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Richard E.Thompson II

Richard E. Thompson II

Managing Principal
Email: rethompson@mercerthompson.com
Direct Dial: 404.577.4204
Fax: 404.577.4206
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Professional Experience

  • Mercer Thompson LLC, June 2009-Present
    • Founding Principal and Managing Principal
  • Troutman Sanders LLP
    • Partner, January 2001- June 2009
    • Chairman, International Practice Group, March 2001- June 2009
    • Resident in New York City Office, May 2005- July 2007
    • Associate, August 1995- December 2000

Honors

  • Chambers USA (2009-Present) – Selected as top attorney with Energy Industry focus
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Energy Law (2012-Present); named 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers for Atlanta Energy Law
  • Achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer rating (Bar and Judiciary) of AV Preeminent for legal ability and ethical standards (ranking 5 out of 5 in the area of Energy and Utility Law)
  • Selected as “Super Lawyer” for Energy & Natural Resources and Projects by Atlanta Magazine (2005-Present), including “Rising Star” status in all applicable years
  • Lead EPC Counsel to Project that won Project Finance Magazine’s “2012 North American Single-Asset Power Deal of the Year” Award
  • Lead EPC Counsel for Project that won Project Finance Magazine’s “2008 Portfolio Project Deal of the Year” Award
  • Lead EPC Counsel for Project that won First-Runner-Up for Pennwell’s “2007 Project of the Year” Award
  • Selected as One of Top Twenty Attorneys in Atlanta Under Age 40, Fulton County Daily Report (2004)


Representative Transactions 

For over twenty-one years, Mr. Thompson has represented energy companies in their development, acquisition and sale, and ownership and operation of electric power projects on a worldwide basis (including in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East).  His experience includes projects deriving electric energy from natural gas, solar, wind, and biomass and other energy sources.  Sample transactions include:

New Project Development Transactions

Solar

  • Counsel to developer/owner for EPC Agreement for a 32MW (AC) solar PV power project in California.
  • Counsel to a solar PV equipment provider for the provision of solar PV equipment for a 200MW solar PV power project located in part on tribal lands in Nevada.
  • Counsel to solar PV equipment supplier in connection with the provision of over 400MW of solar PV equipment for multiple PV power projects in North Carolina.
  • Counsel to a large utility in connection with EPC and O&M aspects of its acquisition of a 20MW solar PV project in Nevada.
  • Counsel to a major independent power producer in connection with its development of a 125 MW solar photovoltaic facility in Arlington Valley, Arizona.  Representation includes drafting of EPC contract, O&M Agreement, Performance Guarantee arrangements and related documents. This Project has been awarded the “2012 North American Single-Asset Power Deal of the Year” Award by Project Finance Magazine.
  • Counsel to a major independent power producer in connection with its development of a 175 MW solar photovoltaic facility in Imperial Valley, California.  Representation includes drafting of EPC contract, O&M Agreement, Performance Guarantee arrangements and related documents.  Development ongoing.
  • Counsel to independent power producer in connection with EPC work for its development of a 10 MW photovoltaic power plant in Dover, Delaware.  Representation included drafting and negotiation of EPC, O&M and related documents.  Click here to learn more.
  • Lead EPC counsel to a renewable energy company in connection with its development of a 280 MW concentrated-solar power facility in the Western United States.  Representation included drafting of EPC contract and related documents.
  • Lead counsel to municipality in connection with all project development matters relating to the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a new photovoltaic solar-powered electric generation facility in San Diego.

Transmission

  • Lead counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation and execution of a Master Wind Turbine Equipment Supply Agreement to purchase (in a manner intended to achieve PTC “safe harbor” qualification) over 200 MW of wind turbine equipment from Siemens Energy, and allow for the future purchase of hundreds of MW of additional wind turbine equipment for multiple projects across the United States.  Efforts included full negotiation of stand-by project-specific wind turbine equipment supply agreement and related service and maintenance agreements.
  • Lead counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation and execution of a Master Wind Turbine Equipment Supply Agreement to purchase (in a manner intended to achieve PTC “safe harbor” qualification) over 142 MW of wind turbine equipment from Vestas, and allow for the future purchase of hundreds of MW of additional wind turbine equipment for multiple projects across the United States.  Efforts included full negotiation of stand-by project-specific wind turbine equipment supply agreement and related service and maintenance agreements.
  • Counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation of a highly complex, heavily negotiated Construction Management Agreement pursuant to which, upon acquisition of an early-development 105MW wind project in Oklahoma (Siemens WTGs), the seller/developer would maintain a developer-like role to manage and take certain risks relating to completion of construction.
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its development of a 500 mile overhead transmission line in the Western United States, responsible for all engineering, procurement and construction agreements.  Project cost estimate exceeds $1 billion. 
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its development of over 200 miles of overhead transmission line in Texas, responsible for all engineering, procurement and construction agreements relating to same. Project will unlock significant wind and solar energy resources that will otherwise be stranded from development.
  • Counsel to independent power producer in connection with its development of an extended transmission line in support of the development of a power generation facility in New Jersey.

