Solar Energy Law Questions
Is it legal for a solar power plant that’s applying for a conditional use permit to put up a 20 mw plant in Arizona if the area is agriculture/residential 5 acre and single resident 2 acre?Under Arizona law, solar panels can be placed anywhere and their placement is not restricted by any type of zoning, because they conserve electricity and conserve energy.
If a request for Solar Panel installation is made and the response does not come within 30 days and is therefore considered denied, is that an unreasonable restriction by the HOA by not responding in a timely fashion?The Colorado Court of Appeals held that any part of a solar device connected to the main device, if reasonably required for the devices use, was part of the entire unit and could not be unreasonably restricted by the HOA. The ruling strongly suggests that the courts will interpret CRS 38-30-168 to favor solar installations. Also any HOA covenant or rule that obstructs the installation will be voided. The person may have the advantage unless the installation constitutes a safety hazard to the HOA.
Company goes out of business although they were paid to install solar panels. Threatens to put lien on house; does the client have defense that the solar company (SunRun) was paid?The person has an affirmative defense that they can use when they pursue a quiet title action as a means of removing the lien. There is no other means of removal beyond discharge and consent of the lien-holder. Therefore to actually remove the lien it would require seeking a judgment permitting the person to remove their interest.
If someone installs solar panels and then a developer decides that they want to place a high rise next to it, can the solar panel owner claim hardship and stop it from happening?There is no legal right to the free flow of light and air from the land, it is universally held that where a structure serves a useful and helpful purpose, it does not give rise to a cause of action for damages; even though it causes injury to another by cutting off the light and air and interfering with the view.
A water heater was purchased from a solar company, and was told we would get a tax rebate. But didn’t? Is there any means of recourse?A seller of solar panels is not qualified to provide tax advice and it would not normally be reasonable to rely on their statements with regarding certain tax situations, since there are many rules and exceptions that may apply in any given situation. If the company guaranteed in writing that they would obtain these tax benefits, or prove they made statements to that effect, and then they could have grounds to pursue recourse against the seller, either under a breach of contract or fraud claim, depending on the circumstances.
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