Power in Canada

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault provides a strong service to clients throughout the life cycle of power-related projects, spanning conventional generation, nuclear and renewable energy. The team is regularly engaged in high-value buy and sell-side M&A work throughout the value chain, and is also instructed by lenders and underwriters in the financing of all classes of transmission, distribution and generating assets and projects. Proceedings before courts and regulators across Canada and cross-border electricity mandates also feature on the workload. The group, which is led by Seán O’Neill in Toronto, is able to draw on existing expertise to assist clients on matters related to new and transitional areas in the power sector, such as green hydrogen production and Small Modular Reactor (SMR) development. David Lever has a wealth of experience in the power sector, advising on development, financing and regulatory matters. The latter is a primary focus for George Vegh, while Suzanne Murphy is noted for her transactional track record involving renewables and conventional energy assets. All named practitioners sit in the Toronto office.

Practice head(s):

Seán O’Neill

Key clients

Direct Energy

Centrica plc

Enwave Energy Corporation

NRStor C&I L.P. (now known as Aypa Power)

VINCI Energies International & Systems

Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure

Bruce Power LP

Boralex Ocean Falls Limited Partnership (a Boralex Inc. subsidiary)

Simon Fraser University

Hydro One Networks Inc.

Shell Canada

Stelco Inc.

ATB Financial

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of senior secured lenders on the C$1.5bn project financing of the development, construction and operation of the 900 MW merchant natural gas combined cycle Cascade Power Project in Alberta.
  • Advised Direct Energy on Centrica plc’s $3.625bn sale of its North American energy supply, services and trading business, Direct Energy, to NRG Energy, Inc.
  • Advised ATB Financial on its credit agreement with Capstone Infrastructure Corporation to provide financing for the construction of a 132-MW Claresholm solar project in Alberta.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

With deep regulatory knowledge of the Canadian power sector, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP advises advises across the spectrum of power mandates, from M&A transactions and joint venture structuring, through to assistance with project construction,  finance-related matters and dispute resolution. The practice witnessed a recent uptick in deal activity on the renewables side, and was sought after by power clients who had to adept quickly to the new business realities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Rocco Sebastiano, who is regularly instructed by developers, lenders, contractors and governmental entities in relation to the financing and procurement of major power projects, oversees the group from Toronto. Richard King is a contact to note for commercial and regulatory matters pertaining to power project development. Commercial lawyer Elliot Smith devotes a substantial portion of his practice to renewable and conventional power.

Practice head(s):

Rocco Sebastiano

Other key lawyers:

Richard King; Elliot Smith; Richard Wong; Danna Donald

Torys

Combining strong underlying regulatory expertise and first-rate transactional skills, Torys‘s broad service offering covers all forms of power generation technologies, transmission and distribution of electricity. The practice, which is predominantly based in Toronto, acts for a myriad of clients, including developers, sponsors, investors, lenders, public authorities and First Nations, and excels in indigenous-led projects, nuclear matters and energy storage developments. Krista Hill has significant expertise in M&A and project development across conventional and renewable energy. She jointly heads the practice with Charles Keizer, who focuses on sector-related regulatory, contractual and financing matters. Renewable power project development and financing are key specialisms for Valerie Helbronner, while Jonathan Myers’ notable areas of practice include energy regulatory issues throughout the value chain.

Practice head(s):

Krista Hill; Charles Keizer

Testimonials

‘Very response – client needs are clearly a priority. Practical minded in working through deal points. ’

‘Torys has unparalleled depth and breadth of electric expertise with a deep understanding of both the regulated and the unregulated electricity sector. Torys provides us with valuable advice on our most complex issues.’

‘Lou Cusano is one of the best lawyers in Calgary for Administrative/Regulatory Law. Healways provides excellent and timely advice that we can rely on that has led to successful outcomes. He is client-driven, competent, hard working and focused.’

‘Best in class in terms of knowledge of Ontario’s electricity market, excellent negotiating style which combines expert knowledge with an approachable way to provide feedback. Deep understanding of the different government entities, system operators as well as their regulatory constraints.’

‘Krista Hill has extensive knowledge of the topics and the ability to distill complicated concepts into language that everyone can understand.’

