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Lease agreements confidential, except with school trust land  

For competitive reasons, wind companies don’t disclose what they’re paying landowners to lease property for wind farms.

Oftentimes, landowners sign confidentiality agreements when leasing their property for such ventures.

However, leasing information is public when school trust land is involved.
Madison Valley Renewable Energy recently offered the state between $4.25 and $10.60 per acre annually for exploration and development rights in a request for proposals for a project involving school trust land near Ennis. The lease price differs depending on the area explored.

In addition, the company would pay a one-time installation fee of $2,600 for each megawatt of installed capacity. There’s also an annual operating fee of 3.1 percent of gross annual revenues, or $2,600 for each megawatt of installed capacity, whichever is greater.

The state of Montana is receiving $60,000 in annual lease payments from the 640-acre portion of the Judith Gap wind farm located on school trust property. That money goes for K-12 education.

Michael Sullivan, property management section supervisor for the Real Estate Management Bureau of the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, said the state is considering leasing an additional 6,820 acres of school trust land to four wind projects.

— Tribune staff

Great Falls Tribune

20 April 2008

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