Questions to ask about a Possible Large-Scale Wind Facility on your Property

Many farmers and rachers throughout the state may be approached periodically by NPPD or private developers about land options, easements and opportunities for use of their land for a future wind farm. NPPD urges any landowner to ask various questions before they sign any agreement that would be a legal document.

NPPD suggests that any landowner that is approached should take any documents to an attorney familiar with wind contracts and issues for review before signing any agreement. NPPD also urges landowners to contact their local public power utility to verify if they have any relationship with the company that has contacted them.

Immediate signing of documents is not an urgent manner. Be wary of developers who impose a signing deadline that does not allow you the time necessary to do your homework. Landowners should ask some of the following questions of a private developer or with their attorney.

  • Examine payments long-term for 20-30 years (inflation, taxes, loss of future production)
  • Renegotiation of payments
  • Determine who has what kind of liability on development and operation of the wind farm
  • Determine property tax liability
  • Determine if there is plan to remove the towers at the end of their life and how it is paid for
  • Determine if the company plans to put up any additional structures (i.e., storage facilities, substations, maintenance warehouses) on the property.
  • Ask questions of the developer or utility
    • Is this wind farm being developed by a Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) project or by another private development corporation?
    • What kind of impact will this be on my land and how it is currently used?
    • Will pivots be impacted and for how long?
    • How much acreage will become unavailable with an installed tower and turbine?
    • How long will it take for the project to become operational?
    • What are the wind speeds and wind capacity factor; have wind studies been conducted for at least one year?
    • Do they have access to transmission lines?
    • Who are the investors; is there money to fully construct and operate as planned?
    • Do they have access to turbines (have they been purchased)?
    • Is the developer currently in the queue for transmission of electrical power to a public power utility?
    • Do the developers have a Power Purchase Agreement with a public power utility?
    • Can I still use my land for farming/ranching/grazing?
    • Do I need permission to construct additional structures on my property if I enter into an agreement?
    • Am I free to share information in the agreement with my neighbors/ relatives?
    • How does this project impact hunting, hiking, and public access rights?