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Wind Turbine Lease Considerations for Landowners

February 2010, North Dakota State University Extension Service –

Wind Farm Development Contracts

First Rule of Contracts:
Contracts reflect the interests of the party that writes the contract

Second Rule of Contracts:
Seek competent legal advice before signing

Landowners’ Options to Participate in Wind Energy Development

  1. Lease land to a wind project
  2. Be a partner in a wind project
  3. Own a residential/farm size turbine for your own use

Wind Energy Leases and Easements

Some questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line:
How much of my land will be tied up and for how long?

Leases have two components

Contract to Lease Wind Development Rights

Contract to Construct and Operate Wind Turbines

[1]

Photo by Ron Beneda, Cavalier County Extension Agent

Wind Turbine Decommissioning

[2]

Photo by Ron Beneda, Cavalier County Extension Agent

Placement of Access Roads

[3]

Photo by Ron Beneda, Cavalier County Extension Agent

Construction Period

Roads, Fences and Gates

How much will I be paid and how will I receive payment?
Types of compensation packages:

Fixed Payments

Royalty or Percentage of Revenue

Inflation or Escalator Clause

Liability Issues
Contract should specify the project developer and any company to which the contract may be assigned in the future are responsible for any financial obligations you may incur as a result of:

noise
visual pollution
vandalism
access roads
construction period
ice shedding
blade drop/throw
shadow flicker
fire
stray voltage
electromagnetic fields
lightning strikes
communications
microwave towers
radar stations
TV and radio signals
emergency radio signals
bird kill
water/air pollution

Have I considered other contract specifications?

Other Considerations

Much of the wind development has been established using a “Divide and Conquer” strategy

An Alternative Approach

Download original document: “Wind Turbine Lease Considerations for Landowners [4]