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Michelle Brandt King

Partner

555 17th Street, Suite 3200, Denver, CO 80202

Michelle helps clients throughout the Mountain West navigate the spectrum of energy and public utility regulatory matters that impact their industries and operations.

Michelle’s clients include industrial and commercial electric retail customers, independent power producers, renewable energy developers, natural gas local distributions companies and pipelines, transportation providers, and municipalities. Her specialized experience handling nearly all aspects of energy and public utility regulation allows her clients to concentrate on the daily challenges of running their businesses while simultaneously achieving their goals.

Providing tailored problem-solving and perspective, Michelle has influenced a wide array of complex and challenging electric regulatory and administrative proceedings throughout the Rocky Mountain region and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). These issues and associated outcomes have significant impacts on energy and utility law both at the state level, and nationally. Since electricity costs often comprise a critical and significant portion of her client’s operating costs, Michelle’s expertise, advocacy, and strategic guidance is critical to her clients’ business operations.

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Experience

Provides counsel and advocacy in virtually all aspects of utility regulatory, legislative, and energy-related matters involving:

  • Rate cases
  • Tariff issues
  • Construction projects and investments
  • Resource and transmission planning
  • Infrastructure development, including advanced and distributed grid offerings
  • Qualifying facilities
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Service quality matters
  • Line extensions
  • Legislation
  • Environmental regulatory requirements
  • Demand side management
  • Municipal utilities

Michelle provides counsel and advocacy on her clients' behalf in various proceedings and before administrative agencies in:

  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • FERC

Client Results

  • Saved hundreds of millions of dollars for ratepayers as lead advocate on behalf of large electric consumer coalitions in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming in electric regulatory proceedings before their respective Public Utilities Commissions, and the FERC.

  • Ongoing representation of a coalition of large electric consumers in Colorado, the Colorado Energy Consumers (CEC), in all aspects concerning the provision of electricity and electric services to CEC members' facilities by Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo).


    • Co-led efforts in most recent PSCo Phase I (revenue requirements) and Phase II (cost allocation and rate design) rate cases. In Phase I, successfully shaved more than $100 million off of PSCo's initial ask. Phase II proceeding is currently pending before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
    • Lead counsel in currently pending inaugural Transportation Electrification Plan proceeding, to balance widespread deployment of electric vehicles against rate impacts for customers.
    • Team lead for Holland & Hart lawyers and experts in Demand Side Management matters. Successfully argued for rejection of proposal to collect immeasurable margins claimed to be "lost" from decreased electric sales, capping the total budget and incentive awards to help ensure that the programs are cost effective and of value to ratepayers.
    • Successfully leveraged inclusion of retail rate impact and stability caps in Colorado legislation related to the development of Clean Energy Plans and electric vehicle deployment to enable reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions in a cost-effective manner for ratepayers.
  • Ongoing representation of a coalition of large electric consumers in Montana, the Montana Large Consumer Group (LCG), in all aspects concerning the provision of transmission and electric services to LCG members' facilities by NorthWestern Energy.


    • Part of Holland & Hart team that successfully rejected NorthWestern proposal before FERC that would have increased critical transmission rates and related services to as much as 15 times higher than the other major utilities in the region. The rejected proposal resulted in the refund of millions of dollars back to LCG members.
    • Part of Holland & Hart team that successfully negotiated comprehensive settlement of Formula Rate and related Protocols for LCG members.
  • Ongoing representation of a coalition of large electric consumers in Wyoming, the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers (WIEC), in all aspects concerning the provision of electricity and electric services to WIEC members' facilities by PacifiCorp, doing business as Rocky Mountain Power.


    • Currently litigating complex RMP rate case, concerning overhauls to generation mix in and beyond Wyoming, and associated impacts for WIEC members.
    • Led team in Demand Side Management proceeding to afford opportunities for WIEC members to invest in DSM programs, while ensuring value in overall portfolio.
  • Represented the City of Boulder in a first-of-its kind proceeding, where Boulder sought to provide electric service within the City through operating a municipal electric utility, to meet the interests and objectives of the Boulder community for greater control over its energy supply, carbon emissions, and local innovation.

News

Speaking Engagements

Education

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Recognition

  • Denver Business Journal, Top Women in Energy, 2015
  • Colorado Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, 2013

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • Energy Bar Association Rocky Mountain Chapter:
    • President, 2017-2019
    • Officer, 2015-2017
    • Member of the Board, 2014-2015, 2020
  • Energy Bar Association, Member, 2013-present
  • American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Utility Infrastructure and Siting Subcommittee, Vice Chair, Public Service, 2011-2012
  • Denver, Colorado, and American Bar Associations, Member
  • The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Fellow-For-Life, 2001-present
  • Live By Living, Volunteer, 2011-2015
  • Discovering Deaf Worlds Marketing Committee, 2009
  • University of Colorado LEEDS School of Business, Net Impact Sustainability Competition, Judge, 2007
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