In the News

Diana Liebmann in Law360: 5 Things That Keep Utility Attorneys Up At Night

Seismic shifts in traditional power sources and the increased unbundling of power generation and transmission. The ascendance of renewable energy on the electric grid, including user-generated energy. An increasingly influential Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. >>

Diana Liebmann in Law360: Texas Power Estimate Cools Capacity Market Debate

In a report issued Friday, Texas’ electrical grid operator projected its current power production can exceed recommended reserve levels for years to come, giving further ammunition to opponents of a proposal for the state to adopt a capacity market designed to promote more new generation. >>



Recent Publications

CFTC Loosens Requirements for Swaps for Utility Special Entities

On March 21, 2014, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“Division”) of the CFTC issued a no-action relief letter (the “2014 Letter”), to temporarily allow entities to deal in utility operations-related swaps, as defined in the 2014 Letter, without counting such swaps towards the “sub-limit” threshold for swap dealer registration with regard to such swaps. >>



Diana Liebmann

Partner

San Antonio


112 East Pecan Street
Suite 1200
San Antonio, Texas 78205
T +1 210.978.7418
F +1 210.554.0418

Areas of Practice

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., Political Science, Minor in Chemistry, Southwestern University, 1993

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Diana Liebmann

Diana Liebmann is a Partner in the Energy and Power Practice Group of Haynes and Boone, LLP. She represents clients in regulatory matters before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Southwest Power Pool and in various state commission proceedings. Diana represents clients in corporate and transactional matters including project development of both renewable and conventional generation, in drafting and negotiating power purchase agreements for both long-term and short-term sales including the sale of renewable energy credits and advising clients with regard to regulatory benefits and impediments to transactions. She also assists clients in litigation associated with conduct in the electric markets including litigation over power deals and litigation of market rules, protocols, and administrative investigations leading up to and including notices of violations. Diana has worked on regulatory matters, in rulemakings and contested cases, and completed transactional matters including:

  • Proceedings to establish rules for Competitive Renewable Energy Zones including related rulemakings and contested cases;
  • Proceedings to implement wholesale and retail restructuring at the State Office of Administration Hearings, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas;
  • Rulemakings regarding transmission access and pricing;
  • Competitive matters and confidentiality issues involving Open Records and Open Meetings laws;
  • Wholesale and retail power purchase and sale agreements, retail electric provider agreements, qualified scheduling entity agreements, qualified facility agreements, contracts with third parties regarding professional services, and power plant construction agreements; including EPC agreements, and power plant project finance documents;
  • Proceedings at ERCOT and the PUCT regarding ERCOT governance, congestion management, ancillary services, settlement, transmission and distribution losses, reliability must run, resource adequacy and market monitoring;
  • Litigation involving the application of the antitrust laws to the ERCOT market;
  • Sale of electric power facilities and generating assets; and
  • Regulatory investigation and complaint proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and Texas Regional Entity.

Selected Honors

  • Selected for inclusion in Who's Who in Energy by the San Antonio Business Journal, 2012-2014
  • Recognized by Chambers USA as one of the leading practitioners in Texas for energy, 2011-2014
  • Named a rising star by Law360.com as one of the top 10 energy lawyers under 40 to watch, 2010
  • Named one of The Best Lawyers in America - Energy Law, 2006-2015
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star in Utility Law in the July 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 issues of Texas Monthly
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer in 2013-2014
  • Selected by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of its 40 Under 40 Rising Stars, 2008

Selected Representative Experience


Texas Wind Farm Project Financing
Represented Morgan Stanley Bank as construction lender and energy hedge provider in Texas matters for secured project financing of construction of 67-MW Windthorst - 2 wind farm sponsored by BlackRock.

Texas Wind Farm Financing
Represented construction lenders and energy hedge providers in Texas matters for secured project financing of the 200-MW Stephens Ranch Phase 1 wind farm.

Panda Power Funds/Sherman Gas-Fired Power Plant
Represented Panda Power Funds in the secured financing of the development of a natural gas-fired power plant in Sherman, Texas.

Panda Power Funds/Temple Gas-Fired Power Plant
Represented Panda Power Funds in the secured financing of the development of a natural gas-fired power plant in Temple, Texas.

Bosque Power Company, LLC
Representation of Prepetition Agent and Working Group of Lenders in the 2010 Chapter 11 of Bosque Power Co LLC and its affiliates. The Texas-based electricity generation company borrowed approximately $410 million in January 2008 in part to fund a conversion of two of its combustion turbines. The Prepetition Agent and the Working Group of Lenders terminated the exclusivity period and confirmed a plan of reorganization in the fall of 2010.

