Keene M. O’Connor is an associate in the energy and infrastructure practice of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice focuses on development, merger and acquisition, and financing transactions across energy technologies and industries, including solar, wind, biofuel and biochemical, hydroelectric, geothermal, fuel cell, energy storage, natural gas purchase, and storage and water infrastructure transactions.
Keene counsels developer clients through all stages of the project finance process, from negotiating with energy, capacity, REC, and other product purchasers to ensuring that his clients’ interests are protected in their dealings with engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance contractors. He advises both developer and investor clients on a variety of financing transactions, addressing all aspects of tax equity, back leverage, working capital, cash equity, asset-backed loan agreements, and other structured financing transactions. Keene also assists sellers and buyers with mergers and acquisitions of energy and other infrastructure project assets and special-purpose entities, including transactions ranging from individual projects to multi-state portfolios.
Protecting his clients’ interests has led Keene to appear before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and various state utility commissions, including those in Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. These proceedings have addressed a variety of topics, including requests for approval of power and gas sales agreements, acquisition of working interest ownership in an Alaska gas field, and hydropower licensing issues. Keene has also worked with clients to advance their views in a variety of forums on numerous policy issues, including net metering, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, and qualifying facility status and electricity transmission infrastructure development.
Keene augments his energy practice by advising clients developing exotic water infrastructure projects. These have included acquisition and improvement of a 100-year-old flume fed hydroelectric project, a planned seawater district cooling project in the Bahamas, and a demonstration project for the extraction of minerals from geothermal brine.
During law school, Keene worked as an extern for Judge Richard C. Tallman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and as a legal intern for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy & Environment (including work on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill).
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2010
- B.A., History and Philosophy of Science, and B.S., Psychology, University of Washington, 2004
- State Bar of Alaska
- State Bar of Washington
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