Should I lease my land for wind farm use?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Natural Resources Law

The oil and natural gas industry forms a large portion of Kansas’s economy. However, with support for renewable energy resources increasing, many landowners are considering leasing their land to wind farms for the construction of wind turbines. If you are a farmer or landowner who is considering a land use lease, here are a few of the points you should consider in advance.

The major concerns for landowners

In 2016, Kansas’s Washburn School of Law published a paper for landowners on issues to consider before negotiating a land use deal with a wind farm. According to the report, some of these issues include:

  1. Liability

If a worker for the wind company suffers an injury on your land, are you liable for their damages? In your contract, you should have your attorney make it clear that you do not share liability for the wind company’s negligence.

  1. Contract negotiations

Speaking of contracts, the document you sign will determine your rights in relation to the wind company. Do not agree to any arrangement until you have a lawyer read it and negotiate fair terms.

  1. Easements

The wind company will likely need an easement, or an agreement for you to let their workers access your land. You need to consider the terms of the easement carefully, including how many people may use it.

  1. Farming impact

Perhaps most importantly is the affect that wind turbines will have on your agriculture operation. The impact can extend far beyond just the area devoted to the turbines. The development could impact irrigation, runoff, erosion, crop spraying, and field or row arrangements.

The financial gains of a wind farm make it tempting for many landowners. When you consider every possible factor and apply it to your farm needs, you might decide that it is not for you. If it is, though, the right arrangement with the right company could make for very lucrative returns for you and a new boost of sustainable energy for Kansas.