Renting land for wind farms
If you are a landowner or farmer with a suitably sized and located space for large scale wind turbine installations (5MW plus, around 2-20 turbines), you may be able to rent your land to specialist wind developers. These companies will usually pay for 100% of the project, and will pay you a sum based on the number of wind turbines and their total performance/energy output.
Usually your land will need to have the following attributes:
- An annual average wind speed of at least 6m/s
- Access for works vehicles (lorries, cranes, etc.)
- Not be too close to any dwellings
- A connection to the electricity grid
This kind of arrangement offers significant benefits; usually the landowner will have to cover no capital cost whatsoever, with the wind developer funding the project from the initial feasibility stage through to decommissioning. The financial benefits for the landowner are therefore risk-free and potentially very high, especially if the wind speeds are high.
What’s more, despite the large area needed for the installation of turbines (typically 25-40 acres per turbine), a very small percentage of the land is taken up by the turbine, leaving the remaining space free for normal farming activity. Livestock are also unaffected by the turbines.
Obviously such projects can have a large impact upon the surrounding area, so it is first necessary to obtain planning permission and engage in a public consultation. It is also necessary to bear in mind that you will often be tied into a contract for a long period of time, often 20 years, and you will have little control over the project (though by the same token you won’t have to maintain the system yourself).