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Wind Energy 1 - Wind Developers Protection from Risk


Wind developers should look for an insurance carrier that can provide protection from risk through all stages of wind farm development and operation.

It is no secret that the wind energy industry in the United States has experienced strong growth in recent years as one of the most popular renewable power sources.  In fact, according to American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. wind industry has added over 35 percent of all the new power generating capacity over the last four years.  This is second only to natural gas.  As new developers enter this growing space, it is important to consider the variety of risks they are exposed to during the process of building and operating a wind farm. 

In addition to managing their risk exposures, developers need to ensure that they have a solid understanding of the various types of insurance coverages that will help protect their investment.  Whether the wind farm will have multiple turbines and sites, or a single turbine is added to a commercial location, a developer should look for an insurance carrier that can provide coverage to help them manage risk throughout the lifecycle of the wind farm operation.

Developing and running a successful wind farm requires attention to detail, and every step from site selection to operations and maintenance brings a new challenge.  Through the multi-step process of setting up a wind farm there are risk management best practices and proper coverages that develop.  Wind developers should look for an insurance carrier that can provide protection from risk through all stages of wind farm development and operation.

Developers should consider minimizing exposures while building successful operation.

The identification and management of risk surrounding the use of these valuable assets is paramount as the project moves forward.  Metal towers may be subject to a variety of exposures including weather-related elements (wind, ice and snow, lightning) or fire, collapse and vandalism.  Insurance protection, such as a sheduled property floater or a builder's risk on installation policy, can help protect owners and ensure that towers are adequately covered should damage occur. 

In addition to reviewing the exposures for the physical property, the potential liability exposures should be analyzed.  Updates to insurance coverage may be needed depending on how the existing property will be modified for the operations of a wind farm.  Once a site is purchased or leased developers need to be aware of potential land exposures, whether it be vacant land set aside for the wind farm construction or property where a wind turbine may be located in close proximity to other structures of dwellings.  An insurance agent who is well versed in providing coverage for wind farms, and understands exposures associated with wind turbines, can be a great resource for detailed information on issues associated with general liability coverage, which can protect owners in case people are injured on site or when property is damaged. 

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