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Monetizing Public Land Through Renewable Energy Resources

A vast majority of the land in the United States is classified as public land. This is because the land is controlled by the federal government, local government colleges, universities, and other public agencies. Stewards of public lands must ensure the land is managed effectively and remains a valuable asset with positive impacts to the public.

Monetizing land-based renewable energy resources is one way that stewards of public lands can effectively manage their assets and reduce climate change. Monetizing the energy potential of public land leads to impactful solar developments, wind farms and battery storage projects. Some of the positive impacts from monetizing public land through renewable energy project development are:

  1. Introducing new renewable energy projects reduces the reliance on carbon producing sources of energy

    1. LandGate’s custom reports quantify the amount of energy that can be generated from a specific site and renewable energy resource

  2. Generating new revenue streams that can offset carrying costs and contribute to general fund budgets for other needs

    1. LandGate’s data analytics estimate the potential revenue that can be generated from utilizing the renewable energy of a particular site

  3. Expanding opportunities for local investment and economic development and private investment

    1. LandGate’s marketplace connect public landowners with energy developers and investors seeking land to deploy ESG-oriented capital

What is the first step a public landowner should take to monetize renewable energy land assets?

Renewable energy development activity has been consistently rising over the past decade. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has motivated both public and private entities to accelerate investment and commitment to expanding the national renewable energy portfolio. The current administration has set a goal of 100% carbon pollution free electricity by 2035 and a net-zero carbon economy by 2025. This further highlights the importance of monetizing public lands for renewable energy. Leveraging public land to expand the national renewable energy portfolio is necessary to reduce reliance on fossil powered energy sources. The first step that a public landowner should take is to understand the potential value of land-based renewable energy resources. If the landowner identifies a valuable site they might have the desire to monetize the renewable energy resources. This can be done through either a sale or lease. Then the opportunity can be placed on LandGate's exclusive marketplace. The marketplace is adapted to comply with specific procurement policies. So public landowners receive compliant proposals from energy developers seeking to place capital within renewable energy projects.

Estimating the potential value of land-based renewable energy resources

Underwriting the value of specific renewable energy resources is a time consuming and complicated task. Detailed technical, financial and political/organizational considerations must be factored in. The following elements should be considered when estimating the value of a particular site’s renewable energy resources.

  • Technical

    • Quantity of a particular renewable energy resource(s), such as solar, wind, and carbon.

    • Close proximity to critical electric grid infrastructure

    • The site’s existing conditions and land use allocation allows for development to occur

  • Financial

    • There is sufficient demand for a local utility provider to purchase new sources of power generated through power purchase agreements

    • Identify any local or regional incentives in addition to federal incentives

  • Political/Organizational

    • The local utility network is supportive and renewable energy and has the capacity to accommodate new sources of energy

    • The land can leased to an energy project developer long enough to amortize their capital costs and investment

Using LandGate to estimate high-value renewable energy sites

LandGate’s exclusive data module equips public landowners with the ability to estimate the value of renewable energy resources. LandGate leads the industry with our robust natural resource data. Our data is appended to all parcels greater than 2 acres across the lower-48 of the U.S. Within a matter of seconds, a public landowner can determine if a particular site has valuable renewable energy resources to monetize. Resources are not limited to just solar or wind, LandGate offers insight for carbon, mineral, water, and oil and gas data. LandGate’s custom land report calculates the potential revenue based on detailed technical, financial and political/organizational factors.

Please connect with us for a more in-depth discussion about how LandGate can support efforts to monetize public land through renewable energy.


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