Flipping a light switch, lighting a natural gas stove, dialing a telephone, turning on a water faucet – Smith Moore Leatherwood recognizes the operational complexity and legal context behind each of these seemingly simple, everyday acts. We understand the laws that apply to these services and regularly practice in the forums where those laws are enacted, interpreted, applied, and enforced and that allow the necessary infrastructure for those services to be constructed and operated. When necessary, we also represent our energy and utilities clients in administrative appeals through the court system regarding the proper interpretation and application of these laws.
Renewable Energy Generation
Smith Moore Leatherwood serves clients in the renewable and conventional electric generation sectors, including those with facilities fueled by the sun, wind, biomass, and natural gas. As the regulatory framework concerning fuel diversification, environmental protection, demand-side management, and renewable energy development continues to evolve, our attorneys assist clients in navigating through the rules, regulations, and requirements to achieve their business objectives. We have extensive experience representing solar farm developers with real estate and land use matters, and assisting renewable electric generation facilities in negotiating interconnection and power purchase agreements and advising them regarding Renewable Energy Certificates.
We also work with manufacturing and technology clients who are large energy users to find ways to reduce their costs, improve their energy supply service and reliability, and better understand the regulatory and policy environment in which they purchase energy needed for their facilities.
Smith Moore Leatherwood serves as regulatory counsel for two investor-owned local distribution companies in North Carolina, and as counsel for the Carolinas Public Gas Association, comprised of municipalities and gas districts in North and South Carolina.
Since the advent of commercial digital wireless service in the mid-1990s, attorneys with our firm have handled matters at the forefront of the development and permitting of wireless facilities networks that enable these systems to provide uninterrupted coverage. Our clients on the wireless side of the business include service providers and tower companies for whom we have helped procure zoning and permitting approval for hundreds of facilities throughout North Carolina and in various other locations across southeastern United States.
Our attorneys have also represented wireline local exchange companies in the North Carolina Utilities Commission, procured certificates for new service providers, and litigated interconnection and reciprocal compensation issues before the Commission and in the federal courts.
Water and Wastewater
Our firm represents companies that provide water and wastewater services and that are regulated as utilities under North Carolina law. We also assist our real estate development clients with all approvals necessary for water and wastewater services provided within development projects, including re-use and reclaimed water systems. Because we practice regularly before the North Carolina Utilities Commission, we are knowledgeable of the governing statutes, regulations, and procedures and maintain cooperative, working relationships with the Public Staff and Commission staff.
Our growing population and new technologies create the need for new and expanded infrastructure to provide services that our citizenry need and expect. Whether a natural gas transmission and distribution system in the North Carolina mountains, power plants, a multi-municipal natural gas pipeline in the Piedmont, wastewater facilities, a passenger ferry terminal, solar energy facilities, or multi-site wireless telecommunications networks throughout the Southeast, our firm’s attorneys have been involved in the strategic planning, development, and permitting of numerous large infrastructure projects in a variety of industries and a variety of locations. We have worked cooperatively with local governments, private investors and developers, and State leadership to craft win-win solutions to improve our infrastructure, create jobs and promote economic development in our region.