Lisa Cottle’s practice focuses on the development, financing, operation, acquisition, and disposition of energy projects; and the sale and purchase of electricity. She has extensive experience with energy development projects, including negotiating and documenting long-term power purchase agreements and the full range of project contracts, obtaining key permits and regulatory approvals, and supporting project finance transactions. Her experience serving in all of these roles gives her a unique perspective that adds value in both the transactional and regulatory contexts.
Ms. Cottle’s experience with power purchase agreements (PPAs) extends to conventional and renewable electricity generating facilities, including natural gas-fired, solar, wind, and biomass facilities, and includes PPAs, tolling (or energy conversion) agreements, and resource adequacy and capacity agreements. She represents developers of conventional and renewable projects in bidding and participating in competitive solicitations for capacity, resource adequacy, energy, and other products. She also negotiates retail power purchase and services agreements for on-site generating facilities, including rooftop and other on-site solar installations, as well as cogeneration or combined heat and power facilities. Ms. Cottle also advises developers, lenders and investors in project finance transactions, including diligence reviews and the preparation of legal opinions.
Ms. Cottle also has extensive energy regulatory experience. She represents independent power producers and developers of conventional and renewable power plant projects in regulatory proceedings before state and federal administrative agencies, particularly the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Her experience includes the regulatory, environmental, and permitting aspects of power plant development. She has acted as lead counsel in obtaining certification from the CEC for large thermal power plant projects. She advises developers, lenders, and investors on permitting, environmental, and regulatory issues associated with energy generation and transmission projects, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Representative matters include:
- Acting as project counsel for a 760 MW natural gas-fired electricity generating facility in Northern California. Responsibilities included negotiation and documentation of power purchase agreement and other project contracts; obtaining CEC license; representing project in CPUC contract approval process; and providing energy regulatory, permitting and environmental support on project financing.
- Representing independent power producers in negotiating long-term tolling agreements for projects representing over 2100 megawatts of existing natural gas-fired electrical generating capacity.
- Representing developer of 150 MW solar generating facility in negotiating and documenting long-term power purchase agreement.
- Representing developers of rooftop solar and other onsite solar and combined heat and power facilities in negotiating retail power sales agreements and in developing form contracts.
- Representing independent power producer in negotiating and documenting asset transfer agreement for project assets associated with a planned 550 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle project in Northern California.
- Obtaining CEC approval for construction of a 550 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Northern California.
- Representing independent power producers in CPUC proceedings addressing long-term procurement planning, resource adequacy requirements for load serving entities, and implementation of California’s renewables portfolio standard.
- Acting as special energy counsel in numerous project financing transactions involving natural gas-fired, wind and solar facilities.
- Advising clients in connection with implementation of California laws regulating carbon dioxide emissions and participation in associated cap-and-trade program.
Honors and Awards
Ms. Cottle is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA 2012, which noted that she receives high praise for her "responsive, innovative and patient" approach. She also received the Chambers Women in Law Award for Up-and-Coming Lawyer of the Year in Energy & Projects for 2013.
Ms. Cottle is included in Best Lawyers in America, 2013. Clients commented that: “Ms. Cottle is diligent and thorough in all activities. She has a thorough understanding of energy issues and challenges. As a long-time counsel, she is particularly effective at considering legal implications to our business beyond the deal or issue immediately at hand.”
Ms. Cottle is listed in the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers ranking under Energy Law.
Ms. Cottle received a B.A. in Political Science and English, cum laude, from Colgate University in 1990. She received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1993.