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Eight law students and three attorneys have been taking one of the nation's first courses on wind law at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the school.

Neil Hamilton, the Dwight D. Opperman professor of law and director of Drake's Agricultural Law Center, teaches the seminar-style course, titled "Legal Issues in Wind Development."

"Development of wind energy is an increasingly important economic and political issue for Iowa and the nation," says Hamilton. "The potential for wind energy and the essential need for legal advice means law students and lawyers can benefit from studying this emerging topic."

Hamilton's two-credit course provides an introduction to a broad range of legal and regulatory issues involved in developing wind energy projects. It also explores related issues concerning carbon offsets and state policies to promote renewable energy. Topics addressed in the course include:

- state and federal policies to promote wind energy, including renewable portfolio standards, federal and state production credits, and other incentives,

- state and federal programs to finance renewable energy and wind projects,

- the sale of renewable energy credits in emerging carbon markets,

- wind energy easements and ownership of wind rights,

- negotiation of agreements for interconnection, transmission and sale of energy,

- regulatory issues involving zoning and operating wind towers and liability issues, and

- alternatives for structuring and financing, such as community wind projects.

SOURCE: Drake University

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