Landowners still leasing land for wind developments
Landowners continue to lease farm land for development of future wind farms across Michigan as the next new crop for farms to harvest.
Change is the rule if you are part of the agricultural industry as technology has had an overwhelming impact on products, processes and practices. Now we can honestly see that wind energy will be a major crop (income source) for many farm landowners over the next decade. Landowners in several areas of the state continue to lease their farm land to a wind farm developer for the right to install wind turbines and operate a commercial wind farm. These wind turbines have the potential, with good wind and a good lease agreement, to generate a reasonable return to the landowner for the land used to install and operate these wind farms. The part of this process that is very important is that landowners read and understand the long term lease agreements that allow wind farm development. Understanding that each company offers different terms and different contracts and a landowner needs to make sure that the terms that they agree to are in their best interest. A great resource to have access to is a checklist of points to consider in a long term wind farm lease which is available to you at /uploads/files/windlease_easement_worksheet_v5.pdf. This worksheet can be very valuable to all landowners. For more information and resources visit our Michigan State University Extension wind energy web page to expand and understand this rapidly growing process here in Michigan.
This is not the time to follow the same path of your neighbors and just sign without a good review and a full understanding of the benefits and costs of this type of agreement can have on the landowner.