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Is Wind Energy Good For Landowners?

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


Wind Turbines on a Mountain - Is Wind Energy Good for Landowneres?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power is one of the fastest growing and lowest-cost sources of electricity in America as of October 2023. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction act, wind power is poised for continuous rapid growth.


If you want to capitalize on the land you already own, consider leasing your wind rights for turbine installation. Keep reading to see how you can get the most out of your property by leasing your land for wind energy production.




What Is Wind Energy?

Wind energy is a source of renewable energy that turbines harness from the wind and convert into electricity. The wind rotates the turbine’s blades, which spin the generator to create electricity. High-quality, well-maintained wind turbines that are installed properly can operate on a piece of land for up to 20 or 30 years.

How Does Wind Energy Work?

The first step in wind energy generation is leasing property rights to an energy developer. LandGate connects landowners with developers in the energy industry through our free listing service so they can get the best offer available. An advantage of leasing your land for wind energy production is that landowners get a new source of income while putting in minimal effort. Wondering how much landowners are getting paid by leasing land for wind turbines? Projected income for energy production depends on a few factors.

  1. Proximity to Transmission Lines and an Electrical Substation: Properties located near transmission lines and/or an electrical substation are more profitable. This is because the electricity produced by the turbines has a shorter distance to travel.

  2. Property Size: The larger the property, the more turbines can be installed for a wind farm. The more turbines installed, the greater your income will be. Being able to scale wind power will equal being able to scale your income!

  3. Proximity to Local Infrastructure: Is your land close to roads that the turbines and installation equipment can be transported on?

With those factors in mind, many landowners sign a two to five-year Option Agreement. Those come with annual payments of $50 to $100 per acre. Once the Option Agreement period ends, the energy developer may choose to extend operations with a more formal lease agreement. If the landowner agrees to a formal lease agreement, they may receive the following income:

  1. An upfront signing bonus

  2. Annual payments per wind turbine

  3. Annual royalty payments that are calculated based on how many megawatts of electricity the turbines produce

Pros & Cons of Wind Energy

Before making a final decision about whether wind energy production is right for you, consider the main pros and cons.

Pros

  1. Doesn't Disrupt Farmland

  2. Energy developers can lease farmland for wind energy harvesting. Even with wind turbines in operation, landowners can still use their property for farming purposes because they take up minimal space.

  3. Steady income stream from wind lease payments

  4. Landowners can maintain their regular income from farming operations while earning additional income from a land lease. All they have to do is sign a lease with an energy developer and schedule a time for the wind turbines to be installed. They then just have to let the turbines do the rest of the work. Since the turbines require no fuel source, operation costs are free.

  5. Wind energy is also more cost-effective than other forms of renewable energy. While other renewable energy sources—like solar—cost between $30 and $41 per megawatt-hour, wind energy can cost as little as $26 per megawatt-hour.

  6. Clean Energy Source

  7. Wind turbines don’t require the use of fossil fuels to operate. As a result, turbine operation doesn’t produce gasses that harm the surrounding environment.

  8. Efficient Energy Production

  9. Wind energy production is cleaner and more efficient than ever before. Turbines are equipped with advanced technology that allows them to generate maximum electricity.

Cons

  1. Wind Energy can be Unreliable

  2. Wind energy production is reliant upon wind conditions. Since wind conditions aren’t consistent, it’s difficult to predict the amount of electricity a turbine will produce within a given time period. This makes backup electricity supplies necessary.

  3. Turbines Can Be Noisy

  4. The noise that older turbine models create can be disruptive to landowners and nearby residents. However, newer models are relatively quiet during operation. If you’re concerned about noise production, install the turbines farther away from residences.

  5. Some Consider Turbines Unsightly

  6. Wind Turbines may be seen well across flat landscapes. Depending on your viewpoint you may find these attractive or very unsightly. When evaluating your land, consider what you’d like to visually see as well.


Lease Your Property for Wind Energy With LandGate

Are you ready to take advantage of the income opportunities in this growing market? Create a listing on the LandGate Marketplace to gain access to thousands of potential energy investors. You can start by finding your land on our map to get a free wind lease estimate from LandGate in our free property report:




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