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Landowner guidelines for evaluating wind energy production contracts  

Author:  | Contracts, Michigan, U.S.

The process of evaluating a wind energy development contract can be complex, and the signing of such a contract involves a long-term commitment by the landowner. …

Wind energy development contracts are typically provided in two forms – as leases or as easements. In legal terms, a lease “gives a right of … occupation, whereas … easements … involve rights of use.” In the case of wind energy contracts, the contract deals with the occupation or use of land and airspace. Regardless of the type of contract used, the issues involved in a lease or an easement are similar – the duration of the contract (ranging from a period of years to a permanent transfer of rights), the landowner’s compensation payments, the liability of each party, the transfer of the contract to third parties, and many other issues – must be resolved between the parties negotiating the contract.

This worksheet is designed to help landowners consider some important issues that should be considered when negotiating a contract and some of the alternatives that might be considered to address those issues. This worksheet is divided into sections related to key issues in wind energy contracts. here appropriate there are comments to help you understand some alternatives to consider for each issue. It is strongly advised that you obtain legal assistance to better understand the provisions presented in the contract. This worksheet is not a substitute for obtaining legal counsel regarding the contract – it is intended to help focus your discussions with qualified legal counsel.

Stephen B. Harsh
David Schweikhardt
Lynn Hamilton

Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 2008

Download original document: “Landowner guidelines for evaluating wind energy production contracts

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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