Girding up for Disputes in Evolving Areas of the Law: Renewable Energy and Climate Change Speaking Engagement 03.17.2010 12:00am

Drafting agreements to address major regulatory unknowns faced by contracting parties, taking steps to avoid disputes through expansive stakeholder processes and efficiently handling disputes if and when they do arise will all be the subject of this program. New technologies, new trading regimes, new laws and governmental regulations, new societal pressures and global geopolitical shifts necessarily give rise to new opportunities as well as new challenges and new disputes. Taking steps to capture these new opportunities and at the same time avoid losses requires that the challenges and disputes be identified early and addressed appropriately.

Areas for potential dispute – to be mitigated or addressed - include issues relating to trading of environmental attributes (such as renewable energy credits and the allocation of carbon risk), issues relating to wind generation (including bird and bat impacts, shadow flicker and noise, turbine and other equipment procurement, warranty and testing issues, project risk and community opposition to wind siting and transmission expansion, issues raised by project cancellation in an uncertain economy, both before and after a binding agreement has been entered into, and curtailment risk for intermittent resources), issues relating to solar generation (including siting and ownership of environmental attributes). Uncertainty as to future regulation and changes in law present their own opportunities and risks that must be anticipated. An expert panel will identify these and other current and potential areas for challenges and disputes –both before project development and during and after contract drafting – involving renewable energy resources and the responses to climate change. Various options will be discussed including negotiation of specific terms, drafting of specific contract provisions, the engagement of affected communities, and the employment of the appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms to deal with the evolving and uncertain markets and legal settings.

The program addressed: