Ilia Levitine

Partner

  • Ilia Levitine
  • Phone: +1 202 776 5218
    Fax: +1 202 478 2161

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  • Duane Morris LLP
    505 9th Street, N.W., Suite 1000
    Washington, DC 20004-2166
    USA

Ilia Levitine practices in the area of energy and resources. For more than twenty years, he has advised electric and gas utility companies, regional transmission organizations (RTOs), independent power producers, renewable energy resources and project developers on a wide range of issues involving the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Natural Gas Act (NGA), the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and many other federal and state energy statutes and regulations. As an experienced FERC practitioner, Mr. Levitine has successfully represented clients in numerous FERC rate and complaint cases, evidentiary hearings, settlement conferences, rulemakings and certificate and hydrolicensing proceedings, including on review before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also has been involved in NERC compliance issues and state utility matters, including review of State public utility laws and regulations.

Mr. Levitine has an extensive knowledge of competitive electricity markets. He represents Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO), one of the largest multi-state RTOs, in complex regulatory and judicial proceedings involving MISO's interstate transmission system and wholesale electricity markets. In addition, Mr. Levitine assists clients with various regulatory issues arising in other RTOs, such as PJM Interconnection (PJM) and ISO New England (ISO-NE). He is familiar with all major FERC initiatives involving organized electricity markets, transmission pricing and cost allocation, electric reliability standards, open access transmission reform and generator interconnection procedures, and has represented clients in connection with many of these seminal rulemakings and in related proceedings. Throughout his career, Mr. Levitine has advised virtually every class of electric industry player, including renewable and hydro resources, on many contractual, energy market, open access and other regulatory and transactional issues, such as market-based rate authority, FPA Section 203 and 204 applications, QF/EWG status, power purchase agreement (PPA) structuring and negotiation and generator interconnection agreements and procedures.

On the natural gas side, Mr. Levitine represented a well-known developer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in LNG terminal certification proceedings at FERC under Section 3 of the NGA. Mr. Levitine also represents clients in pipeline certification proceedings and provides assistance with various LNG certification and compliance issues arising under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 and in connection with the Department of Energy's (DOE) LNG export/import permits. He is familiar with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) regulations and has obtained favorable jurisdictional determinations from PHMSA.

In addition to his U.S. practice, Mr. Levitine is active in international energy matters. He has advised national energy regulators, market and system operators and government-owned utilities in Vietnam, the Republic of the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada and the Russian Federation on issues ranging from energy markets reform to PPA restructuring and renegotiation. Representative matters include several energy market reform projects funded by the World Bank in Southeast Asia and Russia, a high-profile effort to renegotiate a dozen of Build-Own-Transfer PPAs for a developing country and an international arbitration involving imports of electric power into the United States.

Representative Matters

    Electricity and Power Markets

  • Acts as FERC counsel to MISO on a broad range of regulatory issues involving MISO's wholesale electricity markets and transmission system, generator interconnection agreements and procedures, FPA Section 205 filings, FERC complaints, transmission cost allocation, joint operating agreements (JOAs) with other RTOs, tariff rules and administration, accession and withdrawal of transmission owners and other issues. Mr. Levitine's current and recent engagements on behalf of MISO include:

    • representing MISO in multiple transmission cost allocation proceedings at FERC and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit involving various categories of regional and interregional transmission projects;
    • representing MISO on review before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit involving changes to the MISO Tariff to implement transmission owner self-funding and associated pro forma facilities service agreements;
    • representing MISO in FERC complaint proceedings involving tariff charges applicable to pseudo-tied generation and load in MISO's footprint;
    • representing MISO in negotiations with another RTO and certain non-RTO utilities with respect to a transmission capacity sharing and coordination agreement;
    • representing MISO in multiple FERC proceedings involving improvements to MISO’s generator interconnection procedures;
    • successfully defended MISO in a FERC complaint proceeding involving inclusion of a transmission project in MISO’s Transmission Expansion Plan;
    • represented MISO in multiple generator queue reform proceedings; obtained FERC approval for a comprehensive reform of MISO's generator interconnection procedures;
    • assisted MISO with developing, and obtaining FERC approval for, generator replacement procedures for aged or uneconomic generation facilities;
    • assisted MISO with developing, and obtaining FERC approval for, interconnection procedures for merchant high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission facilities;
    • obtained a favorable outcome in an evidentiary hearing proceeding under FPA Section 205 involving a filing rights and pricing zone dispute;
    • represented MISO in several FERC proceedings involving a multi-year contract path capacity sharing and loop flow dispute with a neighboring RTO, including a related intra-MISO cost allocation dispute;
    • represented MISO in complaint and settlement proceedings involving the justness and reasonableness of MISO's through-and-out transmission charges arising out of the integration of the Entergy Operating Companies and certain other electric utilities into MISO;
    • obtained a favorable FERC order on remand regarding the application of Multi-Value Project charges to exports of energy from MISO to PJM;
    • represented MISO in several complaint proceedings challenging compensation for MISO's System Support Resource (SSR) units;
    • settled a market-to-market charges resettlement dispute under the MISO-PJM JOA;
    • settled a complaint proceeding involving emergency compensation for a "behind-the-meter" generating unit;
    • successfully defended MISO in several complaint proceedings involving interpretations of various transmission planning and cost allocation provisions in the MISO Transmission Owners Agreement;
    • obtained a comprehensive settlement of extensive FERC and state and federal court proceedings initiated by a rural electric cooperative against MISO, which involved allegations of uncompensated transmission facilities use;
    • represented MISO in complaint proceedings involving proposed criteria for MISO's Grandfathered Agreements.
  • Representing a generating company in a Part 1b investigation at FERC.

