This article, “Wind Power: Generating Electricity and Lawsuits” (by Brit T. Brown and Benjamin A. Escobar and published in Vol. 28, No. 2 (2007)), discusses nation-wide litigation developments (through roughly one year ago) regarding both on-land and offshore projects.
This article discusses trends in wind-related litigation and legal issues impacting wind energy companies in the United States. First, it discusses and analyzes various legal challenges to land-based wind projects, including allegations of aesthetic and environmental impact, government-mandated moratoriums on wind energy development, patent infringement, breach of contract, and products liability.
Next, the article discusses and analyzes the embryonic, yet promising offshore wind industry, including a detailed examination of four currently proposed offshore wind farms and lawsuits that have been filed in connection with one of the four projects (i.e., the Cape Wind Project).
Finally, the article considers future legal issues that wind energy developers may face with respect to both land and offshore wind projects including, for example, the potential impact on wind energy development if the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) is allowed to expire on December 31, 2008 [it was extended as part of the $700B congressional stimulus package], and the long-term environmental impact on the earth’s climate of land-based and offshore wind turbines.