Landowners and Leases - Frequently Asked Questions
Access Energy is very selective in choosing a site for a wind farm. We conduct site surveys, evaluating the land based on geographical, atmospheric, environmental and cultural factors. Just because there’s wind, doesn’t mean a site is ideal for a wind farm. We encourage all interested landowners to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can perform a preliminary analysis and determine our interest in your particular area.
Access Energy strives to limit the impact of every project on the land. There is obviously some localized disruption during the construction phase of a project. Once a project is complete, however, a landowner is free to continue his use of the land with little or no long-term interruption.
Access Energy will have access to land for the purposes of constructing and maintaining equipment to measure wind speeds, and to subsequently both construct and maintain wind turbine towers if the site is deemed suitable. After installation, only a small area around each tower and an access road are required for operation. In addition, Access Energy agrees to pay the landowner damages for land that was previously used for crop production that can no longer be so utilized due to Access Energy’s activities.
If the equipment is no longer in use, or if the lease is terminated, Access Energy will remove all equipment. Access Energy will also restore the land occupied by the towers or access roads to its natural state (insofar as reasonably practicable), including the removal of concrete to below plow depth.
If a commercial turbine on my land converts wind into electricity, can I plug directly into the turbine for power? Because the electricity generated by a wind turbine is very high voltage, it has to be transformed several times before it can be used in the home. For this reason, we unfortunately cannot make the power directly available to landowners.
Access Energy leadership and Landmen have extensive prior experience with leasing and land use management. We pride ourselves in our proven ability to work with landowners toward a fair and mutually beneficial lease agreement and project implementation. Access Energy understands the issues landowners must face before signing a lease and will work with you to assure that the natural, agricultural and financial values of the land are compatible with the development of wind energy.
The amount of land required for a large wind project varies depending on the terrain and the final layout of the turbines. A rough rule of thumb is that we can site 2-4 turbines per square mile and still provide adequate exposure to the wind, proper setbacks from homes and roadways, and appropriate spacing between turbines. The exact density of the turbines does depend on local topography, leased land contiguity, environmentally sensitive areas, and local zoning regulations, amongst other factors.
Actual land used by the turbine is quite small, generally occupying < ¼ acre. The majority of the foundation is underground and the concrete pedestal on which the turbine sits is approximately 20 feet square. A small amount of additional land is needed for access roads.
Access Energy utilizes a Wind Energy Lease to secure the rights to develop wind energy on private lands. In general Access Energy pays a fixed price per acre for various rights associated with determining the feasibility of wind turbine sites, and the subsequent building of turbines if deemed appropriate.
Our standard lease consists of two periods. First, an initial period at a fixed price per acre allows us to assess the conditions of the land and determine the feasibility of developing wind energy. The lease usually provides that this initial evaluation period may be extended for an additional term by payment of another fixed price per acre. If Access Energy decides it would like to construct a wind turbine or wind turbines during the evaluation period, it may do so. Once production of electricity commences, the landowners will receive royalties based on renewable electricity generated and sold.
Once production of electricity commences, landowners will receive royalties based on renewable electricity generated and sold. We believe that a wind turbine harvests energy not just from the air directly above the ground it is on, but also from the air around it, and therefore takes a "pooling" approach to the payment of royalties. Typically landowners are paid royalties relative to the proportion of land they have leased in a "wind energy unit" consisting of the land surrounding the wind turbine.
Landowners with wind farm infrastructure on their properties also receive one time payments for the turbine site, access roads, collection lines and other components at the time construction activities occur.