Leases and Easements

Landowner Guide to Evaluating a Wind Developer

This handout is designed to help landowners evaluate a wind developer before they sign an agreement. It is intended to provide a brief discussion of many topics and additional resources, including:

  • Where can I find information about a developer?
  • What makes or breaks a wind project?
  • Does the developer have the ability to finance the project?
  • What is the relationship of my wind resource to electricity power lines?
  • How will I get paid?

Click below to download the PDF file.

Wind Rights and Wrongs

This article reprint from Tierra Grande, April 2008, presents an overview of many issues regarding leasing your land to a wind developer. Topics covered include wind data, tax credits, royalties, severance clauses, surface rights and a host of other considerations. While focused on Texas, the article presents information that applies to all wind agreements in general and is useful for both landowners and attorneys.

Webinar: Landowner Options Wind Energy in Great Lakes Region

 Webinar:  Landowner Options Wind Energy- October 11, 2007

 

Links to webinar materials:

  • Wind Energy: Landowner Options - This presentation covers the different options landowners have for participating in wind energy, with much of the presentation devoted to best practices and tips for leasing your land to a wind developer.
  • Using a Dispersed Strategy in Your Region - This presentation covers the basics of transmission and distribution and how to use transmission maps and tables.

We invite you to use these slides for your own meetings and presentations.

How do I get out of a wind lease?

There is no single answer to this question because every lease agreement is different. Leases are binding legal documents and it may be difficult to get out of one. Thus, it is extremely important to understand completely the agreement you are signing into before you sign it. If you happen to find yourself in a situation in which you want to be released from a lease agreement, you should hire a lawyer that has experience dealing with wind leases and easements.

Chapter 7: Leases and Easements


In the United States, leasing land to wind energy developers continues to be the most common way rural landowners are participating in wind energy. As the wind industry grows, wind developers are increasing the amount of land they are leasing to keep their future market share from slipping away. Because of this, landowners in windy areas need solid advice about wind energy and what signing a wind energy lease or easement means to both them and future generations who will inherit the land.

Ownership: 

Is leasing my land to a wind developer my only option?

No. While leasing land to wind developers is still the most common way for landowners to get involved with wind energy, more and more farmers, landowners, schools, municipal utilities, and rural communities are developing projects and owning the turbines themselves.

These projects keep significantly more of the economic benefits of wind development in the local community. However, developing and owning a project yourself involves quite a bit more time and research as well as financial risk. You have to balance risk and reward.

For more information about different models of community-owned wind energy projects, check out some case studies in our resource library. Also read our Introduction to Wind Development and Know Your Business Structure factsheets in our Wind Basics series to find out how your community can start a wind energy project.

How much do farmers get paid to host wind turbines?

Wind lease terms vary quite a bit, but general rules of thumb are: $4,000 to $8,000 per turbine, $3,000 to $4,000 per megawatt of capacity, or 2-4% of gross revenues. Larger turbines should translate to larger payments. Compensation packages typically are offered as fixed yearly payments, as percentages of gross revenues, or some combination. If you are offered fixed annual payment, you should check whether a regular cost of living adjustment is included. If you are offered a percentage of gross revenues, you should make sure that you would have good access to the information used to calculate your payments.

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