Full Title: Guide to Land Leases for Solar
Author(s): Solar Energy Industries Association
Publication Date: 07/2016
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Large scale solar projects, such as community solar and investor-owned solar systems on farms, have expanded rapidly throughout the U.S. These projects can use approximately 6 to 7 acres for every megawatt (MW) of solar installed, so a 5 MW project would require 30 to 35 acres. As a result, solar developers (“developers”) routinely contact farmers and other landowners (“landowners”) to obtain sufficient land to develop a financeable project.
Leases can provide extra income to landowners by turning unused or underused land into revenue generation opportunities. But entering into a lease agreement is a significant decision for any landowner. Landowners should always understand the fundamental terms of the proposed agreement, how the lease will affect their property, and the right questions to ask developers. And landowners should always seek legal and tax counsel before entering into any agreement with a developer.