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Landowners Guide: Do I Have a Wind Developer Contract Unknowingly? 

Author:  | Contracts, U.S.

This letter is VERY important for you and everyone to read. I would hurry as Developer “legally” could do what they want on your property, like tearing up roads, cutting down trees, etc. Hopefully, your renewable contract can be VOID and VOIDABLE, yet could be complicated.

Landowner Buyer (Surprise Wind Contract) with Realtor Representation

You should be able to get your “unknown” Developer contract from your title company and/or county courthouse. Landowner (LO), you will need to know 1) the duration of your “original” contract, which you did not know existed with seller until you got a packet in the mail from Developer wanting to renew your contract), and 2) when it expires?

One idea: You could call Developer to ask for the packet again, yet, only in a voice mail so no other discussion that might be used against you: “I never got a packet in the mail” (unless it was a certified signed proof of mail delivery receipt for Developer). Could you send again to “name & address”. You could also then say, “Not sure what you meant by a contract extension so wouldn’t know when it expired. Or what the new proposed contract length is. Could you please respond with these details by email (provided) as we do not have good cell service? (If they call you from Developer’s known area code(s) number, let it go to voicemail and then decide what to do. After the first call, put it as Spam-Developer in your cell phone to not answer.

Then, ask questions of your realtor to get a baseline of their wind farm knowledge and their possible stance on the local proposed project. With that information, then, you will know how best to approach this Realtor/Seller liability issue with them as it is their responsibility. The Seller legally had to disclose this to your Realtor.

You should have some legal protection as you used a Realtor. I have learned I will NEVER buy a property with 100% cash as you have no protections. You have to have a Realtor (who has liability insurance) and preferably obtain a very small loan from a credit union or state bank – not the major banks owing to their extensive legalese that could be another trap.

Another Landowner Cash – Lease to Own – Possible Windfarm Contract

Since your property was a cash sale “lease-to-own”, in year, you have much less protection, you need to find out if a Developer contract is on your property. If so, you will have to prove the Seller did not inform you of this agreement – your word against the Seller’s. Document all dates, ASAP, including all interactions and conversations while you can remember the details (in one notebook, as a computer document, and on a backup portable hideable thumb drive.

Then, I hope you and other LOs will email each other (see above) to meet and form a strategy of how best to go forward. I am sure others against this project can offer some good advice as well!

Also, how can we find out all the other people Seller sold property to since Developer has been in the area that might have “unknown” wind agreements attached to their land? Perhaps, this may be why Seller is selling some of his property – if Seller later understood what the long-term commitment meant, that Seller did not understand, originally?

Also, how long has Developer been secretively working in your community on a deal? This could possibly lead to many others who might have “illegal” contracts, or as evidence of “discrimination” against the larger community and have this XYZ wind project fall apart

Maybe you could research this, ASAP, and a few others.

I do think you will have to have a wind-experienced lawyer to protect your interests against Developer and Developer’s project(s). Document all preparation and time to talk with anyone about this issue and ultimately meet with lawyer (for reimbursement). Also, document legal research hours and/or billable hours spent.

People who may be able to advise you first, then an attorney (who is NOT for the Developers):

  • Jennifer Jambor-Delgado, a staff attorney at Minnesota-based Farmers’ Legal Action Group, may be able to help you: flaginc.org. Farmer Hotline: 877-860-4349; Office: 651-223-5400. 6 West 5th Street, Suite 650, St. Paul, MN 55102-1404
  • Shannon Ferrell, Associate Professor (agricultural law, OK State Univ.) who specializes in renewable-energy contracts. 405-744-9815. shannon.l.ferrell@okstate.ed

(See also: Five questions to ask before signing a wind-energy lease)


Turbine Leases, Taxes & “Default” – Trojan Horse Wind Farms (or Solar)

Wind-power leases often last 50 years. The long lease period is necessary to give the Developer time to earn a return on the huge up-front investment needed to build a wind farm.

The Developer makes their money on these leases when the lease is sold to a utility company / corporation (most likely). This will include their development costs and construction. At that point, they are done. One developer’s name tells it all, e.g. Scout. They find, build with THEIR crews from out-of-town, and sell it off. On to the next one

The initial lease term is usually 25 years – the expected life of a turbine. Wind-power leases also include a renewal provision, extending the contract for another 20 or 25 years. The decision on whether to renew the lease is almost always the tenant’s exclusively; landowners don’t have any say. (and most don’t know this). However, “some” leases may allow landowners to renegotiate the commercial terms at renewal time. “This is where “collective community bargaining” is a very helpful tool.” (It would be collective if they didn’t have everyone under illegal nondisclosure agreements.)

Wind leases will probably affect your estate plans, too, so it’s a good idea to include your heirs in the discussions. My realtor friend helped me understand that leases continue with the land even when the land is sold. Once the turbines begin to be built, they are the property of the landowner (LO) at every stage–as they are “attached” to their land.

