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Court Green-lights Solar Energy Deals

IOWA CITY, IA (AP) -- The Iowa Supreme Court says a solar energy company can sell electricity directly to businesses and governments, giving a boost to the burgeoning form of renewable energy.

The 4-2 ruling in favor of Eagle Point Solar could expedite the adoption of solar power generating systems that can reduce users' energy costs and environmental footprint.

Critics say the ruling could be a blow for electric utilities, who may have to raise their rates if they lose customers.

The court says companies such as Eagle Point Solar can enter into deals with customers in which they install rooftop solar panels, and then sell them the energy that is generated.

The court rejected claims that those agreements were illegal under Iowa law because they cut into the exclusive territories granted to regulated utilities.

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