Alternative Energy Agreements

Texas is the nation’s largest producer of alternative energy, principally from two sources: wind power and solar power.  Given that, it is not surprising that the legal framework for these two energy sources, at least as far as the exploitation of them, derives principally from Texas oil and gas law. For example, the wind leases in use derive their formats and legal relationships from oil and gas leases, and so oil and gas lawyers are frequently called upon to review and assist landowners or wind or solar companies in creating wind farms or solar arrays.

Since 2002, Ted has been involved in wind projects, principally on the side of the landowners, although he has consulted with wind companies on several occasions. Solar power is relatively new, and his involvement with solar power, from the landowner standpoint, has been more recent, beginning in 2018.

While it is not of much consequence in Texas, Ted has also provided aid and assistance to clients involved with geothermal projects, principally in California and in Alaska. Geothermal resources have not received a great deal of interest in Texas, and, more than likely, will not soon. Once again, however, the typical geothermal lease is based upon oil and gas leases.

An outmoded, and probably not a source of alternative energy, is lignite, also known as “brown coal.” In the late 1970’s, due to the Arab oil embargo, using lignite for power plant fuel sources was being explored and Ted represented companies leasing property for lignite extraction. That source of energy is probably not a viable alternative energy source for the future.

Anthracite, or hard coal, which is still in use, is another area in which Ted has assisted clients, principally in Wyoming, Kentucky, and Tennessee. There are not commercially viable sources of anthracite coal in Texas.