  • Assisted clients with matters involving other RTOs, such as: SPP's footprint expansion to include the WAPA-Basin Integrated Transmission System; assistance to a virtual trader with reviewing PJM's balancing operating reserve market rules; representation of NSTAR in FERC proceedings involving the restructuring and functioning of ISO-NE's Forward Capacity Market.
  • Obtained FERC approvals under FPA Section 203, market-based rate approvals and prepared related FERC filings for foreign acquirers of U.S. public utilities; counseled on related contractual issues in asset and stock purchase agreements.
  • Represented the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DCPSC) before the DOE and FERC in proceedings to obtain emergency relief orders requiring Mirant Corporation to resume power production at its Alexandria, VA power plant.
  • Advised a Canadian industrial conglomerate on various energy regulatory aspects of acquiring six hydro-generation projects from their bankrupt U.S. owner, including: review of contractual arrangements, preparation of hydro license transfer applications, EWG applications, market-based rate (MBR) tariff filings, and FERC compliance and state utility filings.
  • Drafted and negotiated FERC-jurisdictional PPAs and electric transmission and interconnection agreements for independent power producers located in California, Illinois and Maine; represented clients in QF certification and decertification proceedings before FERC and the D.C. Circuit; obtained QF waivers, MBRs and EWG status.
  • Represented a California solar power producer in emergency relief proceedings at FERC, advised on energy regulatory aspects in a breach of contract action brought in a State court by the client against a major utility under a PURPA power purchase agreement.
  • LNG and Natural Gas

  • Represented a railroad company in a pipeline certification proceeding under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA).

  • Obtained a NGA Section 3 authorization for an LNG import terminal to be located in Salinas, Puerto Rico. The proceeding involved a precedent-setting vessel-based Floating Storage and Regasification Unit and included an extensive pre-filing process and NEPA review. Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC, 152 FERC ¶ 61,071 (2015).
  • Provided federal energy regulatory advice with respect to a $1.3 billion equity funding for proposed natural gas liquefaction and a LNG loading facility (Freeport LNG, Trains 2 and 3, transaction recognized by The American Lawyer's Global Legal Awards 2015).
  • Obtained a favorable jurisdictional determination from PHMSA involving a proposed LNG terminal.
  • Advised LNG developers and producers on Deepwater Port Act offshore LNG terminal certification and compliance issues.
  • Advised LNG developers on DOE's LNG export/import permit issues, both FTA and non-FTA.
  • Hydro

  • Assisted a bond insurer with due diligence regarding several hydro projects (FERC license issues).
  • Assisted clients with hydro license transfer applications.
  • Represented a coalition of municipalities and school districts in the Niagara and St. Lawrence hydro project relicensing proceedings.
  • International Energy

  • Provided pro bono assistance to a Zambian microgrid company with a review of public private partnership arrangements.
  • Developed a set of standard PPAs and dispute resolution and enforcement regulations for the Vietnamese Electricity Regulatory Authority in anticipation of the start-up of Vietnam’s competitive generation market.
  • Through a World Bank-funded project, counseled the Energy Regulatory Commission of the Republic of the Philippines with respect to a market manipulation investigation in the Philippine wholesale electricity market.
  • Acted as the project manager for a World Bank-funded project to design contractual arrangements for Russia's competitive wholesale electricity market; played a leading role in the development and drafting of associated agreements.
  • Advised Indonesia’s government-owned electric utility company in power contract restructuring negotiations with international power project developers involving 27 PPAs and EPCs, and fuel supply and joint operating contracts.
  • Represented a large Canadian hydro power producer in a commercial arbitration involving a PPA dispute with a group of New England electric utilities.

Areas of Practice

  • Energy Law
  • Public Utilities Law
  • International Law

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Education

  • Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, M.P.A., 1996
  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Guilford College, B.S., high honors, 1992

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021
  • Recipient, American Lawyer, "Global Finance Deal of the Year in Project Finance," Global Legal Awards, New York, 2015
  • 1995 Albert S. Pergam Writing Competition Award, New York State Bar Association

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2006-present
    - Associate, 2004-2005
  • CMS Cameron McKenna, Washington, D.C.
    - Associate, 2002-2003
  • McKenna Long & Aldridge, Washington, D.C.
    - Associate, 1998-2002
  • Travis & Gooch, Washington, D.C.
    - Associate, 1996-1998

Professional Activities

  • The Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Energy Bar Association

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, "FERC Eliminates Reactive Power Exemption for Wind Generation," Duane Morris Alert, June 23, 2016
  • Co-author, "FERC Green-lights Puerto Rico Offshore LNG Import Terminal; Project's Ocean-Going Regasification Unit Is First of Its Kind Before the FERC," Duane Morris Alert, July 28, 2015
  • Co-author, "HVDC Transmission: A Path to the Future?," The Electricity Journal, May 2010
  • Co-author, "The Mobile-Sierra Doctrine, Part Deux," Public Utilities Fortnightly, March 2007
  • Co-author, "Life Along the Potomac: What Federal Regulators Should Do to Ensure Security, Reliability, and Cleaner Air in Our Nation's Capital," Public Utilities Fortnightly, September 2006
  • Author, "The Main Principles of Electric Reliability Regulation in the U.S.," Energorynok, January 2006
  • Co-author, "Long-Term Power Purchase Agreements in a Restructured Electricity Industry," Wake Forest Law Review, 2005.
  • Author, "Russia launches a competitive electricity market," Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence, December 2003
  • Author, "In the aftermath of the Russian electricity law: establishing the new regulatory and contractual framework for competitive power markets," Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence, July 2003

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, System Operators and Electricity Markets Conference, Moscow, September 2007
  • Speaker, Electric Reliability Regulation seminar sponsored by the Russian System Operator, Moscow, November 2005