Most Michigan landowners who participate in utility-scale wind energy will most likely do so by contracting the use of their land to a wind developer. It is very important to understand the terms of these contracts, and we recommend that you consult with an attorney before signing any type of contract with a wind energy developer. These contracts can range in length from 25 years to perpetuity, and the there are many variables to consider - the payment terms, liability, renewable terms - that will impact you and your family for years to come.
We have prepared a worksheet to help with this process. It is not designed as a replacement for consulting with an attorney, rather we hope that it would be used as a means to prepare questions for your attorney and to guide you through the decision-making process.
Click here for the worksheet: Landowner Guidelines for Evaluating Wind Energy Production Contracts.
Another way that landowners with good wind resources have chosen to deal with wind energy development in their areas is to form landowner wind energy associations. Groups of landowners with continguous properties cooperatively form the association, and then negotiate with wind developers for a contract that treats everyone fairly. Successful examples of these associations have formed in Indiana, Wyoming and Oklahoma, among other states. Windustry, a non-profit wind energy education organization, has prepared a fact sheet about forming these associations, available here: Introduction to Land Owner Wind Energy Associations
You may also find more useful information for landowners and wind contracts at Windustry.org.