Within the next several years, the nation’s electric grid will undergo a fundamental change through the utilization of modern broadband communications and information technologies. These “smart grid” technologies will facilitate the integration of renewable sources into the grid, reduce the need for new generation, allow consumers to take control of their energy consumption through demand response and home energy management, and enable the introduction of electric vehicles. As such, smart grid technologies integrate the worlds of electricity generation and delivery, broadband communications, information technology, and device manufacturing. Given our breadth of experience in energy and communications, Wilkinson Barker Knauer uniquely understands this new frontier and is well situated to help clients thrive in this emerging marketplace.
Wilkinson Barker’s attorneys have extensive experience in smart grid transactional matters. We have on-the-ground experience in counseling investor-owned utility clients through every phase of a smart grid deployment, including negotiating multi-vendor agreements; formulating standards, integration, privacy, security and ownership strategies; managing ongoing deployment issues; and coordinating with regulatory agencies. In addition, we can assist communications providers, equipment manufacturers, home energy management providers, utilities and rural cooperatives in negotiating complex acquisitions, mergers, investments and business transactions in this heavily regulated utility environment.
We know both the state and federal aspects of smart grid regulation, how they interrelate, and how to navigate the regulatory sphere. We help clients develop and implement their business strategies for home energy management and monitoring, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and backhaul deployments, and demand response aggregation, among others. We also assist clients on a wide range of policy and regulatory smart grid matters at state public utility commissions and the relevant federal agencies related to privacy and data access rules, cybersecurity, cost-recovery, smart grid deployment plans and interoperability standards.