Clifford S. Sikora

Partner

Washington, D.C.
Business Phone: 202.274.2966
Business Fax: 202.654.5627

clifford.sikora@troutman.com

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Cliff Sikora is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Troutman Sanders. Over his 20-year career with the firm, Cliff has solely worked with clients in the energy industry, concentrating in electricity industry matters. He has represented a wide array of business interests within the electricity sector, including vertically-integrated utilities, energy project development companies (fossil generation, renewable generation, hydropower, transmission and storage), banks, private equity investors, energy technology companies, and EPC contractors. Cliff has acted as first-chair in high-profile regulatory litigation and filings before the FERC, and has lead deal teams in the energy space (most notably, in transactions economically dependent on regulated rates and/or managed-market commodity pricing). Mr. Sikora has also developed a unique specialization in strategic business counseling for entities in the electric industry, based on a wide array of experience representing clients in the context of various combinations of state/ federal regulatory and market climates. He works with clients to develop unique solutions and concrete plans for overcoming their most challenging competitive and regulatory obstacles.

Representative Matters

Highlights of Recent Representations (2016 – 2017):

  • Microgrids: Represent utility regarding development of microgrid (including solar, CHP, storage, etc.) in conjunction with commercial real estate development entities.
  • Batteries & Storage: Represent several utilities and other interests regarding development and deployment of grid-scale battery resources and behind-the-meter storage solutions.
  • Power Contract Litigation: Obtained favorable ALJ decision after trial-type hearing in FERC case regarding rates, terms and conditions of sales contract between client-seller and wholesale buyer/behind-the-meter generator.
  • Pipeline Safety: Represented ultrasonic pipeline inspection company regarding deployment of technology and PHMSA standards development.
  • State Regulatory Restructuring: Advised utility client regarding approach to state-initiated retail deregulation/ behind-the-meter solar implementation program.

Previous Experience & Representations (1996 – present)

  • Regulatory Counseling, Litigation & Compliance: Analysis and advocacy regarding complex federal and state energy regulatory legal issues (e.g., FERC, RTOs, PSCs, federal courts, state courts). Specializations include: cost-of-service ratemaking, utility rate accounting (i.e., USofA), RTO rules, market concentration/ market-based rates, electric reliability rules (NERC), system operations, tariff administration, interconnections, planning, and IRP. Significant experience in major rate filings, discovery, expert witness testimony, witness preparation, etc. Major roles in corporate legal teams developing, implementing and litigating joint state-federal regulatory filings (i.e., major rate increases, M&A transactions, etc.).
  • Transactions: Participated on numerous deal teams in the energy space (large and small) in various roles, from concept stage and due diligence, to regulatory approvals and closing. Various representations (in conjunction with financial advisors) counseling electric industry buyers/ sellers on pre-deal pro formas (in particular where dependent on revenue projections from regulated rate and/or managed-market price/cost projections, or market power/ market concentration analyses).
    • Corporate level M&A and restructuring: experience includes: acquisition of utility in stock sale (both buy-side and sell side), stock sale of transmission-only subsidiary to private equity buyer, genco-transco internal corporate spin, and genco spin-outs (experience on both buy-side and sell-side).
    • Asset sales and purchases: experience includes fossil generation, renewable generation, and transmission, straight leases and sale-leasebacks (transmission), financing leases (generation) and tolling arrangements (gas- fired generation).
  • Project Development: Significant experience representing developer clients through, and at various stages of, the project development process. Representations have ranged from small one-offs in early development stage (proven tech, unproven tech), to large IPP shops with large portfolios and deal flow. Particular experience with greenfield electric transmission development. Unique understanding of development market from perspective of utility clients (on-balance sheet projects), affiliate transmission developers (semi-project financed), and affiliate/ independent power generators (full, non-recourse, project finance).
  • Contracts: Experience drafting, negotiating and analyzing numerous energy industry contracts including PPAs on buy and sell side (e.g., standard bulk power, IPP, QF, requirements loads, industrial loads), EEI Masters, O&M agreements, EPC contracts, easement agreements, joint ownership and operation agreements, facility leases, interconnection agreements, facility construction agreements, and standard non-energy-specific commercial contracts.
  • Enforcement & Corporate Compliance: Experience representing clients before the FERC Office of Enforcement. Worked with several utility clients to develop top-to-bottom compliance, reporting, monitoring and training programs consistent with best practices and board reporting obligations.

