Michael J. Tomsu

Michael J. Tomsu Partner, Energy Regulation

Mike’s practice focuses on regulatory issues in the utility industry, with an emphasis on electricity, telecommunications, and oil and gas regulation. Mike has almost 30 years of experience counseling clients in contested case, rulemaking, and regulatory compliance matters before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Texas Railroad Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and other state and federal regulatory agencies.

Mike assists clients with regulations impacting the development, purchase, and sale of utility-related infrastructure. He has particular experience in the development and operation of renewable and new-energy technologies, including wind, solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, low-impact hydro, and geothermal generation, as well as the negotiation of power purchase agreements. He regularly advises power generation companies on compliance matters involving ERCOT Protocols, PUCT regulations, and NERC Reliability Standards. In the telecommunications sector, his practice has focused on emergency communications and universal service funding. On numerous occasions, he has represented clients in drafting and supporting proposed legislation before the Texas Legislature.

Experience Highlights

  • Assisted Duke Energy in regulatory matters related to the development of the first commercial-scale energy storage facility in Texas, and in numerous regulatory matters related to ongoing operations at the facility
  • Assisted Windstream Communications in drafting legislation reforming the administration of the Texas Universal Service Fund, and in drafting proposed rules and comments before the PUCT in a rulemaking matter implementing the legislation
  • Represent NRG Energy in all regulatory matters involving the administration of the decommissioning trusts related to its ownership interest in the South Texas Nuclear Project
  • Represented Wayzata in obtaining regulatory approvals, and in transactional matters, related to the sale of the Guadalupe Power Facility
  • Ongoing representation of all emergency communications districts in the State of Texas on matters involving the introduction of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology

Representative Experience

  • Represented a Texas wind generation company in multiple contested matters involving the reactive power and primary frequency response requirements applicable to wind facilities in ERCOT
  • Represent The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on installation of a dedicated gas pipeline to serve the campus, and on related commodity transportation agreements
  • Assisted Weingarten Realty with the negotiation of a nationwide agreement for the installation of rooftop solar facilities on their properties
  • Assist Trafigura on Texas Railroad Commission matters involving regulatory compliance related to the operation of their intrastate pipelines and terminal storage facilities
  • Multiple engagements negotiating long-term electricity supply agreements on behalf of several component institutions of The University of Texas System
  • Represented Global Infrastructure Management in the acquisition and ongoing operation of the Channelview Cogeneration Plant
  • Represent The University of Texas at San Antonio regarding the negotiation of a long-term gas supply agreement, and related gas utility infrastructure matters
  • Represented multiple clients with regard to the licensing of charging facilities for electric vehicles

Contact Details

Austin

T +1.512.542.8527
M +1.512.940.0709
F +1.512.236.3211
mtomsu@velaw.com
2801 Via Fortuna
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746-7568
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Mike's Practices

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • The University of Texas at Austin, M.B.A., 1986
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Chemistry, 1982
  • Admitted to practice: Texas, 1987
  • Chambers USA, Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation (Electricity) (Texas), 2011–2015
  • Board Certified in Administrative Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Legal 500 U.S., Energy Regulation, 2013 and 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc), Administrative /Regulatory law, 2003–2014
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers, in Utilities Law (Thomson Reuters), 2015
  • Adjunct Professor: The University of Texas School of Law, Spring 2013 “Electricity Law, Policy and Transactions”
  • Member: The University of Texas College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council
  • Current Board Chair: Capital Area Food Bank; Past Board Chair: Leadership Austin
  • Life Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation