Freeborn & Peters LLP
Christopher J. Townsend has experience in all aspects of energy, public utility, and environmental law and regulation. On a local, state, national and international level, he represents developers as well as commercial and industrial energy users, governments, and competitive natural gas and electric providers in addressing risks and opportunities associated with the restructuring of the gas and electricity industries. He has been involved in a wide variety of regulatory proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with an emphasis on matters related to restructuring the energy industries. He also has served as counsel to several consortia comprised of retail energy suppliers and large industrial, commercial and institutional electricity consumers; a public water district; and a small privately owned water company.
At the state level, Mr. Townsend has been actively involved with numerous debates before the Illinois General Assembly regarding the restructuring of the natural gas and electric industries, representing energy marketers, developers as well as industrial, institutional, commercial and residential consumers. He continues to represent project developers, marketers, governments, commercial and industrial energy users and commodity suppliers in the competitive market and in proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission as well as advising regarding further amendments to the Illinois Public Utilities Act. Most recently, he represented the developer of a multi-billion dollar clean coal to substitute natural gas facility in all facets of the Illinois legislative process to obtain and implement enabling legislation.
On a national level, he also regularly assists large industrial and commercial consumers in evaluating and negotiating natural gas, electric, on-site generation, chilled water supply contracts.
Mr. Townsend also works closely with institutional investors and developers of independent power plants, counseling them on strategic, regulatory and administrative law issues. He has prepared formal legal opinions and provided other analysis supporting financial and merger-related transactions. He regularly counsels clients in tactical analyses and structuring transactions to conform to legal and regulatory requirements.
Mr. Townsend also was actively involved in the representation of the Iraq Ministry of Electricity, leading the team to negotiate the terms of numerous projects relating to the purchase and installation of over $6 billion in equipment, and assisting the Ministry as it continued to improve Iraq’s electrical infrastructure. Mr. Townsend worked closely with the Ministry, the Government of Iraq, the United States government, equipment suppliers, engineers and contractors, as the Ministry had taken substantial steps to achieve the objectives set forth in the Iraq Ministry Of Electricity Plan 2006-2015 and to implement the details reflected in the International Compact for Iraq.