Hydro

Hydro

Hunton & Williams LLP has represented sovereign governments, parastatal utilities, domestic utilities, private equity funds, financial investors, project developers and lenders in hydroelectric power projects located throughout the United States and globally. This work, in combination with our representation of US electric utility companies for almost a century, has given us extensive experience in all facets of hydroelectric power project development and financing. Our project development work has included (1) structuring and conducting tenders for the development of international hydroelectric projects, (2) drafting and negotiating joint venture, partnership, shareholder and other corporate structuring documentation, and (3) drafting and negotiating all project related contracts, including Power Purchase Agreements, Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts, operation and maintenance contracts, (4) structuring, drafting and negotiating Concession Agreements, Implementation Agreements, and other government support agreements and related guarantees related to international hydroelectric projects, (5) advising on regulatory matters arising under Part I of the Federal Power Act, and (6) advising clients on qualification for US federal income tax credits and Section 1603 grants available for incremental hydropower production.

Hunton & Williams has significant experience in structuring and negotiating equity and debt financing for domestic and international hydroelectric power projects. Our lawyers regularly represent power project developers and sponsors, as well as international banks and other lenders in syndicated credit transactions and structured financings. We have also been counsel in projects that utilized financing and other programs provided by the US Ex-Im Bank, OPIC, the World Bank, MIGA, the IFC, IDB and other governmental and multinational export credit, risk insurance and lending agencies, and have been involved in a number of transactions that include capital markets debt and multi-lateral or ECA financing tranches.

Selected Experience

  • Acted as counsel to the World Bank and the Government of Uganda in connection with the development, construction, and financing of the approximately US $1 billion Bujagali hydroelectric power plant on the River Nile (the “Bujagali Project”), including structuring and negotiating all bidding documentation and advising on the EPC contracts for the project. The Bujagali Project constitutes the largest-ever private sector investment in the region and was awarded “African Power Deal of the Year” from Project Finance magazine following financial close.
  • Acted as counsel to the Government of Georgia in connection with the development of the $1 billion 240 MW Nenskra Hydropower Project.
  • Acted a counsel to a US utility in divesting its interest in a run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in Nepal.
  • Sponsor’s counsel to GPU International regarding acquisition, development and financing of 200 MW hydroelectric generating facility on the Ocoña River in Peru.
  • Acted as counsel to project sponsor in connection with the development of a 450 MW hydroelectric project on the Tocantins River in Brazil.
  • Acted as counsel to a multilateral development institution and the Public Utilities Commission of Guyana in connection with the development of an independent power producers strategy, including review of the legal and regulatory framework of the power sector and development of model project agreements for hydroelectric and thermal power plants.
  • Acted as counsel to Energies des Grands Lacs and the Governments of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda in connection with the development of the 145 MW Ruzizi III Regional Hydroelectric Dam, which will be located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and will sell capacity and energy to the utilities of Burundi, Rwanda, and the DRC. The firm’s overall mandate as project advisor is to advise EGL on all activities required to develop the project and bring it to financial close and the start of construction.
  • Acted as counsel to the World Bank in connection with the development of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project, a 50 MW hydroelectric plant near Bumbuna, Sierra Leone and 200 km transmission line from Bumbuna to Freetown.
  • Acted as counsel to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda to determine the most viable ownership and financing structures for implementation of the Nyaborongo and Rukarara Hydropower projects.
  • Acted as counsel to the IFC and the Government of Montenegro in connection with all aspects of the development of an approximately 500 MW cascade of hydroelectric power plants on the River Morača.
  • Acted as counsel to the US Agency for International Development and several sovereign states in South East Europe on market rules for hydroelectric and pumped storage facilities, including the development of rational schemes for cascades of dams.
  • Acted as counsel to the Government of Uganda in connection with the privatization of the Owens Falls hydroelectric facility and the Uganda Electricity Board distribution system.
  • Acted as counsel to equity investors in connection with $2 billion leveraged lease financing of hydroelectric (pumped storage) power generating plant and related transmission grid located in Western Europe.
  • Acted as counsel to the Government of Cameroon and US Trade and Development Agency on the development and design of a technical and regulatory roadmap for the development of a 75 MW hydroelectric power plant at Bini à Warak on the Bini River in Cameroon.
  • Advised on the purchase and sale of the 152 MW Houay Ho hydroelectric dam in Laos, which was the first hydropower project in Laos to be constructed on a build, operate, transfer basis and privately financed.
  • Acted as counsel to Dominion Power in connection with the sale of a 50% interest the 1,800 MW Bath County Pumped Storage Project in Bath County, Virginia, to a subsidiary of Alleghany Power System. The 50% interest purchased by Dominion Power included a 50% interest in the generating facility and related transmission assets.
  • Acted as counsel to PPL Corporation in connection with the sale of a package of hydroelectric dams to a non-governmental organization for the purpose of decommissioning the dams.
  • Acted as counsel to US companies in connection with the rehabilitation and modernization of several hydroelectric dams in qualifying for Section 45 tax credits and Section 1603 grants for incremental hydropower production. In connection with advising clients on these issues, prepared comments to Treasury on application of the section 1603 program to hydropower that were adopted and submitted by the National Hydropower Association.