Key clients

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Carlyle Power Partners

Oneida Energy Storage LP

Wataynikaneyap Power LP

Suncor Energy

Alectra Utilities Corporation

Hydro One Networks Inc.

ENMAX Power Corporation

Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P.

OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc.

Cascade Power

Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure

NRG Energy Inc.

Nation Rise Wind Farm Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of EDP Renewables

Nuclear Waste Management Organization

Canadian Electricity Association

Work highlights

  • Advised NRG Energy as Canadian counsel on its $3.625bn acquisition of Direct Energy, a North American subsidiary of Centrica PLC.
  • Advised Cascade Power 0n matters related to the construction, financing and operation of the C$1.5bn Cascade Power Project, a 900 MW combined cycle power generation facility in Yellowhead County near Edson, Alberta.
  • Advising Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between 24 First Nation Communities and Fortis Inc, on all commercial and regulatory matters related to the development, construction, financing and operation of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP has an experienced power and renewables practice that provides support to an impressive roster of clients, comprising domestic and international producers, suppliers and developers across Canada. The firm is a go-to destination for energy regulation and infrastructure projects across  generation, transmission and distribution, demonstrating particular strength in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Typical mandates for the Calgary-based team also include environmental compliance, procurement, restructuring and M&A transactions. Co-head David Macaulay  ‘s experience in the sector covers M&A and project development in Western Canada. Fellow co-chair Thomas McInerney is regularly retained bu energy clients in commercial transactions, and renewable power generation projects. Loyola Keough is another key practitioner, who is noted for her expertise in electricity regulatory matters. 

Key clients

ATCO Electric Ltd.

ATCO Electric Yukon

ATCO Power Canada Ltd.

Canada Trade Law Bureau (Government of Canada)

Canadian Utilities Limited

City of Vancouver

Heartland Generation Ltd./Alberta Power (2000) Ltd.

Industrial Customer Group (Teck Metals Ltd., Weyerhaueser Company Limited, Zellstoff Celgar Limited Partnership, Domtar Inc.)

SunEdison

TELUS

Work highlights

  • Advised OPTrust on the formation and financing of a partnership with six Alberta First Nations which in turn participated in the equity syndication and project financing of the $1.5bn Cascade Power Project.
  • Advised Canadian Utilities on its combined $1.7bn sale of its interest in Alberta PowerLine to a consortium that included Greystone Managed Investments and IST3 Investment Foundation.
  • Advising the City of Vancouver on the development of green district energy utilities and the related public utility regulatory aspects, among other matters.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

With presence in key provinces across Canada, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP fields a unified national group that stands out for its deep understanding of alternative and renewable energy sources. The team, which acts for the full range of stakeholders, is particularly proficient in high-profile transactions and power project development, advising clients from initial financing through permitting, operation and ultimate disposition. Vivian Kung in Toronto takes a lead role on transactional matters, including high-value acquisitions, project financing and joint venture agreements. Now-managing partner Bryson Stokes in Calgary continues to work with power clients as a key relationship partner and senior strategy advisor. The Calgary office counts transactional lawyer Peter Keohane among its key practitioners. Sébastien Vilder in Montreal has a strong reputation in the renewable sector, having acted in multiple project financings in that segment.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Predominantly based in Toronto, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP acts for a wide range of industry participants, including public and private sector utility companies, renewable energy providers, PPP consortiums, private equity investors and financial institutions involved in conventional and renewable power projects and transactions. Nicholas Williams is seasoned at advising lenders and borrowers in the financing of power projects, which is also an area of expertise for William Buchner. Representing renewable energy clients in all aspects of project permitting is a core area of activity for Sarah Powell. Anthony Spadaro undertakes a range of transactional work across multiple Canadian provinces and in the US.

Other key lawyers:

Florence Simard

Testimonials

‘Strong project finance experience. Pragmatic and efficient advice.’

‘Nicholas Williams is an experienced project finance partner who blends his legal expertise and business acumen to provide pragmatic advice that achieves desired outcomes efficiently.’

Key clients

Hydrostor Inc.

TransAlta Corporation

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)

Fortis Inc.

Hydroméga

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada

Axium Infrastructure Inc.

Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

Stonebridge Financial Corporation

PSP Investments

Gowling WLG

The power practice at Gowling WLG is able to draw from a deep bench of expertise across M&A, project finance and development, IP law and energy regulation. Of particular note, the practice has strong credentials in renewables and nuclear energy, where Ahab Abdel-Aziz is the name to note for nuclear power generation mandates. Abdel-Aziz acts in policy and regulatory matters, as well as in the financing, development and licensing of nuclear projects. Thomas Timmins specialises in renewable power and energy storage projects in Canada and internationally. Ian Mondrow acts for a range of clients in regulatory matters. Magdalena Hanebach is another main point of contact for the nuclear industry in relation to project development, risk mitigation and regulatory issues.

Other key lawyers:

Scott Fletcher; Ian Mondrow; Magdalena Hanebach

Key clients

Association des redistributeurs d’électricité du Québec (AREQ)

Brookfield Renewable Trading and Marketing LP and Lièvre Power LP

Cummins Inc.

Henvey Inlet First Nation

London Hydro/Electron

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Renewable Energy Production Association (“REPA”)

Rosatom group of companies (Rosatom Overseas, TVEL, Rusatom Services, AtomstroyExport, Novobirisk Chemicals Concentrates Plant)

Town of Ajax

Town of Grimsby

Work highlights

  • Advised Henvey Inlet First Nation on the development of an on-reserve 300 MW wind generation project and transmission line on Henvey Inlet First Nation lands and other reserve and traditional territory.
  • Advising Rosatom on numerous transactions and strategies in a number of global markets.
  • Advised AREQ on an issue raised by Hydro-Québec Distribution before the Québec energy board pertaining to the adoption of rates for the use of electricity by blockchain/crypto-miners.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is well-positioned to provide transactional and regulatory support to a mix of domestic and international power generation, transmission and distribution owners, government agencies, financial institutions and lenders. With presence in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, the firm is able to assists clients across their needs in the electricity sector. As well as advising on M&A and financing mandates, the team fields strong capabilities in power-related regulatory proceedings and project development. Leading the practice is energy regulatory expert Matthew Keen in Vancouver, who has extensive experience in permitting and environmental assessments. Sitting in the Calgary office, David A. Eeles   advises project developers and sponsors throughout the entire life cycle of renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Keen

Key clients

Shell Canada Limited

Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

Hydro-Québec

TransAlta Corporation / TransAlta Renewables Inc.

Toronto Hydro Corporation

FortisAlberta Inc.

Association of Major Power Customers of BC (AMPC)

Rio Tinto (RT)

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

ChargePoint Inc.

Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust

Alberta Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA)

City of Edmonton

Work highlights

  • Advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on the purchase of the 600MW Travers solar power project in Southern Alberta.
  • Representing Hydro-Quebec in a $4bn action filed by Innu Nation on behalf of the aboriginal Innu of Labrador and claiming damages and disgorgement of profits as a result of the construction and operation of the Churchill Falls hydroelectric project located in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Representing the AESO in a range of prominent proceedings before the Alberta Utilities Commission.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

In addition to its regulatory and litigation capabilities, Stikeman Elliott LLP is skilled at guiding clients through the construction, development and financing of major power projects. M&A transactions involving wind, solar, biomass, storage and battery power assets is another strong point for the department, which is seasoned in both domestic and cross-border deals and across all of the industry’s subsections. Based in Toronto, practice head Glenn Zacher possesses more than two decades worth of experience in the electricity sector, and is particularly noted for his involvement in regulatory processes and appeal proceedings.  He manages the national energy group with Chrysten Perry in Calgary. Patrick Duffy  in Toronto has a strong background acting for public agencies in the power sector on regulatory matters and related litigation.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Zacher; Chrysten Perry

Dentons

With strong energy-related transactional capabilities, Dentons is equipped to advise clients on acquisitions, disposals and new projects relating to both conventional and renewable sources of energy. The energy team has been increasingly retained by Canadian clients engaged in cross-border transactions, often involving European jurisdictions. Bernard Roth in Calgary and Toronto-based Vivek Bakshi , the latter of whom has a wealth of experience in regulated electricity markets, jointly oversee the department, which is further noted for its regulatory offering.

