Category Archives: Land Rights

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House Passes Bill to Boost Tribal Renewable Energy

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017 (the Bill), which is designed to allow Native American tribes to take greater control over energy development on their lands and to reduce the amount of governmental red tape. The Bill, which was … Continue reading this entry

North Carolina Considers Additional Statewide Permitting Requirement for Solar Farms

North Carolina has been a hotbed of activity for residential and utility scale solar developers. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the Tar Heel State ranks fourth in the country in terms of installed solar capacity (1,088 MW). However, the North Carolina Energy Policy Council (EPC)—an advisory body within the state’s Department of Environment … Continue reading this entry

Department of the Interior Conducts Second Offshore Wind Auction

On September 4, 2013, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) held its public auction of the first federal lease for an offshore wind energy site off the Mid-Atlantic coast. This was the second federal lease sale; the first was in July for two lease areas offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In this … Continue reading this entry

BLM Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for SunZia Southwest Transmission Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), after a multi-year environmental review process, has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and two related Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendments (RMPAs) for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project. The full text of these documents can be found here.  The relevant Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register on … Continue reading this entry

California City Enacts Law Requiring Solar Energy Systems on Most New Homes

The city of Lancaster, California recently adopted an ordinance requiring builders of most new homes to install functional solar power generation systems on these homes prior to their sale to the public. The law is believed to be the first in the nation to actually mandate the installation of solar systems. Californians may recall that the California Environmental Protection … Continue reading this entry

New Rules in Place to Facilitate Renewable Energy Projects on Indian Lands

On January 4, 2013, new Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) rules went into effect that expressly address renewable energy projects on Indian lands. The federal statutes governing “business use” leases of Indian land generally require BIA approval of business leases. BIA’s prior business lease rules were silent on renewable energy project leases. This … Continue reading this entry

Severed Mineral Rights - Common Real Estate Title Issues in Renewable Projects, Part 1

This is Part 1 of a series of posts that will provide a high-level overview of common real estate title issues encountered in the development of renewable  energy projects. One title issue that we see on a very large number of projects is the existence of severed mineral rights. The general rule of real property is … Continue reading this entry