Governments around the world constantly look for energy security to power their economies, while also seeking price stability. The highly competitive energy industry has become even more complex as public and private enterprises are subject to a myriad of regulations that differ greatly from one country to the next. Achieving commercial goals in this industry requires informed and experienced legal counsel.
Canada is a key player in the world’s energy markets with some of the world’s largest oil reserves and innovation in nuclear, renewable power, and alternative sources such as wind, solar and biofuels. McMillan’s Energy Industry Group has deep experience across the entire energy sector, both in Canada and internationally. We provide strategic assistance and tactical legal solutions to clients across the entire energy value chain, including senior, intermediate and junior oil and gas companies, utilities, renewable power generators, alternative energy developers, and financial institutions. With an understanding of transactions and regulations we provide advice to governments at the federal and provincial levels, and work with major energy consumers to structure deals that meet their commercial goals.
McMillan Energy Group has advised clients operating across the entire energy spectrum including nuclear, biomass, wind, solar, natural gas, hydroelectric, storage, district energy, geo-exchange and demand management. Our professionals have served as counsel to both the Canadian Solar Industries Association and the Ontario Energy Association, as Chair of Ontario’s Market Surveillance Panel, as a Member of the National Energy Board, and as a Director of Canada’s largest municipal utility. We also helped the Independent Electricity System Operator (formerly, the Ontario Power Authority) develop the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, which was the basis for Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff Program.
ELECTRICITY AND UTILITIES
McMillan’s Energy Industry Group is made up of professionals with experience in the regulated and unregulated sides of the power business. With our deep understanding of energy law, we have helped design electricity markets and have acted for a variety of generation and cogeneration clients across Canada and North America. Companies involved in the electricity and utilities industry require legal counsel that brings an in-depth understanding of the complex regulatory environment that underpins the sector.
Among the ways McMillan’s lawyers is clients is by advising on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; assisting with establishing and licensing development projects; providing regulatory advice and representation before regulators and other governmental bodies; advising buyers and sellers of carbon credits; advising on financing, assignment and operational matters; assisting new entrants with establishing operations in Canada; advising on tax matters; and negotiating agreements with equipment suppliers, subcontractors and other third parties.
Canada is known around the world for its abundance of natural resources including forests, oil and gas, minerals, metals, and water. Lawyers who understand its sectors inside and out, from both a Canadian and global perspective are best to advise clients on transactions and the constantly changing regulations. McMillan’s Energy Industry Group routinely works with governments, financial institutions, investment and pension funds, indigenous groups, environmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGO), and so we understand their points of view and how they relate to Canadian and global businesses operating in this industry.
At McMillan, our lawyers help our clients by advising on negotiations with NGOs, foreign investment, government relations and socio-economic issues; providing mineral policy and strategy advice to governments and industry participants globally; assisting with navigating Canadian environmental laws to help protect their reputations and business operations; representing indigenous groups and counselling on commercial deals involving indigenous groups; negotiating timber rights and other contracts; cooperating closely with our firm’s banking, corporate, government relations, litigation, and tax practices to offer comprehensive business strategies; and advising on interactions with engineers, geologists, prospectors, foreign governments, regulators, stock exchanges, and professional advisors.
McMillan’s Energy Industry Group has a focus on renewable energy projects and is at the forefront of developments in the hydro, biomass, wind and solar sectors, helping bring projects from idea to reality across North America. We have extensive experience renewing leasing, drafting engineering and procurement and construction contracts, and financings for dozens of megawatts of solar and wind projects. Our team has served as counsel to both the Canadian Solar Industries Association and the Ontario Energy Association, and were counsel to the Ontario Power Authority on the development of the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP). RESOP served as the basis for Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program
Among the ways McMillan lawyers serve our clients is by assisting with participation in Ontario’s FIT program, as well as RFPs and calls for tender in other provinces; advising on the Renewable Energy Approval and other environmental approval processes; dealing with distributors and transmitters on grid connection; negotiating equity and debt financings; and performing due diligence and bankability studies.
As the world continues to move towards safe and reliable sources of energy, the production of oil and gas alternatives increases. Canada is at the forefront of many of these developments, fostering programs that encourage the development and commercialization of alternative fuel sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels.
Our lawyers at McMillan understand the depth of business and energy innovation. In the wind and solar sectors, we have developed template forms of wind lease options and easements, as well a standard form solar rooftop lease that can be used by developers in their rooftop leasing programs. We have also acted for landowners and landlords in preserving their rights under similar leases and easements. Our extensive renewable leasing experience is matched by our experience drafting engineering, procurement and construction contracts for dozens of solar projects.
McMillan’s Energy Industry Group helps clients lead by counselling industry associations and governmental bodies as they advocate for, and create regulations governing, the alternative energy sector; assisting with feed-in tariff programs; advising on environmental approval processes; negotiating financing for investors, developers, borrowers and lenders; performing due diligence and bankability studies on prospective projects; and advising on the purchase and sale of green power and renewable energy credits.
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