Special Transaction Committee - Texas Genco Holdings, Inc.
The Special Transaction Committee of the Board of Directors of Texas Genco Holdings, Inc. in connection with the sale of the publicly-held interests in Texas Genco to GC Power Acquisition LLC, an entity owned by investment funds affiliated with The Blackstone Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Texas Pacific Group.

Defense of Lawsuit Filed by ERCOT
Represented Frontera in a suit brought by ERCOT which manages the electric power grid in Texas. Our client generated electricity which was sold through the grid. ERCOT refused to pay the full price for our client and a suit was initiated which resulted in a settlement of a $15 million claim by our client. Six months later, ERCOT unilaterally recalculated the transaction by retroactively charging our client $750,000. We filed suit in U.S. District Court in Austin and recovered a judgment for $750,000 plus attorneys fees, prejudgment interest, and court costs. ERCOT filed notice of appeal and ultimately settled the case.

Honduran Power Project
Advising U.S. textile company on creation of Honduran entity and other corporate matters. 

Memberships

  • Member, Energy & Sustainability Committee, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (Chairman 2011-2013)
  • Advisory Board Member, University of Texas Law Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law
  • Advisory Board Member, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, San Antonio Bar Association Natural Resources Section, (President 2006-2009)
  • Member, Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas (Council Member 2009-2012)
  • Member, Gulf Coast Power Association
  • Director, Arc of San Antonio, Inc. (President 2004)

Online Publications

04/04/2014 - CFTC Loosens Requirements for Swaps for Utility Special Entities
On March 21, 2014, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“Division”) of the CFTC issued a no-action relief letter (the “2014 Letter”), to temporarily allow entities to deal in utility operations-related swaps, as defined in the 2014 Letter, without counting such swaps towards the “sub-limit” threshold for swap dealer registration with regard to such swaps.

05/15/2013 - Dodd-Frank Update: CFTC ISO/RTO Exemptive Order
On March 28, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued a final order exempting specified transactions by certain regional transmission organizations (“RTO”) and independent system operators (“ISO”) from all but the general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation prohibitions of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and related CFTC regulations promulgated thereunder (“Exemptive Order”).

12/16/2011 - San Antonio Express-News Guest Column: Incentives needed to bring power generation to Texas
Newsflash: Texas is in a drought, reservoirs are near all-time lows, and average temperatures are on the rise.

07/26/2011 - North American Windpower Guest Article: Market Headwinds Persist For U.S. Wind Capital
Texas is the wind energy capital of the U.S., with more than 10 GW of installed wind capacity. Following the implementation of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) process, additional transmission capacity will be available to support another 8 GW of generation. All of this has been beneficial to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), with wind generation driving down the cost of electricity.

02/23/2011 - Integration of Renewables in ERCOT: Costs, Project Risks and New Regulatory Requirements
Texas is the wind energy capitol of the United States with far more wind generation than any other market. The development of wind generation, and having wind developers locate their headquarters in Texas, has given the Texas economy a much-needed boost and has allowed Texas to take advantage of its world class wind resources.

02/09/2011 - Wiring Around Carbon: Implications of Transmission Pricing Mechanisms and Smart Grid
Renewable energy in the form of utility scale wind and solar are best sited in the areas where the load profile is best - the solar belt for solar generation, and areas with high capacity factors for wind generation. The best areas for development of these resources are remote areas that lack access to transmission.

08/02/2010 - Developers who anted up deserve power line priority
In parts of West Texas, wind turbines extend across rocky mesas as far as the eye can see, turning otherwise unproductive land into a source of clean, renewable energy. Our state has world-class wind resources, and wind developers want to expand generation into the area of the state with the best wind resource.

07/31/2010 - Diana Liebmann Guest Blog: How to bring transmission lines to windy West Texas
In parts of West Texas, wind turbines extend across rocky mesas as far as the eye can see, turning otherwise unproductive land into a source of clean, renewable energy. Our state has world-class wind resources, and wind developers want to expand generation into the area of the state with the best wind resource. There has been just one problem: The Panhandle lacks transmission lines to carry the power generated by wind to consumers around Texas.

06/04/2009 - Recent Developments in Texas and United States Energy Law
This section of Recent Developments in Texas and United States Energy Law consists of selected discussions and articles regarding recent case law, legislation, and regulations that affect the energy industry.

Wholesale Electric Power Transactions in Restructured ERCOT

Contracting for Power in a Deregulated Market

Power Restructuring Experience In California Will Not Occur In Texas