Wind turbines are quickly assembling all over the state of Oklahoma. If you have been approached by a wind energy company regarding land usage and leases, you should have your lease reviewed to ensure that it contains provisions to protect you as a landowner and is in line within the quickly developing and changing standards set forth by Oklahoma lawmakers. Wind energy leases cover a broad range of topics; leasing land, creating easements, restriction land use, future demolition of turbines, and the list goes on. To ensure you are making the right decision, we have created a list of three things to consider when negotiating wind turbine leases.
1. Land Usage
Generally, while the wind turbines for a commercial wind project only use about three acres of land, 60 acres of land for megawatt is required. This buffer is to preserve wind flow, but you’ll need to make sure the lease clearly and fairly states your rights to use the land for farming, grazing; hunting or other purposes – and that you agree with them.
Most likely, the lease will prohibit the addition of structures that would affect wind flow over your property including barns, houses, and even trees. Make sure that you understand these obligations as well.
2. Time Frame
The expected life of a wind turbine is 25 years, but leases can range anywhere from 20-50 years and typically include a renewal provision, extending the lease further. Make sure that you are aware of this period and consider your estate plans when you are discussing the lease.
Since you are giving up control of your land, you will want to make sure you are fairly and justly compensated. Usually, land lease payments are fixed payments based on acreage, towers or megawatt capacity, or are royalty payments based on a percentage of gross revenue, and acreage included within the project. Additionally, they can be a combination of the two. Make sure you’re clear with your desires while understanding theirs.
Even though this industry is relatively new, we have lawyers that are experienced in this area. They can provide competent information regarding leases, land use, and landowner’s rights. With the wind industry expanding, we can help you navigate your options and remedy your issues, just give us a call at 580-234-4334 or contact us here (https://northwestoklaw.com/contact-us/).
Ewbank & Hennigh, PLLC is just like lots of small businesses in Northwest Oklahoma. We are wandering and wondering through this new maze called COVID.