Renting land for wind farms
Land rental for wind farms
Can I rent out my land for a wind farm?
If you are a landowner or farmer with a suitably sized and well-located space for large scale wind turbine installations (5MW plus which is around 2-20 turbines), you may be able to lease out your land to specialist wind developers or utility companies. These will usually pay for 100% of the project, and will pay you a sum based on the number of wind turbines and their total performance/energy output as part of a lease.
The good news is that many companies that are trying to meet their renewable energy targets are looking for good sites where they can get the maximum power from their turbines. It has led to many farms and ranches across the US who have plenty of prime real estate, earning extra dollars by leasing out to utility and specialist wind turbine companies.
Usually your land will need to have the following attributes:
- An annual average wind speed of at least 6m/s
- Access for works vehicles (lorries, cranes, etc.)
- Not be too close to any other homes
- A connection to the electricity grid
This kind of arrangement offers significant benefits; usually the landowner will have to cover no capital cost whatsoever, with the wind developer funding the project from the initial feasibility stage through to the eventual decommissioning. The financial benefits for the landowner are therefore risk-free and potentially very high, especially if the wind speeds allow the turbines to operate at optimum capacity.
What’s more, despite the large area needed for the installation of turbines (typically 25-40 acres per turbine), a very small percentage of the land is taken up by the turbine, leaving the remaining space free for normal farming and ranching activity. Livestock are also unaffected by the turbines.
While it sounds like a good idea it can take a good deal of time to get any wind farm up and running as legislative rules have to be met and there needs to be a period of consultancy in many states. It is also necessary to bear in mind that you will often be tied into a contract for a long period of time, often 20 years, and you will have little control over the project (though by the same token you won’t have to maintain the system yourself).
Find out more about incentives for renewable technology in your area.