Michael R. Strong

Michael Strong is a partner and Chair of the Energy Law group where he helps trade associations shape the “rules of the game” before Illinois regulators and helps companies across the energy industry in all aspects of their strategy, transactions, and operations that touch the regulated energy space.

Michael works primarily with developers and long-term asset owners in the solar industry and retail energy providers, helping navigate the complex regulatory frameworks impacting revenue streams, such as advising on new products, strategic partnerships, asset acquisition and disposal, customer contracts, and compliance.  From transmission to energy end-users, from financing to incentive applications, Michael works across disciplines and with cross-disciplinary business, technical and legal teams to drive client results.

In addition to working with firms as large as the (then) largest firm in the world and as small as solo practice, Michael was the first in-house general counsel of the Illinois Power Agency, which procures renewable energy resources and wholesale energy products.

  • Lead litigation, stakeholder engagement, and informal outreach on behalf of national and state trade associations, on initiatives from consumer protection rule revisions to build-out of $800+ million solar incentive program.
  • Won Illinois Commerce Commission ruling directing an Illinois utility to modify its community generation crediting mechanism to remove charges to alternative retail electric suppliers.
  • Represented multiple owners of “community solar” in negotiation of customer acquisition agreements and Approved Vendor as a Service agreements.
  • Lead or local counsel on purchase or sale of over 25 MWac of solar assets and local regulatory counsel on financings of over 50 MWac of solar assets.

In 2022, Michael was named to the list of Illinois Rising Stars, a list published by Super LawyersRising Stars uses a patented multiphase selection process which includes peer nominations and evaluations combined with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys who have been selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars make up 2.5 percent of lawyers in Illinois who have been in practice for less than ten years. These selections are made on an annual basis.

  • Strong, Michael R. How Do You Get To Green? Public Utilities Fortnightly (July 2013)
  • Strong, Michael R. A Greener Standard Offer, Public Utilities Fortnightly (October 2014)
  • Strong, Michael R. and Pruitt, Mark J. Aggregation 2.0: Evolution of Customer Engagement with Retail Choice?, Public Utilities Fortnightly (May 2016)
  • Strong, Michael R., Aligning Rules and Outcomes in Modern Energy Regulation, DePaul Law Review Symposium – And Justice for All: A Symposium in Memory of the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy (April 7, 2017)
  • Strong, Michael R. Legal and Policy Perspective on the “Power” Side of the Electric Utility Industry, EUCI State Regulation of Electric Utilities and Innovations Driving Change in the Industry Symposium (June 26, 2017)
  • Strong, Michael R., Opportunities and Challenges for Distributed Generation in the Midwest (Panel Discussion), Solar Power Midwest (November 14, 2018)
  • Strong, Michael R., Solar in Illinois (Panel Discussion), TEPA-ILEPA Annual Conference (July 7, 2019)
  • Strong, Michael R., Community Solar Consumer Protections Best Practices (Panel Discussion), Community Solar Power (July 19, 2019)
  • Strong, Michael R., The Evolution of Consumer Protection in Illinois- Who Needs Protection? And from Whom? (Panel Discussion), Solar & Energy Storage Midwest (November 14, 2019)
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