• This blog is maintained by Stephen Filler, a New York-based attorney with expertise in business law, contracts, intellectual property and litigation. He represents a wide variety of businesses, technology, media companies and individuals. He also provides legal and consulting services to sustainable, environmental and renewable energy businesses, non-profit organizations and trade organizations. He is on the board of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association and Secretary of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. His business website is www.nylawline.com.

    The Green Counsel consulting website is www.greencounsel.com.

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I have dedicated a good hour to finding a "green" legal service that can potentailly deal with an important obstacle in making schools green. It seems that most of the states require public institutions to publicly bid work. Public institutions cannot grant a contractor a bid for service without a competative process.

Currently, in the energy market, there are private business who are willing to investin the development of alternative energy sources. These investors are willing to pony up the costs for the installation of solar panels in every school roof in america. The generated enrgy would be sold back to the district at a substantial savings. In time, the school district can potentially buy the enterprise.

My question for the legal profession is one that suggests the use of "air rights". If the school districts can lease
the air rights to these enterprises, the need of competative bidding would vanish.

The school districts do not have the funds to mount such a valuable enterprise. Please provide me some legal direction my suggestion.


Stephen Filler


I'm not sure I understand your question -- are you asking whether the lessee would be subject to the public bidding process? My guess is that it depends upon the language of the statute requiring public bidding and may turn on whether the public entity is getting the benefit -- in this case yes. Also, the lease itself may be subject to the public bidding process.

Also, are you proposing a model that would make it less expensive for schools to install solar? How would that work?

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