Whether you are a commercial landowner with undeveloped land or a local farmer, leasing your land for a solar farm allows you to earn long-term stable income and leave a legacy you can be proud of. As America shifts towards renewable energy sources, many landowners are beginning to consider leasing their land for the development of solar farms. OYA Renewables (OYA) works closely with landowners to develop solar farms that meet the requirement of the land, so we can bring cost-effective energy and widespread economic benefits to local communities.
In this article, we will explore the process of leasing land for a solar farm from start to finish, so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right path for you.
Why Should You Lease Land to a Solar Farm?
Many of the reasons for leasing land for solar farming are personal, but the main benefit is straightforward: financial gain. Landowners will receive annual lease payments from OYA at a competitive rate per acre for the lifespan of the solar farm. The annual payout provides landowners with long-term income that is stable and contains no obligations to maintain and operate the solar farm.
Another benefit of leasing your land for a solar farm is the environmental impact. Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants. By leasing your land for a solar farm, you can play a role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and combatting climate change. Additionally, the surrounding land can still be used for crop farming and other activities while the solar panels are in place. OYA also hires local landowners to graze sheep for vegetation maintenance or farm market crops and other low-growth crops.
Leasing your land to allow not only provides you with additional income, but it also gives you an opportunity to lower emissions and leave a legacy of clean, renewable energy.
Leasing Your Land for Large or Utility-Scale Solar Farms
OYA Renewables typically develops solar farms 5 MWAC and above, which is the equivalent of 30 to 40 acres or more. Utility-scale solar farms can run even larger and typically refer to solar projects 20 MW and larger and may involve multiple landowners. The electricity generated from large solar farms feeds directly into the grid for distribution by utility companies to the local communities.
Large solar farms typically require long-term leases, usually 20-30 years, with competitive lease payments due to the larger size of the project and the longer lease term. Leasing your land for a large solar farm generates reliable long-term income while supporting the transition to cleaner sources of energy across the State.
What Can You Expect When Leasing Your Land for Solar
Is Your Land Right for a Solar Farm: Property Evaluation
The first step in leasing your land for a solar farm is to determine whether your land is suitable for the development of solar panels. OYA assesses your land for free and may consider the following: the amount of sunlight your land receives, the slope of the land, the land’s proximity to power lines and substations, and how many acres you have available to lease. Often solar developers prefer a 25-acre minimum, but that is at the discretion of the developer and may be changed by other factors. Once the developer has determined that your land is suitable, you can begin the process of leasing your land.
Building Long-Term Partnerships with our Solar Farm Hosts
At OYA Renewables, we work with a large portfolio of landowners to develop and build solar farms with competitive leases. Leasing your land for a solar farm is a big decision, and at OYA, we pride ourselves on building trusting relationships not only with our landowners but with the communities and stakeholders that help us navigate our solar developments. We pride ourselves on building trusting relationships not only with our landowners but with the communities and stakeholders that help us navigate our solar developments. Each step of the way you can be confident that OYA is there with you, prioritizing open and honest communication.
Lease Agreement: The Basics
Once you decide to lease your land, the next step is to figure out your lease agreement’s terms. A standard lease agreement will include the length of the lease, the amount of rent to be paid, solar farm decommissioning, and any rights and responsibilities for both the landowner and developer.
Throughout the duration of the solar farm, the landowner has no obligation to maintain or operate the solar farm. We prefer to hire local landowners to help with snow clearing or vegetation maintenance during the operation. After the lease has ended, OYA handles all dismantling of the solar farm.
Planning and Permitting Solar Farms
Once the lease agreement is signed, OYA will begin the process of developing and building the solar farm on your land. During the diligence period, project stakeholders are engaged, and we work through engineering and design to secure utility interconnection agreements and site plan approvals, including all environmental agency signoffs. OYA handles all aspects of the planning and permitting to minimize the landowner’s involvement, but we know that it is important to stay connected, so we keep all our landowners informed during each stage.
Other Solar Leasing Options
There are also other solar leasing options outside of large or utility-scale solar farms. Smaller scale projects such as rooftop solar installations, small commercial ground-mounted solar, and solar carports or canopies. These projects are often intended to provide electricity directly to the property or community where they are located but can also feed directly into the grid as a part of a net metering solution. They may be paired with other renewable energy solutions such as electric vehicle chargers, battery storage, or a community solar program.
Whether you are interested in leasing out your rooftop or would like to explore multiple renewable energy solutions, OYA offers a free consultation to support your transition to renewable energy and which solutions would fit your needs and goals.
Leasing your land for a solar farm can be an easy way to generate extra income while also contributing to the growth of renewable energy. By understanding the benefits and following the steps outlined in this article, farmers and landowners can make an informed decision about whether solar land leasing is the right path for them.
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