Energy Company Covered for Business Interruption Losses Caused by Fire and Resulting in Town-Ordered Shutdown

Fire flames

The case involved NextSun, which operated solar panel arrays providing electricity to the town of Littleton, Massachusetts.

February 15, 2021
David G. Jordan - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

In the case of NextSun Energy Littleton, LLC v. Acadia Ins. Co., the United States District Court of Massachusetts held that once direct physical damage from a covered peril causes a covered business interruption loss, any increase in the duration of such business interruption, due to the enforcement of an ordinance or law, extends the coverage period provided for lost income. The Court further held that a policy exclusion for business interruption due to the enforcement of any ordinance or law not in force at the time of the loss only applies when the ordinance or law itself, not the enforcement action that it authorizes, was not in force at the time of the loss.

The case involved a solar panel company, NextSun Energy Littleton (NextSun), that operated solar panel arrays providing electricity to the town of Littleton, Massachusetts. Due to a fire, 88 of the solar panels were damaged, and the Town immediately issued a “red-tag” order halting all energy-generating activity pending a safety inspection. The plaintiff purchased insurance for its panels along with “Energy Generating Income” (EGI) coverage, from the defendant, Acadia Ins. Co. (Acadia). The EGI policy covered “direct physical loss or damage” to “renewable energy generating equipment” and also covered the actual loss of surplus power income incurred during the interruption period. However, it excluded interruption of energy-generating income “caused by the enforcement of any ordinance, law, or decree … not in force at the time of loss.”

Mr. Jordan may be contacted at DJordan@sdvlaw.com



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