This letter was received by a landowner in Indiana (available here by courtesy of Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Boone County):
As you may know, Enxco has been working to develop a wind energy project in western Boone County. We’ve been discussing the project with landowners in the area and the support has been outstanding! In fact, more than 55 landowners representing over 10,800 aces have made contractual commitments to the project.
Youa re receiving this letter because your property is bordered by larger parcels currently leased for turbine placement. Although we do not propose to locate a wind turbine on your property, Enxco treats wind as a community resource and offeres to compensate all landowners within the project. In return for the compensation, we are respectfully requesting an exclusive lease of your wind rights.
Our Wind Rights Lease Agreement provides for the following payemtns to you:
- During the Pre-Operating Period (up to five years), $250 per year.
- During the Operating Period (30 years), $1,000 per year with an increase of 2.5% compounded annually. …
What are “wind rights”? Here’s the relevant section from a lease in Iowa:
Section 1.2 Wind Easement
Any obstruction to the free flow of the wind is prohibited throughout the entire area of the real property owned by Grantor and described on Exhibit B (the “Easement Premises”), which shall consist horizontally three hundred and sixty degrees (360°) from any point where any Wind Facilities are or may be located at any time from time to time (each such location referred to as a “Site”) and for a distance from each Site to the boundaries of the Easement Premises, together vertically through all space located above the surface of the Easement Premises, that is, one hundred eighty degrees (180°) or such greater number or numbers of degrees as may be necessary to extend from each point on and along a line drawn along the surface from each point along the exterior boundary of the Easement Premises through each Site to each point and on and along such line to the opposite exterior boundary of the Easement Premises. Trees, structures and improvements located on the Easement Premises as of the date of this Easement shall be allowed to remain and Grantee may not require their removal. Grantor may not place or plant any trees, structures or improvements on the Easement Premises after the date of this Easement that are greater than thirty-five (35) feet in height or within twelve hundred (1,200) feet of a wind generation turbine or meteorological tower, which may, in Grantee’s sole judgment, impede or interfere with the flow of wind to any Site or Wind Facilities, unless Grantor has received prior written approval from Grantee, approval not to be unreasonably withheld for any such trees, structure or improvement. The provisions of this Section 1.2 shall survive for the full Term of this Easement including any and all Extended Terms and Termination.
“Wind rights” may also include the following, also from the same Iowa lease agreement, protecting the wind company’s right to “quiet use and enjoyment of the premises” ( ! ):
Section 5.2 Quiet Enjoyment
As long as Grantee is not in default under this Easement, Grantee shall have the quiet use and enjoyment of the Premises in accordance with the terms of this Easement without any interference of any kind by Grantor or any person claiming through Grantor. Grantor and its activities on the Premises and any grant of rights Grantor makes to any other person shall not interfere with any of Grantee’s activities pursuant to this Easement, Grantor shall not interfere with any of Grantee’s activities pursuant to this Easement, and Grantor shall not interfere or allow interference with the wind speed or wind direction over the Easement Premises or otherwise engage in activities which might impede or decrease the output or efficiency of the Wind Facilities.
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