Make sure your wind-expert attorney represents people, not corporations. This is a relatively new industry so you must be careful in who you choose: are they for your interests or for the developer and utility companies. Your rural attorney may not have the needed experience unless they are a continuous reader and can devote a lot of time into research to build their legal wind knowledge and fellow wind lawyers’ alliance expert team. (We will need many more that are for the people!)

In the Developer contract, as they all vary (MUST READ EVERY DETAIL), they tell the landowner (LO) if the Developer pays all the taxes or when the LO will begin to be responsible. (I read that “usually” the Developer pays the taxes until around year seven (7) and then the LO is responsible. The annual personal property taxes will increase with the turbine build-out – as there is more structure or personal property on your land. This will also increase with inflation. Also any foreign export tax increases on Rare Earth Elements. Also parts availability, especially to rural areas, and shipping costs. It will be unaffordable. It is a planned setup for default for most if not all LOs. The lease length will tell you about when the Developer might finish and sell the project; e.g., one wind project I know of has a lease for 10 years. The sale includes the value of the leases, including their cost for development, construction, and taxes.

An average 1.5-MW $3M turbine could be approx. $30K annually + maintenance + repairs for the LO. The LO must pay the turbine “PERSONAL” property taxes to their county assessor’s office. If three (3) turbines, $90,000 plus.

Typically, the new owner/corporation would negotiate new terms, yet, maybe with these wind contracts the “original” language says they do not have to. The great risk, then, for turbine landowners, and for all nearby communities connected to that portion of the grid, is upon LOs’ default (most likely written into the “original” contract). Extensive land and water rights and other resources become the property of the new “lease” owner. Then, I suspect, the mega utility corp will be the only one that can afford the back taxes and will become the owner of extensive land, water, and food that supplies “all” life.

If the grid is operational, electrical bills will continue to skyrocket and become more and more unreliable with added wind-farms throughout each state or country. The new operator may not even care if the grid is operational. Then, rural people may be forced to move to cities or some will build communities off-grid. Then the 1%’ers owning the majority of foreign corporations will be given the tax subsidies so they can grow their fake food with their Monsanto chemicals, etc. NOT!

Please watch the award-winning documentary, Windfall, at wind-watch.org. This is the best place to get wind-farm information worldwide. Please post the movie everywhere for people to watch, ASAP, online and on community boards. You can also order it for free or minimal cost through the interlibrary loan system. Have church and civic groups, etc. who value good stewardship of our environment watch it together to understand what is happening to their community and worldwide, secretively.

Then, take “ACTion”. Change your county, village, province, or district laws to restrict wind farms. You must see the tactics! Perhaps some videographers can document our communities’ latest challenges and victories so future decision making is inclusive, fact-balanced, and good for all!

Praying for our best only,
Mary West, Wind Consultant, NaturAlly, LLC


Protest Strategy for Illegal Nondisclosure Agreements & Wind Developer So-Called “Public” Meetings

Continued “lack of transparency” at the Developer community meeting(s) with no “public discussion” allowed is so serious (solar-farms, too)! They only have development company representatives or their contractors/consultants for you to ask questions. Their answers are vague or they say, “Ask, Sr. Project Manager. It is to legally protect themselves!

This is just another red flag (since the beginning with their “illegal” nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). I believe they are illegal in all five areas: 1) Crime, 2) Torts, 3) Public safety, 4. Public health, and especially 5) Matters of substantial public concern. We need lawyers to file injunctions, NOW! I also believe they have violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protecting free speech and the right to “assemble” BEFORE the affected community at-large can fairly voice their agreement or opposition.

We recommend that everyone use their cell phones to record Developer questions and answers, even if the Developer protests, as evidence of “non-transparency”. Hold up their brochure to show their company name or one of their business cards or give-aways. Ask if they are XYZ (first and last name) shown on business card and an employee of developer or are they a consultant or contractor, from where? This can then be posted online to pressure them to do the “moral” and “right” thing – rather than discriminate against non-landowners! Also a picture of the room setup to show there was no actual “meeting” for questions & answers for “everyone” to hear – including the press (also discriminatory)

Bring protest posters and have several people walk the room.

Only at the Developer’s second scheduled or final public meeting, chant, “We want questions and answers for All to hear, We want … REPEAT (The police should not escort you out, yet, if they ask you to stop, DO stop). (Do question, “Don’t we have the constitutional right to “peacefully protest”?) Be respectful, yet, make your “NO-WIND-FARM” point. (If you are not allowed to peacefully protest, you may have grounds for a lawsuit, yet, be cautious as you need your local allies. This is a strategy game!

Be prepared, in advance, to have people positioned North, East, West & South to take video with video cameras or cell phones.

The Developer was allowed to videotape at a Monthly Quorum Court (elected County Judge and area Justice of the Peace officials), so it would be discriminatory if the community was not allowed to do the same at these meetings, too.

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

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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