For several decades, the decentralization and deregulation of energy providers have given new incentives for entry into the production of energy, from the waste processes of manufacturers to the creative inventions of “free” resources such as the wind and the sun. The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) provided the incentive for the development of small generating facilities by requiring large wheelers of energy to bring the small generators online.
In the spot markets of daily energy buys, long term contracts can be extremely attractive or extremely burdensome. The extremes breed disputes. Lawsuits and claims will utilize the tools of complex litigation, for tens of millions of dollars are at stake in energy contracts.
The siting of large-scale generating facilities requires complex analysis. Scores of scientists, economists and planners may spend months and months of time analyzing the impact, environmental and societal, of developing new, large power generating facilities. The cost of such facilities will run to hundreds of millions of dollars. The impact statements, the construction green lights and the disputes among competing alternatives are the stuff of complex litigation, through regulatory authorities and the courtroom.
Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Coop. v. Co-Gen Co., 168 Or. App. 466, 7 P.3d 594 (2000)
Validated long-term $100,000,000+ contract rights of power generator, under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).