Large solar projects need land. It’s the one big impact they have. They can be built on almost anything, from old farmland to old landfills, industrial sites and more offering landowners an extra income opportunity.
Properly siting projects and arranging agreements beneficial to both property owners and project developers can be tricky. So the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) introduced the SEIA Guide to Land Leases for Solar to help involved parties understand the opportunities more.
“Solar power, including solar land leasing, presents a huge opportunity for farmers, but they need to be well-informed and advised so they can negotiate fair terms,” said Suzanne Hunt of New York’s Hunt Country Vineyards and Hunt Green LLC. “This new guidance document from SEIA will help farmers and other landowners make informed decisions so that solar land leasing will work for them and their families now and for many years to come.”
The guide explains that each megawatt of solar power requires between 6 and 7 acres of land. A 5 megawatt project would therefore require 30 to 35 acres of land. Larger projects need 100s if not thousands of acres. Committing that type of resource to a multi-year lease that can span decades is big decision for farmers and landowners. The guide is designed to help understand how the lease will affect their property (i.e., will they still be able to farm or graze around the solar panels), how often will the land be accessed by maintenance vehicles and more.
“The solar industry is committed to full understanding of solar by consumers, including farmers and other landowners,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “This new guide brings transparency to landowners to help them navigate agreements with a sense of ease, knowing they’re asking the right questions and armed with all the information they need to make a smart decision.”
The guide is the latest in a series of consumer guides SEIA has issued as part of its Consumer Protection Initiative. Earlier this year the advocacy organization released two other guides, the Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar and theResidential Consumer Guide to Solar Power.Tweet