Wind

  • Lead counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation and execution of a Master Wind Turbine Equipment Supply Agreement to purchase (in a manner intended to achieve PTC “safe harbor” qualification) over 200 MW of wind turbine equipment from Siemens Energy, and allow for the future purchase of hundreds of MW of additional wind turbine equipment for multiple projects across the United States.  Efforts included full negotiation of stand-by project-specific wind turbine equipment supply agreement and related service and maintenance agreements. 
  • Lead counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation and execution of a Master Wind Turbine Equipment Supply Agreement to purchase (in a manner intended to achieve PTC “safe harbor” qualification) over 142 MW of wind turbine equipment from Vestas, and allow for the future purchase of hundreds of MW of additional wind turbine equipment for multiple projects across the United States.  Efforts included full negotiation of stand-by project-specific wind turbine equipment supply agreement and related service and maintenance agreements.
  • Counsel to IPP in connection with the negotiation of a highly complex, heavily negotiated Construction Management Agreement pursuant to which, upon acquisition of an early-development 105MW wind project in Oklahoma (Siemens WTGs), the seller/developer would maintain a developer-like role to manage and take certain risks relating to completion of construction. 
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its development of multiple off-shore wind projects planned for installation off the coast of Delaware, New Jersey and others states. Representation included drafting and negotiation of multiple joint venture and investment agreements and term sheets for wind turbine sale and maintenance agreements and EPC Agreements for balance of plant installation.
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its proposed development of a 110 MW wind farm in New Creek, West Virginia, including negotiation and drafting of balance of plant and installation EPC contract and related documents.
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its development of a 49 MW turbine wind farm in California that deployed Mitsubishi turbines, including negotiation and drafting of balance of plant and installation EPC contract and related documents as well as turbine supply and maintenance agreements and switchyard EPC Agreement.  Click here to learn more.
  • Counsel to private developer in connection with its proposed development of a 150 MW wind farm in Fox Hill, Pennsylvania that will utilize GE turbines.
  • Counsel to international independent power producer in connection with its development of a 150 MW wind farm in Laurel Mountain, West Virginia that utilizes GE turbines.  Representation included negotiation and drafting of balance of plant and installation EPC contract and related documents. 
  • Counsel to U.S. developer of 32MW battery storage facility co-located at wind farm, including advising on EPC Agreement for facility and related documents.  Click here to learn more.
  • Lead EPC counsel to independent power producer in connection with its proposed development of a 100MW wind farm in North Dakota.

Gas Pipelines

  • Counsel to international independent power producer on transaction involving complete development of multi-million dollar, 1046 kilometer, cross-Andean gas pipeline project in Chile and Argentina, including negotiation of turnkey EPC Agreement for the pipeline and separate, stand-alone Bulk Pipe Purchase Agreement that was subsequently assigned to and “wrapped” by the EPC Contractor (Techint E&C).  This complex transaction involved coverage of legal issues in three different regional jurisdictions in two different countries, with co-equity ownership interests hailing from the United States, Belgium, Chile and Argentina.  Representation included all contract negotiations, contract implementation, claims management and “trouble-shooting” legal support.  This project has been fully constructed and is now in operation.
  • Lead counsel to independent power producer in connection with construction of gas pipeline and related metering systems in support of development of gas-fired power project in New Jersey.

Biomass

  • Lead counsel to a Hawai’i-based developer in connection with project engineering, procurement and construction matters relating to the development of a 30MW eucalyptus wood-fired renewable power generation facility.
  • Counsel to developer of first-of-its-kind biomass gasification facility designed to produce 35MW of power and 640 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels.
  • Counsel to developer of 42MW biomass gasification facility in Florida.

Natural Gas

  • Lead counsel to a utility aggregation cooperative in connection with the structuring and negotiation of agreements to procure gas turbines, HRSGs and a steam turbine for a 1,000MW gas-fired power plant in Maryland.
  • Lead counsel to a public utility in connection with the structuring and negotiation of an EPC Agreement and Turbine Procurement Agreement for a 400 MW greenfield gas-fired power plant developed in Oregon.
  • Lead counsel to an independent power company in connection with the structuring and negotiation of an EPC Agreement and related arrangements for a 700 MW greenfield gas-fired power plant in New Jersey.
  • Counsel to California municipality in connection with the greenfield development of the 200 MW Canyon Power Project in Anaheim, California.  Representation included all aspects of EPC for GE turbines, balance of plant agreement with Barton Malow and switchyard EPC agreement with ABB, Inc. Click here for more information.
  • Lead counsel to independent power producer for all EPC and EPC-related contracts for the following projects, valued at over $1.3 billion, that collectively won Project Finance Magazine’s Portfolio Deal of the Year Award (2008):
    • re-powering of  two separate, existing brownfield steam powered generation facilities in Corpus Christi, Texas, via integration of a new large-frame 7-series gas turbines and HSRGs (for 2x1 configuration); and
    • development of brownfield site gas-fired power plant utilizing two GE LMS100 turbines in Laredo, Texas
    • Advice included all aspects of negotiation for the gas turbines (and subsequent assignment of same to EPC Contractor), as well as negotiation of an uniquely structured EPC Agreement that implemented an overall turnkey contracting approach to support non-recourse project financing, while appropriately allocating certain risks involved in the interfacing with existing facilities at the site. Representation also included long term services agreements for 7FAs, and long-term pooling arrangement for LMS100s. Click here for more information.
  • *Special Area of Significant Expertise: Lead counsel to over twenty different power companies  in connection with their respective efforts to negotiate (or renegotiate) long term parts and/or maintenance services agreements (a.k.a. “CSAs” or “LTSAs”) for gas and steam turbines, with General Electric, Siemens, Mitsubishi and others.  To date, Mr. Thompson has led a legal team that has advised on LTSA matters covering over 315 turbines worldwide, covering over eight billion dollars in aggregate value.  This team has a reputation of being among the foremost legal advisors on gas and steam turbine LTSA matters in the world.   [Click Here to Learn More About our LTSA Expertise]
  • Counsel to California municipality in connection with the engineering, procurement and construction contracts relating to the construction of a combined-cycle gas-fired generation facility in El Centro, California, including negotiation of contracts with Siemens for SGT-800 and SST-600 turbines.  Click here for more information.
  • Lead counsel to large municipality in connection with all project development matters relating to the engineering, procurement and construction of a greenfield gas-fired power plant, with four GE LM6000 gas turbines.  Advice includes all aspects of negotiation for the gas turbines, balance of plant EPC Agreement and switchyard EPC Agreement.  Structured contracts to implement an overall near-turnkey contracting approach. 
  • Lead counsel to an international independent power producer in connection with negotiations to procure multiple gas-fired turbines for a project in Ankara, Turkey. Representation also included coverage of long term parts and super-core lease pool agreements.   
  • Lead counsel for international independent power producer in connection with the negotiation of all documentation for a fixed-price, turn-key EPC Contract with Ansaldo Energia (Italy) for the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a 250 MW gas-fired power generation facility in Mejillones, Republic of Chile.  Representation included all contract negotiations, contract implementation, claims management and “trouble-shooting” legal support.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation. 
  • Lead counsel to municipal utility in connection with all project development matters relating to the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a new gas-fired simple-cycle peaking power generation facility (known as the Niland Facility).  Advice included all aspects of negotiation for two gas turbines and related CEMS systems, as well as development of an RFP for, and negotiation of, an EPC Agreement for balance of plant equipment, implementing an overall multi-prime contracting approach designed to minimize risk to the developer.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation. 
  • Lead counsel for large investor-owned utility in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a 400 MW gas-fired power generation facility in Port Westward, Oregon.  This representation included the direct and separate negotiation of a purchase agreement with Mitsubishi for a G-series gas-turbine and related steam turbine and HRSG, with the subsequent negotiation of a turnkey EPC Agreement with (Black & Veatch) and a complex four-way assignment agreement, pursuant to which the EPC Contractor took responsibility for “wrapping” the power island equipment contract.  This representation also included lead counsel in connection with the negotiation and execution of a long term parts and services agreement for the gas and steam turbines.  This Project won First-Runner-Up for Pennwell’s Project of the Year Award, 2007. 
