Why Lease Your Land for a Solar Farm?

 In Blog Post, National

As stewards of American farmland, landowners weigh a variety of factors when approached by a developer. Whether the project is a residential neighborhood, industrial development, utility easement, or other use, landowners need to consider both the short and long-term benefits of a sale or lease for themselves, their families, and future generations.

As one of the Midwest’s leading solar developers, SunVest understands the questions you face when assessing these opportunities and we always urge landowners to consult with their families and an attorney before signing any agreements. For those that decide a solar lease is right for them, there are many benefits to building solar on their land, including:

  • A Predictable and Reliable Income Stream. Converting your land to a solar farm could help you generate upwards of $1,200 – $1,500 per acre per year. That’s likely 3-4 times more than conventional farming. SunVest also guarantees your rent at the beginning of the year, making a solar lease a hedge against uncertain crop yields or volatile commodities prices.
  • No Cost to You. In most instances, there is absolutely no cost for solar development on your land. if you decide to work with SunVest, we take care of all associated costs. In fact, a solar farm project is all cash positive for you from day one.
  • No Maintenance on Your End. Upkeep for the solar farm and supporting land is entirely the solar developer’s responsibility. Solar generating equipment, landscaping, and accompanying electrical gear are all handled by the solar developer. We will also work with you to ensure the project will not impact existing drain tiles or neighboring properties.
  • It’s Sustainable. Installing a solar farm will allow the land to rest and rejuvenate for many years, meaning the property will be more productive once the project is removed. Plus, your land could become a pollinator habitat to help other crops in the area.
  • Help Your Neighbors. Residents and businesses can purchase energy from the community solar project on your property to help reduce their utility bills.

What are the Qualifications to Lease Land for a Solar Farm?

Before leasing your land for a solar farm, there are a few qualifications solar developers typically look for. SunVest generally seeks

  1. A minimum of eight acres of flat, unobstructed land;
  2. No mining or pipelines on the property around the proposed solar farm area;
  3. A clean title with minimal encumbrances; environmental, archeological, or historically sensitive sites

Once evaluated, we will negotiate a contract and you’ll receive option payments while parcels are examined and SunVest completes other development and local permitting work.

What happens after the lease begins?

Developing a solar project can take 1-3 years. During this time, you may not hear much from SunVest, but rest assured we’re working to make things happen! This involves seeking offtake contracts for the power, working with the local electric utility to interconnect to the grid, negotiating with banks to finance the project, conducting other diligence and obtaining all permits. You will of course receive option payments during this time and will still be able to farm the land. The annual lease payments begin when the solar farm has been installed and energized. We will provide periodic updates throughout the process, but always feel free to reach out with questions.

What happens during construction?

During construction the leased area will be fenced and racking, panels and electrical equipment will be installed. The utility will coordinate interconnection for the array. The completed project will be inspected, tested and commissioned. Depending on the size of the array, the whole construction process should take 3-9 months, depending on the size of the project.

Why SunVest?

SunVest is one of the nation’s premier developers of ground-mount Community Solar projects. Our qualified and experienced professionals have worked with 850+ customers to install 250,000+ solar panels that total over 100MW. This equals more than 125 million kWh of solar production every year, saving our customers over $8 million annually. We’re qualified as a triple B rating and rank as a top 10 solar developer nationwide.

If you’re ready to lease your land for a solar farm, contact SunVest today to learn more. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to develop the right solar project for your land.

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