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 2

Hydro Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 1

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 12

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 11

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 10

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - September 11 - 24, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Aug. 28 - Sept. 10, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 9

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - August 14 - 27, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - August 1 - 13, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 8

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - July 16 - 30, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 26 - July 9, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 7

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 12 - 25, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 29 - June 11, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 6

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 15 - 28, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 1 - 14, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - April 17 - 30, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 5

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - April 2 - 16, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Mar. 20 - Apr. 2, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 4

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - March 5 - 19, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Feb. 18 - Mar. 5, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 3

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Jan. 30 - Feb. 12, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Jan. 16 - 29, 2014

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 2

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Jan. 1 - 15, 2014

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Dec. 4 - 18, 2013

Hydro Newsletter - Vol. 1

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Nov. 7 - 20, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Oct. 10 - 23, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Sep. 19 - Oct. 9, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - Sep. 3 - 18, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - July 18 - 31, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - July 4 - 17, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 20 - July 3, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - June 6 - 19, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 23 - June 5, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - May 9 - 22, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - April 25 - May 8, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - March 28 - April 10, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - March 13 - 27, 2013

Climate, Energy, & Air Update - January 31 - February 13, 2013