Fredrikson & Byron understands today’s transmission challenges, based on our role in shaping the Midwest region’s electrical system during the past 30 years. Starting with the CU Project transmission lines in the 1970s and early 1980s, the proposed Big Stone Unit II transmission lines linking South Dakota and Minnesota, and the CapX 2020 projects, Fredrikson has first hand experience in establishing high voltage transmission line (HVTL) corridors. That depth of experience – from project development, to governmental authorizations, even litigation – is what sets us apart.
Fredrikson & Byron has first hand experience in establishing high voltage transmission line (HVTL) corridors.”
U.S. Transmission Challenges
The lack of transmission capacity has hit a crucial point in the United States, with significant development of the transmission system needed to cover projected long-term energy demands, for both renewable and traditional sources of power. Difficult questions regarding cost allocation (who pays), siting, and overlapping governmental jurisdictions only add to the challenge.
How we Can help: Transmission Capabilities
Fredrikson & Byron’s Energy Group has played a key role in shaping the energy market through representing clients on generation, transmission, and other energy infrastructure projects for more than 30 years.
Fredrikson & Byron understands today’s transmission and energy infrastructure challenges. Our experience on energy infrastructure dates to the epic “power line wars” from the 1970s involving more than 400 miles of DC and AC high voltage transmission lines, to the recent Big Stone II generation and transmission proposal and CapX 2020 high voltage transmission lines. Our team members continue to take leadership positions on important and often controversial energy infrastructure projects. Fredrikson has substantial credentials in helping clients develop, permit, finance, and construct critical energy infrastructure facilities in the Upper Midwest and beyond.
Our clients look to us to guide them through state regulatory, land use, condemnation, permitting, and governmental affairs associated with significant and important transmission and energy projects. Our familiarity of the regulatory and political environment adds valuable insight to an energy company’s strategy. We add value throughout each stage of the process.
We offer a comprehensive range of services:
Project development. We regularly take the lead counsel role on large energy-infrastructure projects, including HVTLs, natural gas and oil pipelines, and traditional and renewable generation facilities.
Regulatory. We represent electric transmission owners, users, inter- and intra-state pipelines owners and shippers in local, state, and federal proceedings, including certificate of need, route permit, and prudence proceedings. We regularly appear before state public utility and other regulatory commissions.
Permitting. We have represented utilities in local, state, and federal administrative law permit proceedings, including certificate of need and route permit proceedings. We represent wind energy developers in obtaining required state and local permits.
Land acquisition and eminent domain. Fredrikson has substantial experience with land rights and land use matters involving transmission. This includes condemnation of rights-of-way for electrical transmission and natural gas and oil pipeline projects, property tax appeals, franchise issues, special assessment appeals, and zoning and land use disputes.
MISO/FERC. We advise public utilities, IPPs and renewable energy companies on all aspects of how generators connect to the grid, how costs are allocated, and related transmission service issues.
Governmental Relations. Our relationships with Upper Midwest legislators, executive branch, and key energy agencies is deep. No large energy project is free of politics. Our strong relationships and political experience help clients avoid political minefields and move their projects forward.
Construction. We represent utility clients in construction litigation.
Litigation. We have the experience to deliver effective litigation results in state and federal courts.
Our lawyers have been at the forefront of some of the most important transmission and energy infrastructure projects in the Upper Midwest, including:
- CapX 2020 – lead land use/right-of-way counsel for CapX 2020 projects in the Upper Midwest.
- Big Stone II Project – generation and transmission authorizations in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota for a 500-580 MW supercritical coal-fired unit and 150 miles of new 230 kV and 345 kV HVTLS
- “MinnCan” pipeline project – right-of-way and condemnation for owners of 305-mile crude pipeline, involving more than 220 parcels in 13 counties.
- Alliance pipeline project – right-of-way and condemnation counsel for owners of a $3 billion natural gas pipeline.
- Major Upper Midwest electric generating utilities
- Joint ventures and joint venture partners, including large power plant developers
- State government entities
- Oil and gas transmission pipeline companies
- Wind energy developers