Windfarm 101: Is Your Land Ideal for a Wind Turbine?

windfarm 101

While I'm out of the office this week (on vacation with my family – WOOHOO!!), I wanted to give the stage to Susy Bento, the marketing and communications manager at Alcen Renewable.

If the idea of using your vacant land to produce renewable energy has ever sounded interesting or appealing to you, I think you'll find this guest article helpful. I know I've wondered about this kind of thing from time to time, but never really understood what to look for in determining whether or not my properties would make sense for this type of use.

Susy has put together a nice overview covering the high-level basics of how it works, how to know if your land is a good fit, and how you can get started down this path if you want to pursue it further. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you own open land in a windy part of the country? If so, you may be in luck!

Landowners with large parcels of land can make a steady, long-term profit by hosting windmills on their land. This additional income can range anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 per wind turbine- an exciting incentive that increases with the size of land available.

If your land meets a few simple qualifications, you could be generating an annual income by harnessing the power of wind energy.

The Windier, the Better

Wind energy developers tend to do some researching before taking on a huge project like building a wind farm. They tend to look at the average wind speeds of a given property before beginning the long, expensive process of turbine construction. For most wind developers, an average wind speed of 20 feet per second is perfectly suitable- higher wind speeds tend to generate more electricity, allowing for larger payoffs to landowners.

Wind developers install anemometers, thermometers, and sonic detection equipment on meteorological towers to precisely gather accurate wind data. Scientists then analyze the data to generate specific predictions – if the average wind speed on your property is high enough, you could soon be on your way to enjoying long-term income through a wind farm lease!

Since wind speeds change throughout the course of a year, developers must measure an annual average in order to determine exactly how profitable placing wind turbines on a given area will be. In some areas, this data is already made available through the National Climatic Data Center, which lists some of the windiest areas in the United States:

If your land is located near a vicinity that already has wind turbines on it, chances are your land is located in a prime spot for wind. Seeing wind turbines around often indicates that a wind farm developer has determined enough wind is being generated in the area to produce a profit. This is ultimately good news for landowners and the developer.

Make Your Land More Attractive to Developers

When determining where to place their next project, wind developers aren’t only looking at the size of your land or the wind speeds correlating to it, they are also looking for alternative ways to utilize your land. If a wind turbine is not suitable for your land, your land can be used for access roads for the project or a place to connect the project to a power grid.

1. Vehicle Access

If your land isn’t necessarily the right fit for a wind turbine, it doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the development of a wind farm. There is more to a wind farm then the actual turbine itself. During the construction phase of a wind farm project, access roads need to be paved out so cranes and large trucks can maneuver through the project site.

What if you already have roads on your land? Land that already has access roads built on it could be highly advantageous. Wind developers are willing to pay better rates to landowners who negotiate the terms of their lease based on this feature.

2. Electric Grid Access

Ideally, the land used for wind farm development should be placed suitably close to that of a local power grid for the energy produced to be transferred out to communities powered by renewable energy. If one’s land is far removed from civilization to where it effectively cuts from municipal electricity infrastructures, there is no incentive for wind energy developers to place windmills on it. Fortunately, advances in energy transmission technology has continued to increase the distance possible between wind farm projects and local power grids.

Benefits to Wind Development Leases

Any landowner who can offer access to terrain that is windy, accessible, and grid-connected has much to gain through a wind lease contract. Those who sign wind lease contracts can see beneficial gains in areas such as their personal income, the local community, and the environment as a whole.

Being part of a wind farm development project provides landowners with an additional steady income that they may not have had already. Farmers, in particular, can bolster their existing business with a steady income without having to give up their land for development. The turbine itself only occupies around 3% of a landowner’s available land and the rest will remain untouched by developers. Turbines typically do not affect livestock or other farming operations in any significant way.

By signing a wind lease contract, landowners are also ensuring that the housing county where these wind farms reside will receive an abundance of local jobs. From construction to operation, wind farm development can provide rural areas with jobs ranging from engineering to technician positions. The wind industry is a growing field that provides employees with an endless amount of job opportunities.

Wind energy doesn’t just benefit the landowners who participate in the development of the wind farm. Wind energy provides for the community, the environment, and for future generations. Wind power is a cleaner energy alternative that has the ability to offset the usage of fossil fuels. Wind farms can transform rural areas of land into clean power generating communities that in time will prosper and reap the benefits of wind power.

Susy Bento is the marketing and communications manager at Alcen Renewable. Alcen Renewable is a utility-scale developer based in sunny California.

Free Webinar With Seth and Jaren

You are invited to an exclusive webinar with Seth Williams and Jaren Barnes on Wednesday, October 24 at 8:00pm EDT (5:00 PDT).

Jaren will be hosting a live presentation addressing some of the most critical elements involved with finding deals and motivated sellers in the land business.

In this live webinar, you’ll get the scoop on how to choose the right market, how motivated sellers think, where to find them and what to say ( including some of the best tips, tricks, stories and lessons you’ll need to know as you start pursuing cheap land deals on your own). You won’t want to miss it!

Space is limited, so register now to hold your spot!

2016-08-15_15-47-09

Did you find this article to be helpful?

Our goal is always to provide our users with the most up-to-date and relevant content so that we can continue to empower others! Please share your feedback.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Sheryl Bradley says:

    Our yard is ridiculously windy all year. Who do I need to talk to about a land lease?

  • Steve Cook says:

    I have 280 acres on Rexburg Idaho bench. I am interested.

  • Sheryl says:

    Who do I contact to see if my land would be suitable for wind turbines?

  • Kevin says:

    Horrible… $5-8k per what? Minute, week, month, life of the turbine? One turbine will occupy 3%, of what, the earth? Come on, you state statistics but don’t finish them? We are all in frouble if this is what our education system is leading to…

    • Susy says:

      Hi Kevin,

      For every turbine a landowner will receive 5-8k per year for hosting the turbine on their land, and they will also receive their monthly or yearly (each developer does it differently) rent from the developer as well. Once turbine occupies 3% of 1 acre.

      Sorry for the confusion, hope this helps!

    • Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for the comment and questions Kevin – I can see how some clarification on these points would be helpful. Perhaps Susy will jump in here and clarify some of these things for us.

Bonus: Your FREE copy of the INVESTOR HACKS e-book gives you instant access to the REtipster Toolbox, with even more resources to succeed.

Success requires decision
and action

The market moves fast. Stay ahead with the latest tips in low-risk, high-return real estate investing for your business.

Scroll Up
X

Welcome to REtipster.com

We noticed you are using an Ad Blocker


We get it, too much advertising can be annoying.

Our few advertisers help us continue bringing lots of great content to you for FREE.

Please add REtipster.com to your Ad Blocker white list, to receive full access to website functionality.

Thank you for supporting. We promise you will find ample value from our website. 

Get Classified Access

Get Classified Access

Join the email list and get INSTANT ACCESS to the RETIPSTER TOOLBOX - with tons of free tools, downloads, video tutorials and more!

Check your email to confirm!

Get Started Right Now!

Where should we send your free stuff?

Check your email inbox to confirm!