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Solar Access and Transmission Rights

Event Description and Agenda:

Once a solar facility is operating, who has access? Operations and maintenance personnel, interconnecting transmission and utilities, land owners (if property is leased), mineral and energy exploration companies and general public VIA roads? Can the property owner to the south put up tall trees or buildings and block out some sun? Can you restrict air space over the facility by drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) or mineral exploration and extraction underneath it?

It is critical to answer these questions and many others during the title discovery and due diligence phases of the project. Failure to address the questions within the contracts and title insurance documents creates potential liability issues and increased the costs of the project, in addition to limiting the project's long-term profitability.

This webinar will examine the myriad legal issues that need to be addressed for title and access insurance as well as items that need to be included in the contracts between the land owners, developers and sub-contractors. Finally, there will be a discussion of legal access questions for real property agreements, EPC, contractor and interconnection activities, operations and maintenance, mineral rights lessees and limitations of liability.

  • What is an insurable real estate interests?
    • License
    • Encroachment agreement
    • Right to use
    • What if it is not an easement?
      • Risks
      • Options
  • Legal issues of solar access and transmission rights
    • Granting access rights within the leasing documents
    • Title work and mineral interests
    • Leases with the land owner
    • Rights if property is owned by developer
  • Ensuring access:
    • Land rights
    • Endorsement
      • Likely FRA enforcement actions
      • Prospects for future extension/enforcement waivers
  • Types of insurable agreements:
    • Franchise agreements
    • Encroachment permits
    • Removal agreements
    • Crossing agreements
    • Other forms of permissive crossing
  • Leasing issues
    • Who benefits from access or transmission right?
    • Does granting language create an insurable right?
    • Less than whole parcel or rights not properly reserved
  • Roadway issues
    • Dedication and acceptance by roadway authority
    • "Public benefit" easements
    • Determining if roadway is public

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