  • Counsel for independent power producer in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a 650 MW gas-fired combined-cycle power generation facility in Kingman, Arizona.  This transaction’s structure involved the assignment of a pre-existing turbine (GE 7FAs) contract to the project by the client’s joint-venture partner, with the subsequent negotiation of a full-wrap turnkey EPC Contract from the EPC Contractor (Black & Veatch).  Representation included contract negotiations, through execution, as well as support of client’s contract implementation, including claims management and dispute resolution matters throughout all phases of construction and first year of operation.  Advised client in connection with two major contractual amendments and multiple change order claims for delay and costs, all of which were resolved in favor of the client.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation.
  • Lead counsel to municipal utility in connection with all project development matters relating to the engineering, procurement and construction to repower an existing brownfield steam powered generation facility, via integration of a new large-frame gas turbine and HSRG.  Advice included all aspects of negotiation for the gas turbine (and subsequent assignment of same to EPC Contractor), as well as development of an RFP for, and negotiation of, an uniquely structured EPC Agreement that will implement an overall turnkey contracting approach, while appropriately allocating certain risks involved in the interfacing with existing facilities at the site.
  • Lead counsel for international independent power producer in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of an 837 MW gas-fired combined-cycle power generation facility in Zeeland, Michigan.  This transaction took a “multi-prime” contractual approach, whereby the client separately contracted with the turbine vendor, so that the scope of work of the EPC Contractor (Burns & McDonnell) was limited to balance of plant and final testing.  Mr. Thompson helped guide the client toward the development of a complex EPC contract structure that minimized intra-contractor risk gaps.  Representation included all contract negotiations, contract implementation, claims management and “trouble-shooting” legal support.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation. 
  • Lead counsel for international independent power producer in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a 309 MW gas-fired power generation facility in Neenah, Wisconsin.  This transaction took a multi-prime approach, whereby the client separately contracted with the turbine vendor, so that the scope of work of the EPC Contractor (Burns & McDonnell) was limited to balance of plant and final testing.  Representation included the development of a complex EPC contract structure that minimized intra-contractor risk gaps.  Representation included all contract negotiations, contract implementation, claims management and “trouble-shooting” legal support.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation. 
  • Lead counsel for international independent power producer in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a 538 MW gas-fired power generation facility in Brazos, Texas.  This transaction took a multi-prime approach, whereby the client separately contracted with the turbine vendor, so that the scope of work of the EPC Contractor (Lockwood Greene) was limited to balance of plant and final testing.  Representation included the development of a complex EPC contract structure that minimized intra-contractor risk gaps, as well as all contract negotiations, contract implementation, claims management and “trouble-shooting” legal support.  This facility has been fully constructed and is now in operation. 
  • Lead counsel to international independent power producer in transactions involving the “bulk” purchase and sale of an aggregate of over $1.1 billion worth of power generation equipment, including gas turbines, steam turbines and HRSGs.  These transactions were for facilities to be located throughout the United States and in Europe.  Advice included development of master purchase agreements and project-specific agreements that addressed all general and specific legal and commercial issues, and that covered complex cross-border issues related to procurement from Japan and delivery issues into and within the European Union, as applicable.  Counterparties included Siemens Westinghouse, General Electric, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and others.
  • Lead counsel to independent power producer and its affiliates in purchase of over $260,000,000 worth of power generation equipment from Mitsubishi and over $88,000,000 worth of power generation equipment from Toshiba.
  • Lead counsel to international independent power producer in connection with the greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of gas-fired power generation facility in San Severo, Italy and a gas-fired power generation facility in Portogruaro, Italy.   Significant aspects of counseling included advice on structuring “open book pricing” aspects of contract, whereby both parties bore certain risks relating to cost-overruns and delays, depending upon particular circumstances.  This approach was designed to lower the overall costs of the project without creating additional risks for the owner.  After more than one year’s worth of negotiations, client sold project interests to a new third party developer prior to final execution of these documents.
  • Lead counsel for international independent power producer in connection with a transaction involving the planned greenfield engineering, procurement and construction of a power generation facility in Rio Bravo, Mexico.  “Phase 1” documentation took the form of a complex 30 page term sheet with the Contractor (Fluor Daniel), including seven detailed attachments, with “Phase 2” to be negotiation of the full EPC Contract based upon the same.  For economic reasons, the client withdrew from project prior to full implementation of “Phase 2.”

Retrofit Emissions Projects

  • Lead counsel to Southeastern utility in connection with EPC contract work for retrofit installation of advanced flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubbers for coal-fired power plants.
  • Lead counsel to Oregon utility in connection with EPC contract with Babcock & Wilcox for retrofit installation of low NOx burners in existing coal power plant.

Acquisitions and Sales Transactions

  • Lead counsel to IPP in connection with it proposed acquisition in 2012 of the 109.5 MW Shady Oaks wind project from its developer, Goldwind Energy (based in China).  Representation included lead role on managing a multi-disciplinary due diligence team and lead negotiator on the proposed MIPSA.  Client was unable to reach final agreement on the transaction, and withdrew from further discussions after several weeks of work.
  • Counsel to independent power producer in connection with its $350 million sale of power generation assets to a large regulated utility in Louisiana.  Along with co-counsel, had lead responsibility for all M&A documentation, joint ownership agreement, O&M agreement and multiple other complex documents. [Click here to learn more about this transaction.]
  • Counsel to an independent power producer in connection with $406 million share purchase double-acquisition of a power project in Florida and a power project in North Carolina.  Teamed with another partner to handle responsibility for drafting, negotiating and implementing multiple documents and instruments in connection with these transactions, in order to accelerate pace of transaction for client’s best interests.
  • Counsel to an independent power producer in connection with $206 million ownership interest purchase acquisition of a power project in Florida.  Responsibility for drafting, negotiating and implementing multiple documents and instruments in connection with this transaction, including negotiation of complex work-out arrangement relating to maintenance agreements on project’s generating assets.
  • Lead counsel to international independent power producer on $30 million transaction involving client’s divestment of share ownership interest in a project-financed power plant project in Kladno, Czech Republic, as held through Dutch, Spanish and Czech holding companies. Lead responsibility for drafting, negotiating and implementing multiple documents and instruments in connection with transaction.
  • Counsel to international independent power producer in connection with its partnering with another major investor and jointly acquiring an ownership interest in a power project in the Czech Republic. Responsible, in cooperation with other team members, for drafting, negotiation and organization of all documents and instruments in connection with same.  Documentation included share issuance and investment agreements, pledge agreements, escrow agreements, opinion letters, corporate documentation, shareholders agreements, etc.
  • Team Counsel to First Philippines Holding Corporation in connection with proposed multi-million dollar corporate acquisition of a controlling interest a toll road project development company and a water supply system project development company. Led due diligence team and provided advice to management regarding potential transactional pitfalls.
  • Team Counsel to international independent power producer on transaction involving $2.7 billion acquisition of Hong Kong-based, publicly-traded Bermuda corporation in the energy industry, with assets in China, Pakistan, Indonesia, The Philippines and Australia.
  • Team Counsel to utility in transaction involving a client’s $60 million purchase of former Enron-owned retail gas business in Georgia out of bankruptcy, through §363 “stalking-horse” procedure.

Speeches and Publications:  An internationally-recognized expert on the legal issues relating to long term turbine parts and maintenance agreements, and EPC and turbine procurement agreements, Mr. Thompson has, by invitation, spoken on these topics at the following energy conferences:

  • Power-Gen International Conference, Orlando, Florida (December 2016) 
  • 501F User's Group Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina (March 2013)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Orlando, Florida (December 2012)
  • EPRI Turbine User’s Group Annul Conference, Houston, Texas (January 2011)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Orlando, Florida (December 2010)
  • 501F User’s Group Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida (February 2010)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada (December 2009)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (December 2007)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada (December 2005)
  • European O&M Conference, London, United Kingdom (October 2005)
  • ASME Turbo Expo Conference, Reno, Nevada (June 2005)
  • GE 7FA User’s Group Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (May 2005)
  • Electric Power 2005 Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 2005)
  • 501F User’s Group Annual Conference, San Francisco, California (March 2005)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Orlando, Florida (December 2004)
  • Canada Power, Toronto, Canada (October 2004)
  • Power-Gen Asia, Bangkok, Thailand (October 2004)
  • ASME Turbo Expo Conference, Vienna, Austria (June 2004)
  • GE 7FA User’s Group Annual Conference (May 2004)
  • ASME Energy Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (March 2004)
  • Electric Power 2004 Conference, Baltimore, Maryland (March 2004)
  • Power-Gen International Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada (December 2003)
  • GE 7FA User’s Group Annual Conference (May 2003)
  • ASME Turbo Expo Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (May 2003)
  • Electric Power 2003 Conference, Houston, Texas (March 2003)
  • Spanish Power & Gas Conference, Madrid, Spain (March 2003)

In addition, Mr. Thompson has authored the following articles:

 

Education

  • University of Florida (J.D., with honors, 1995), Law Review (Associate Research Editor)
    • Semester at Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden, the Netherlands, involving intensive study of private international law (Spring 1995)
  • University of Virginia (B.A., Foreign Affairs, with distinction, 1992) (Concentration: Western European History, Politics, Foreign Policy and Languages)

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Georgia, United States of America