Wind Energy Development in New York State: Issues for Landowners

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Wind power development is increasing dramatically because of New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. This standard will make it necessary for New York’s utilities to increase their use of renewable energy by more than 50%. As a result, wind power developers are seeking new sites for wind power generation in New York. This bulletin is intended to be used as a resource by private landowners in New York State who are concerned about wind development’s implications. It guides the landowner step- by- step through the process of wind development on private property. It starts with suggestions for the preliminary stages of development where the landowner interacts with the community and begins contemplating the effects of wind power on a local level. It then outlines the early development phases when wind development firms begin testing sites on private land. It discusses the issues in the lease negotiations that take place when a development firm wishes to obtain the right to access and build on private property. The landowner deserves a contract that is equitable and profitable, and mitigates unnecessary risks. The appendices summarize the entire wind development process in the form of a table, provide resources for further information, present a glossary of terms, and supply sample compensation provisions in a lease agreement. Readers should consult with their own legal or financial advisors to ensure that the choices they make best fit their individual needs. Incidentally, we would like to offer special thanks to those who contributed to this work by sharing their experiences pertaining to wind energy development.
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