Who Pays When Solar Modules Fail?


With so many new companies entering into and competing in the renewable energy marketplace, how do the parties ensure that key components of a solar generation facility perform as intended? Rigorous commissioning and performance testing might address immediate issues. But what happens in later years when photovoltaic modules do not meet performance expectations or the inverter fails? What happens when a developer or contractor obtains modules from an inexpensive overseas supplier and the modules degrade more quickly than projected? What good is a warranty from a company that will not be around in a decade to respond to a claim? What remedies exist when key components fail to perform as intended? Is there insurance available to respond to these risks? This article attempts to address these questions in the context of a solar generation facility.

Where do you look when a key component fails?

When a component fails, parties often turn to the transaction documents to see who is responsible. Of course, not every party in a transaction is itself a party to each such document, so different players will look in different places. A common menu of major agreements for a solar project may include...

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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.

© Kathleen Carpenter, Esq., Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps | Attorney Advertising

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