Solar Farm Lease Opportunity; Opinions?

Hi all,

I have recently joined the forum and began a property tour called "Spray Field 40". On this property I have about 15 acres of fallow field that I was planning on converting to deer habitat.

Ironically, I was contacted by a rep from a solar company called Nextera Energy. Apparently their company is planning a solar farm project in my area and are offering to lease my field.

The lease would be a 30+30 year term. Yearly payment based on $/acre. I would maintain access to the rest of the property.

Does anyone have any experience with solar farm leases? What was your experience?

Thanks for your input

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I do the electric system impact studies for these but have no experience with the lease agreements.

My main concern would be them messing up the hunting in some way on the rest of the property.

  • Will there be vehicles constantly running in and out?
  • Will some less than ethical employee of the company see a big deer and shoot it illegally?
  • Will there be a communications tower and guys up there climbing around during deer season?
  • Who will have access and what control will you have over who can be there?
  • How will it affect your access? Will you have to open more gates and locks?
  • How does losing some of your land impact the hunting on the rest of it?
  • Will they be landing helicopters?
  • Will what you are being paid have an inflation / cost of living rider to where your payments increase over time?
  • What condition will the land be left in when the lease is up? footers / foundations? Fences? Debris?
  • Are they willing to put down a very large security deposit to cover any problems they create?
  • Where will the power lines go that tie the solar farm back to the grid? Will access to the line for maintenance affect you negatively?

The most important thing is to get a good, qualified lawyer to write the contract and don't go through with it unless all of the terms are without a doubt in your favor. If there is any doubt whatsoever - don't do it. However, if the money suits you and all is well - go for it.
My buddy is coordinating a large potential solar farm near my home. The lease rate is about 4 times that of cash rent for farming, with yearly increases. They are starting at $800/ac/yr. They are planning on a couple thousand acres in my area. This area is crop ground. Not sure what your lease price will be or what land goes for, but you could afford to buy more ground at $800/ac/yr pretty quick. Not very aesthetically pleasing, but they're popping up everywhere, it seems.
Most of these companies are just tieing up the land so other companies can’t. Same as gas and oil. If you’re not getting money up front chances are they will never build there. They have been doing this in our area for a couple years now. To my knowledge there hasn’t been any built. Once all the suitable land is tied up they might cherry pick the best spots but the promises of big money is only if they build. That hasn’t happened. Here anyway. The only solar farms are on State owned property or individuals for their own use
I agree I would look at it just like oil lease,unless they are going to pay enough to buy more land then think real hard again.I have done the oil lease where they pay around 10.00 acre to reserve the option to lease for 2 years.Just make sure that the lease agreement doesn't give them the right to do any work without re negotiating the deal
They are sending out those notices all the time. I assumed that it was a gimmick, considering the amount of flyers that they are sending out to larger landowners. Common sense says that they don't need every large property owner on the east coast to build solar panel farms. If it sounds too good to be true...
All of the above but especially "the don't sign a contract betting on future monies." The only way I would rent my place would be if I could buy another with the proceeds. I've seen too many oil leases that never panned out. In some cases folks started spending money they hadn't recieved yet, and never did.
I appreciate all your responses. I'm going to meet with an attorney to look things over and find out if it's legitimate. The company does seem reputable.

The contract states where would be an "option period" where they should make the decision whether to move forward or not. During this option period, they would pay in the thousands per year just to hold the land.

Then if they moved forward with the project, the lease would provide a similar amount of money per acre to what has already been mentioned.

Even if they didn't move forward, I think I would still pocket the option period money. I plan to meet my attorney this week and will update what I learn. Thanks

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