Energy is evolving. That change is being driven forward by hard-working and innovative people like you. MLT Aikins has been part of this industry from the beginning. We understand the political, economic and legal issues involved at each stage of an energy transaction or the development of an energy project. We understand energy and we understand your business.
Our integrated energy practice team brings together skills and knowledge from some of Western Canada’s top corporate/commercial, Indigenous, M&A, finance, regulatory and environmental lawyers to drive your project or transaction forward to completion or close.
Our energy team advises owners, producers, operators, developers, contractors, suppliers, financiers and other stakeholders on all aspects of energy projects or transactions. We leverage our broad experience and depth of relationships to lead you through the challenges involved in energy projects and transactions in Canada.
On this page:
- Renewable Energy
- Natural Gas Power Generation
- Carbon Markets & Regulatory Issues
- Clean Technology
- Oil & Gas
MLT Aikins advises clients on renewable energy projects and transactions in Canada. Our mandates include land acquisitions and the development, financing, construction, commercialization and acquisition/divestment of utility-scale wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric projects.
MLT Aikins acts for both independent power producers (IPPs) and utilities, depending on the project or transaction, which uniquely positions us to best serve our renewable energy clients. We have also acted for contractors, suppliers and landowners on numerous energy projects and transactions. Through our leading Indigenous practice, we regularly and increasingly act for First Nation renewable energy developers, owners and stakeholders – by way of equity, royalty or other form of participation.
We have acted as legal counsel for developers and First Nations as well as utilities, lenders, contractors, landowners and municipalities on a number of wind projects and transactions in Western Canada. For all clients, our team of energy lawyers employ project management tools to manage and complete the work you need done on time and on budget.
Developers: We advise developers on structuring your wind project to meet local requirements in Western Canada and to engage or partner with First Nations. We regularly advise on procurement processes, including advice on power purchase agreements (PPAs). Our lawyers can assist with site acquisition and all real estate and land issues with your wind power project. We assist developers with EPC or other contractor construction contracts and advise on turbine supply agreements with suppliers. We also advise developers on all agreements with municipalities, such as road maintenance agreements.
First Nations: We act for First Nations and other Indigenous economic organizations in structuring equity ownership and other forms of participation in utility-scale wind farm projects together with other developers. We also act for First Nations and other Indigenous economic organizations who own and operate independent development organizations, and advise them on developing their wind projects. Our work extends to advising on community-owned or small, community-based wind projects, sometimes in remote locations. We have successfully negotiated agreements with the Crown for development of wind projects and have advised on agreements between nations and municipal entities.
Utilities: We act for utilities in structuring and running procurement processes such as requests for proposals (RFPs) and PPAs. We have been involved in the planning and development of world-class, leading-edge clean energy projects, providing legal, strategic and dispute resolution advice at all stages of the projects. We have been called on to draft and update templates such as PPAs. Our energy lawyers also advise utilities in Western Canada on a broad range of regulatory matters.
Lenders: The transactions lawyers on our energy team often act for domestic lenders financing wind projects. We also undertake due diligence assignments on wind assets for lenders and investors from outside Canada.
Contractors: We have acted for equipment suppliers on turbine supply agreements and for contractors on EPC contracts for wind farm projects.
Landowners: We have also acted groups of landowners in connection with utility-scale energy projects in Western Canada, most often to negotiate option and lease agreements.
Municipalities: Our firm is long-standing counsel to various levels of government across Western Canada, and have acted for municipal entities to establish agreements related to road and maintenance or to establish bylaws related to wind farm development.
We have worked with developers, First Nations and other Indigenous economic organizations, consultants, lenders, contractors and owners and operators on solar projects, advising on both commercial and regulatory matters. We have in-depth understanding of commercial and regulatory regimes and can provide you with innovative solutions to see your project through to completion.
Our energy team has deep knowledge of the structuring and development of solar energy projects and we advise on land acquisitions and on the development, financing, construction, investments and transactions of such projects. We have particular skill and experience in advising First Nations and other Indigenous economic organizations on developing their own solar projects and assisting with building the Nations’ capacity as project developers.
We have acted on behalf of different project stakeholders on solar projects of all sizes, ranging from large utility-scale projects to residential rooftop projects.
As interest grows in the vast, untapped potential for producing energy from underground thermal resources across Western Canada, energy companies and developers face many challenges that are unique to geothermal energy.
Our team draws on our experience working with both geothermal developers and other energy producers to advise on project financing, joint development agreements, construction, structuring contracts, due diligence and navigating regulatory requirements.
We have experience structuring various key contracts as they relate to geothermal projects, including:
- Power purchase agreements
- Subsurface leases
- Surface leases
- Engineering, procurement and construction contracts
We have a deep understanding of the legal issues surrounding the biomass industry and provide innovative solutions to our clients, advising on the practical business and technical aspects of their projects.
Our energy team has experience advising on different types of biomass projects – ranging from traditional biomass to power projects at forestry facilities to biomass-to-liquid fuel oil and cellulosic ethanol projects. We have acted as counsel to multinational developers on utility-scale biomass power projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
We advised a Canadian developer on projects for baseload electricity generation using biomass fuel sources in remote, off-grid First Nation communities across Canada. We have also acted for Indigenous-owned groups to assist in exploration and development of their biomass projects in their home communities in Northern Canada. We have also advised First Nations and other Indigenous economic organizations on equity ownership and royalties in biomass projects.
We have worked with project developers advising on financing, procurement, construction and operating matters in the development of biomass projects, particularly in projects generating energy from waste forest products.
We have worked with biogas and biofuel companies advising on matters related to financing, procurement and engineering, and assist with structuring service and utility agreements and permitting and compliance.
We recognize that developing hydroelectric power projects consistent with the public interest requires a multi-disciplinary approach. We have extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of hydroelectric projects, including financing, acquisition, licensing, regulatory and development matters. We can assist with structuring a broad range of agreements such as:
- Joint venture/partnership agreements
- Input purchase agreements
- Power purchase agreements
- EPC/EPCM contracts for infrastructure development
- Ancillary agreements
- Transportation and shipping agreements
- Technology and licensing agreements
- Retail agreements
We have advised on a range of substantive issues, including environmental impacts and mitigation, power supply, water supply, recreation, preservation, shoreline uses and management and economic development. Our lawyers represent utilities and their operating subsidiaries in regulatory proceedings before various courts and regulatory boards. We bring a strategic and practical approach to navigating complex regulatory issues.
Our lawyers have been exploring the opportunities and obstacles involved in nuclear power generation in Canada for more than a decade. We have a unique understanding of the “political” dynamics and regulatory hurdles that industry participants face in the current business landscape. We help clients address the regulatory, commercial and construction considerations within the nuclear sector. We advise on various matters relating to the construction and operation of nuclear facilities; regulation of the distribution, sale and consumption of nuclear energy; disposal of nuclear waste; and in disputes relating to these matters.
Our energy lawyers assist a range of clients with the development, construction, financing and operation of gas power generation and transmission assets. In particular, we advise on power purchase contracts, project procurement, the purchase and sale of ancillary services, the development and implementation of operating rules and codes of conduct and the acquisition and divestment of gas power generation assets. We have also acted on numerous regulatory applications and have provided advice on compliance, rate applications and reviews, cost of capital issues, rate unbundling and dispute resolution related to gas power generation.
For nearly a decade, lawyers on our energy team have been writing and presenting on the development of The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act in Saskatchewan and the Emission Offset System in Alberta. Our team has deep experience advising both public and private clients on most aspects of regulatory compliance.
Our extensive experience with environmental law issues derives from our work with diverse industries including carbon capture and storage. We have provided environmental impact assessment, liability and due diligence advice. Our work in the area also involves advising on contaminated sites liabilities, site remediation and transporting hazardous materials.
We have experience advising Crown corporations and mining companies on the operation of all aspects of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act. This advice extends to the federal fuel charge and the operation of both the federal and provincial output-based pricing systems.
Our work in this area includes drafting project plans, agreements and related provisions for the acquisition, ownership and sale of carbon credits and offsets.
We have experience advising clean technology developers, manufacturers and suppliers on low carbon energy projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reaching emissions targets. We help industry participants in the clean-tech sector navigate the legal hurdles they face in pursuit of developing, selling, operating and maintaining technology that reduces carbon emissions.
MLT Aikins can help navigate climate change law and regulations at the provincial and federal levels to maximize the value for our clients and capitalize on developments in carbon markets and trading schemes.
Our lawyers have also advised project owners on a number of battery storage projects in Ontario at pharmaceutical, food production and health-care facilities. We also advise battery manufacturers on commercial matters.
Our energy team advises flare gas project owners on development of their flare gas projects, including power purchase agreements and First Nations’ and other Indigenous economic organizations’ involvement.
We have in-depth knowledge of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies and have advised on some of Western Canada’s major carbon capture projects. Our lawyers actively follow developments in the sector and are involved in a broad range of work as it relates to capture, utilization and storage, including advising on regulatory and compliance issues. We have experience helping industry partners structure a variety of key contracts including:
- Joint venture/partnership agreements
- Project financing agreements
- EPC/EPCM contracts for infrastructure development
- Connection, transportation and shipping agreements
- Offtake/sales agreements to sell CO2 for enhanced oil recovery
- Storage/sequestration agreements
MLT Aikins has extensive experience advising the oil and gas industry on issues related to exploration, development, production, processing, handling, storage, transportation, distribution and wholesale/retail marketing of both crude and refined petroleum products.
Our experience includes extensive work in the upstream oil and gas sector, including on: the acquisition, operation and divestiture of on-shore and off-shore exploration and production assets; land matters, including in respect of surface/mineral rights; farm-in, farm-out and royalty arrangements; and joint operations. We have advised on several significant projects, including the Hibernia project.
We additionally advise midstream oil and gas clients on various matters, including advising pipeline companies and shippers on product transportation issues, and on acquisitions, divestitures, development, construction and financing of pipeline projects. Our firm has advised on the acquisition, divestiture, development, construction and financing of several significant pipeline projects, including the Alliance, Express, Keystone, Producers and Trans-Canada systems. We provide advice on the regulation and deregulation of assets and markets in Western Canada, including rate applications, cost of capital issues, codes of conduct and rate unbundling. We additionally represent both landowners and industry in hearings to resolve surface rights disputes.
Finally, our firm advises downstream oil and gas clients on a variety of matters, including acquisitions and divestitures, project development, construction and financing and on matters relating to operations, wholesale/retail fuel supply and dealer arrangements. We have advised on several significant downstream projects, including the Lloydminster heavy oil upgrader and the CO-OP refinery and upgrader in Regina.
- Advisers to the leading-edge $1.24 billion Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project, converting one of the power units into a long-term producer of 100 megawatts of clean base-load electricity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing one million tons of carbon dioxide each year for sale to third parties for use in enhanced oil recovery operations.
- Counsel to Federated Co-operatives Ltd. on a $138 million acquisition by plan of arrangement, including production facilities and infrastructure, of Triwest Exploration Inc., a Calgary-based oil company.
- Counsel to SaskPower Corporation on an off-take agreement with Cenovus Energy for the full volume of approximately one million tons per year of carbon dioxide from the carbon capture and storage facility under construction at Boundary Dam Power Station in Saskatchewan. The carbon dioxide is to be used for enhanced oil recovery at a Cenovus-operated project near Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
- David McKinnon v. Red Lily Energy Partnership et al., 2011 SKQB 313, successfully opposing a motion in an uncertified class action for an injunction to restrain the construction of an electricity-generating wind farm.
- Counsel to SaskPower Corporation on a number of power purchase agreements with private sector developers of various cogeneration and stand-alone power generation facilities in Saskatchewan.
- Counsel to SaskEnergy on the sale of its interest in Heritage Gas Limited to AltaGas Income Trust (2009).
- Counsel to a significant explorer and developer of coal bed methane gas in regulatory and litigation proceedings to determine ownership of Coalbed Methane Gas between the owner of the petroleum and natural gas rights and the owner of the coal estate.
- Counsel to Manitoba Hydro on its 138 megawatt Power Purchase transaction for wind generated power with Pattern Energy.
- Counsel to Manitoba Hydro on its 300 megawatt RFP for wind generated power.
- Counsel to Manitoba Hydro on its 99 megawatt Power Purchase transaction for wind generated power with St. Leon Wind Energy LP.