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “The Trump DOE’s Legal Authority to Establish Price Supports for Coal & Nuclear. ” RBC Capital Markets Energy and Power Executive Conference (New York, June 2018)
  • Speaker,  Examining Energy Storage’s Role in the Future of US Transmission.” Platt’s 2018 Transmission Planning & Development Conference (Arlington, VA, June 21, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Insights from Former FERC Senior Staff.” Troutman Energy Conference 2018 (Chicago, June 19, 2018)
  • Speaker, “The New Energy Turf Wars - What's Next after Lear Jet, EPSA, and Hughes? ,” Troutman Energy Conference 2017 (Chicago, June 28, 2017)
  • Workshop Chairman, “The Path to EV Grid Integration, Overcoming the Technical & Economic Barriers to V2G Integration & Second Use of Batteries. ” 2d Annual EVs & the Grid Conference (Long Beach, CA, April 19, 2016).
  • Panel Chair, “Tackling Technical & Regulatory Integration Challenges.” Distributed Energy Development & Deployment 2016 (Washington, DC, June 1, 2016).

Publications

  • Co-author, Alternative Energy & Power Guide 2019, Chambers and Partners, July 2018

  • Clifford S. Sikora, "Engineering Exotic Blends in Utility Mergers," Mergers & Acquisitions (Sept. 1997).
  • Donald F. Santa, Jr. & Clifford S. Sikora, "Open Access and Transition Costs: Will the Electric Industry Transition Track the Natural Gas Industry Restructuring?", 15 Energy L.J. No. 2, 273 (1994).
  • Donald F. Santa, Jr. & Clifford S. Sikora, "New Directions at FERC," in Reinventing Electric Utility Regulation 363 (Public Utility Reports Inc., 1995).
  • Clifford S. Sikora, "The Changing Electricity Supply Market: New Challenges, Opportunities for Hydro," Hydro-Review, Vol. XV, No. 1 (Feb. 1996).
  • Clifford S. Sikora, "FERC’s New Approach to Economic Analysis: Putting It In Perspective," Hydro-Review, Vol. XIV, No. 7 (Dec. 1995).

Rankings and Recognition

  • Nationwide, Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), Chambers USA (2005-2006, 2008-2018) and Chambers Global (2016-2017).
  • Selected for inclusion in the May/June 2010 Law & Politics’ Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition.
  • Honored as a 2009 Groundbreaking Lawyer in Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine in the area of Transmission Project Development
  • Selected for Washington, DC Super Lawyers in Energy and Natural Resources (2009-2015).
  • Recognized by his clients for The BTI Client Service All-Star Team for Law Firms (2005).
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in Energy Law (2009-2019).

Professional Experience

  • Department Chair, Energy, 2010-2015
  • Co-Section Chief, Energy & Industry Regulation, 2005-2010 
  • Partner, Troutman Sanders, October 1999-present
  • Counsel, Troutman Sanders, October 1996-1999
  • Counsel, United States Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, June 1995-September 1996
  • Legal Advisor, Commissioner Donald F. Santa, Jr., Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, May 1993-June 1995
  • Supervisory Attorney, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the General
  • Counsel, Department of Electric Rates and Corporate Regulation, January 1991-May 1993
  • Advisory Attorney, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Electric Rates and Corporate Regulation August 1989-January 1991

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Education

  • University of Dayton, J.D., 1989
  • University of Delaware, M.P.A., 1986
  • Cornell University, B.S., 1984

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia