Lisa A. Cottle

Lisa Cottle’s practice focuses on the development, financing, operation, acquisition, and disposition of energy projects; and the sale and purchase of electricity. She has extensive experience with energy development projects, including negotiating long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the full range of project contracts, obtaining key permits and regulatory approvals, and supporting project finance transactions. She also handles acquisitions and sales of energy project companies and assets. Her experience in these roles gives her a unique perspective that adds value in both the transactional and regulatory contexts.

Ms. Cottle’s PPA experience includes conventional and renewable generating facilities, including natural gas-fired, solar, wind, and biomass, and includes PPAs, tolling agreements, and resource adequacy and capacity agreements. She represents developers of conventional and renewable projects in competitive solicitations for capacity, resource adequacy, energy, and other products. She negotiates retail power purchase and services agreements for on-site generating facilities. Ms. Cottle also advises developers, lenders and investors in project finance transactions, and represents clients buying and selling energy project companies and assets.

Ms. Cottle also has extensive energy regulatory experience. She represents projects and developers in regulatory proceedings before administrative agencies, particularly the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC). Her experience includes the regulatory, environmental, and permitting aspects of power plant and transmission line development. She obtains certification from the CEC for large thermal power plant projects. She advises developers, lenders, and investors on permitting, environmental, and regulatory issues associated with energy generation and transmission projects, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Representative matters include: 

  • Acted as project counsel for a 760 MW natural gas-fired electricity generating facility in Northern California. Responsibilities included negotiation and documentation of PPA and other project contracts; obtaining CEC license; representing project in CPUC contract approval process; and acting as co-borrower’s counsel in project financing.
  • Represented independent power producers in negotiating long-term tolling PPAs for projects representing over 2100 megawatts of existing natural gas-fired generating capacity.
  • Represented developer of 150 MW solar generating facility in negotiating long-term PPA.
  • Represented developers of rooftop solar and other onsite solar and combined heat and power facilities in negotiating retail power sales agreements.
  • Represented independent power producer in asset transaction involving a 550 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle project in Northern California.
  • Represented renewable project developers in CPUC proceedings involving applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) and permits to construct for new transmission projects, including CEQA review.
  • Obtained CEC approval for construction of a 550 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Northern California.
  • Represented independent power producers in CPUC proceedings addressing long-term procurement planning, resource adequacy requirements for load serving entities, and implementation of California’s renewables portfolio standard. 

Ms. Cottle received a B.A. in Political Science and English, cum laude, from Colgate University in 1990. She received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1993.

Honors & Awards

Ms. Cottle is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA 2012, 2013, and 2014. Chambers USA noted that she “negotiates in a very firm way” and receives high praise for her “responsive, innovative and patient” approach. She also received the Chambers Women in Law Award for Up-and- Coming Lawyer of the Year in Energy & Projects for 2013.

Ms. Cottle is included in Best Lawyers in America's 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions. Clients commented that: “Ms. Cottle is diligent and thorough in all activities. She has a thorough understanding of energy issues and challenges. As a long-time counsel, she is particularly effective at considering legal implications to our business beyond the deal or issue immediately at hand.”

Ms. Cottle is listed in the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers ranking under Energy Law.

Ms. Cottle was selected as one of Martindale-Hubbell’s Women Leaders in the Law.

Ms. Cottle was included in the Expert Guides’ 2013 Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law in the Energy and Natural Resources practice area.