Landowners Should Weigh Risks Before Leasing to Solar Firms

Oct 7, 2016

An ad in Texas Agriculture featuring Innovative Solar Systems’ call for property over 250 acres.
Credit Texas Observer

Renewable energy has seen a boom recently. That means many landowners have been tempted to lease their acreage to solar companies. In many cases, farmers and ranchers have received fliers and letters from solar operations.

But, as The Texas Observer explains, landowners who go solar may be signing away more than they realize. Landowners can be offered anywhere from $125 to $900 an acre per year, depending on factors like slope of the land and nearness to a substation. However, renting your land to solar isn’t the same as giving it over to oil or wind. The acreage can’t be used for farming or ranching concurrently, like it can with those other moneymakers. And lease terms often last 30 or 40 years. Landowners will also lose their agriculture tax exemption, and should make sure the solar company is paying that difference.

Even so, solar can be a profitable enterprise if a landowner is savvy.