2013 in Renewable Energy Project Litigation

Renewable energy developers continue to have an excellent track record of defeating project challenges.

In December 2012, we summarized nearly 10 years of litigation against renewable energy projects. Between the publication of that snapshot and the end of 2013, seven new challenges began and 16 ended. This update provides a high-level summary of key trends, notable cases observed in 2013 and suggests successful strategies for avoiding or overcoming litigation.

This year, we expanded our tracking beyond the western United States to select cases in other parts of the country. These and other additions increased the size of our dataset to 76 lawsuits, spanning 46 biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, wave, and transmission projects, as well as the US Department of Energy’s federal loan guarantee program. The average duration of litigation has risen from approximately 400 days last year to over 500 days, primarily due to appeals following district court decisions. Wind and solar projects continue to constitute the vast majority of challenges.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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