Practice head(s):

Vivek Bakshi; Bernard Roth

Other key lawyers:

Pierre Grenier ; Helen T Newland

Testimonials

‘Very experienced and thorough in their knowledge of energy regulatory matters. Attention to detail, strategic in their advice. Good client relationships and communications.

‘Helen Newland has vast experience and knowledge of energy legal and regulatory matters. She is easy to deal with and provides excellent strategic advice. Her attention to detail and foresight has proven invaluable. Excellent written communication skills. She becomes part of the “team” in dealing with stakeholders in a way that’s much appreciated.’

‘Broad reach across disciplines – ability to protect asset developers with strong contractual experience and peripheral support in areas like IP ownership and protections.’

Key clients

Capital Power Corporation

Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Syncrude Canada Ltd

Canadian Solar Inc.

Enbridge Inc.

Investment Management Company of Ontario

Work highlights

  • Advised IMCO on the sale of indirect interests in Viesgo Infraestructuras to funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.
  • Advised Canadian Solar on the sale of an ownership interest in its Hays and Jenner solar projects to BluEarth Renewables.  
  • Advised Enbridge on the sale to CPPIB of a 49% interest in a portfolio of offshore French windfarms.  

Fasken

Fasken  has an active presence in the energy regulatory space, representing power clients before government regulators, in the permitting of projects and in high-risk proceedings. The team’s strength lies in electricity utility matters, including transmission and renewable project applications. Ron Ezekiel and Andre Turmel, who are based in Vancouver and Montreal respectively, jointly manage the practice. New green technologies and renewables are areas of expertise for Turmel. Managing partner Peter Feldberg in Calgary has a strong reputation in the regulatory sphere, especially in the power sector. In Vancouver, Christopher Bystrom stands our for his involvement in regulatory approvals and environmental assessments of major power projects.

Practice head(s):

Ron Ezekiel; Andre Turmel

Testimonials

‘Solid understanding of our utility’s assets and working of the system.’

‘Chris Bystrom has very strong understanding of our business. Chris has been instrumental in ensuring our regulatory applications are well prepared and well presented in front of our regulator. Chris has also ensured our witness panels are ready to provide strong compelling testimony as witnesses.’

‘Those in the Power practice at Fasken truly understand our business and what is important to the Company, which results in legal advice that is thoughtful and practical. They are incredibly responsive and always think of the larger strategic picture when providing advice.’

Key clients

Nalcor Energy Marketing Corporation

AltaLink Management Ltd. (Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada)

FortisAlberta Inc.

BC Hydro

FortisBC Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising AltaLink on a number of new 240 kV transmission line projects proposed for central Alberta.
  • Represented FortisAlberta in a virtual hearing before the Alberta Utilities Commission in an application concerning the rate design and cost allocation with respect to the recovery of FortisAlberta’s $1.453bn revenue requirement.
  • Advising BC Hydro on filing for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity for two large capital projects related to BC Hydro’s Bridge River system.

Lawson Lundell LLP

Lawson Lundell LLP fields a group of litigators, commercial lawyers and regulatory experts, who are equipped to advise a host of clients in relation to the financing and structuring of power projects, permitting and approvals before regulatory agencies. The team, which is split between Vancouver and Calgary, is singled out for its experience in regulatory proceedings, litigation and all aspects of public law, environmental and indigenous issues. Representing energy clients before regulatory tribunals is a notable area of practice for Jeff Christian in Vancouver. Lana Shipley in the same office focuses on corporate transactions, while Craig Ferris is noted for his track record in commercial litigation. Based in Calgary, Lewis Manning regularly acts as counsel before administrative tribunals. Other names to note in Calgary include Jeff Scobie and Michael Donaldson. Vancouver-based Clara Ferguson has notable experience in public utility regulation and administrative law.

Other key lawyers:

Ian Webb; Clara Ferguson

Key clients

British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro)

Direct Energy Marketing Ltd.

Powerex Corp.

Greengate Power Corporation

Milner Power

Enel Green Power North America, Inc.

TransAlta Corporation

Province of British Columbia

Remington Development Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising the Province of British Columbia on the Columbia River Treaty renegotiations between Canada and the United States.
  • Represented TransAlta in an arbitration in which it claimed force majeure for a 9-month generator outage at one of its power plants governed by legislated PPAs.