There are several types of legal agreements that give developers access to your land and wind, says Jennifer Jambor-Delgado, a staff attorney at Farmers’ Legal Action Group, which has published a book on wind-power leases (www.flaginc.org). Farmers should keep in mind that “once you have a written agreement with a developer, that agreement controls” the rights and obligations of both parties, she says. “Any verbal agreements can’t be relied on if they are not written into the contract.”

Property agreements used to develop a wind farm include:

  • Option: Gives the developer the right to lease the land at an agreed-upon price, subject to agreed-upon terms.
  • Access Easement:Allows the developer to travel across your property and construct roads to reach turbine areas.
  • Construction Easement: Gives access for construction of turbines and support equipment, as well as temporary “lay-down” areas for equipment and machinery storage.
  • Transmission Easement: Allows developer to construct and operate underground and above-ground transmission lines and substations.
  • Wind Non-obstruction Easement: You agree not to construct any improvements that could interfere with wind speed or direction.
  • Overhang or Encroachment Easement: You agree to allow turbine blades to overhang your property, even if the turbine is not on your land.
  • Noise Easement: You agree to allow a certain level of noise from the turbine.
  • Covenant:Binds later purchasers of the land to abide by certain restrictions.
  • Lease:Creates a landlord-tenant relationship for a set period of time allowing tenant the exclusive right to use the property. If the landowner wants to retain rights to use the land, such rights must be specifically stated.

Sources: Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University; Windustry; Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc.