As technologies develop and commercial acceptance grows, solar photovoltaic installations are increasingly providing a viable alternative for the small-scale distributed generation of electricity to supplement more traditional polluting sources. The growth of the solar industry in the United States over just the past two years has been phenomenal. Having a rooftop solar photovoltaic installation on corporate headquarters, major distribution centers, and other high-profile real estate has become a significant way fro major global corporations to demonstrate their commitment to a cleaner environment. New sources of investment capital are flooding into this niche, and power buyers large and small have been drawn to solar as a way of demonstrating their independence from traditional generation sources and desire to play a part in moving the United States toward a more independent future. States across the country have moved to fill the federal leadership vacuum, in many cases enacting renewable portfolio standards and state renewable energy tax credits, which are critical to the continuing development of our solar resources. The industry is vibrant.

Nonetheless, distributed generation solar projects, like other renewable generation projects are subject to a plethora of real property issues, regulatory and permitting requirements, interconnection, and power purchase negotiations, financing challenges, tax matters and construction contracting.

Recognizing these challenges, and as part of our commitment to the growth and success of the renewable energy industry, Stoel Rives developed its first Law of … publication in 2003. We now introduce Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy, the newest installment in our continuing efforts to provide easily accessible information for individuals and companies interested in growing U.S. renewable energy resources. This guide contains insights we have gained from practical experience assisting participants in numerous solar photovoltaic projects covering a diverse range of sizes and installations, as well as from 15 years of experience serving the U.S. renewable energy industry.

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