Friday, June 19, 2009

Landowners join forces to negotiate wind deals

Landowners in Iowa are recognizing that banding together may give them leverage in negotiations on wind-turbine placement as the wind energy market booms. Douglas Burns reports for the Daily Yonder that it may have been more beneficial to work individually in the past, but now federal incentives and arrangements mean working as a group may yield better profits.

Lawyers working on a large project in South Dakota argue that individuals in the Midwest have a lot to bargain with when energy companies come knocking since that is where most of the nation's winds are strongest. “We’ve got the land,” attorney Steven Case told Burns. “We’ve got good wind. We bring that to the table.”

Large scale and small scale projects could benefit from a partnership negations. Erin Edholm is the communications director of National Wind, which helps community-based wind projects like the one in South Dakota. She told Burns that a typical lease for a 1.5-megawatt turbine pays between $6,000 and $9,000 annually. In a community project, landowners share in the profit of the turbine in addition to the lease revenue. Burns reports that a conservative estimate is that a 1.5-megawatt turbine in a community project would generate $184,000 annually. (Read more)

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