Solar Energy Land Leasing

Did you know that Texas leads the nation in renewable energy production and is 2nd in the nation in solar energy production? Based on the number of solar and wind leases being acquired by energy producers across the state, we expect this trend of Texas renewable energy dominance to continue. These leases are typically quite long and complex documents that are absolutely overwhelming for people that don’t constantly work in the industry. For landowners, it is important to understand the various implications in leases which can affect their land for generations.  As such, there are a lot of questions, issues and concerns that arise when looking through a solar or wind lease, and Mazurek, Belden & Burke, P.C. is here to help landowners with them.  




Renewable Energy Leases in Texas 

Renewable energy is becoming very popular with landowners, developers, and traditional energy producers across Texas. Being approached by a big renewable energy company can seem both exciting and daunting. Solar and wind land leases frequently involve large areas of land and can affect the rights of surface and mineral owners for more than 30 years, potentially impacting generations of landowners.  

For over 15 years we have been helping navigate through the unknown and prepare our clients with everything they need before finalizing a lease.  MBB’s extensive Energy, Real Estate, Business, and Regulatory practices give us the ability to fully understand the needs of our renewable energy clients.  

Summary of Solar Farm and Wind Farm Land Leasing in Texas 

    • Tax Implications: Big solar & wind projects will likely have an adverse impact on property taxes and, in particular, on agricultural exemptions.  Reimbursement for value of lost exemptions, rollback taxes, and requalification fees are vitally important considerations. With our clients’ best interests in mind, we help educate and guide them through these issues during lease review, negotiation, drafting & signing.  
    • Restoration of Your Property After the Lease Ends: The Texas legislature has recently enacted some new statutes that mandate solar companies to restore property to original use. The restoration bond required for the solar companies to put up is something we can help guide clients through to ensure the land is fully protected after the lease has expired.  
    • Mineral rights and a Solar Farm / Wind Farm Lease: In Texas, the mineral estate is the dominant estate. This means the mineral owners can use the surface estate as necessary, to produce oil, gas, and minerals. It is important to keep in mind the mineral estate when negotiating both Solar and Wind Farm leases. We advise on topics such as surface accommodation agreements, drill site designations, mineral reservations, access corridors, mineral waivers, easements, and more – each of which potentially impacts both the surface and mineral estate owners.  
    • How a Solar Farm Lease Impacts the Use of Land: Almost all solar leases contain certain provisions restricting owners from using, building, and operating on the land at certain levels. Solar leases are often more prohibitive than Wind leases. Understanding the ramifications and provisions of these leases is something we help clients comprehend and help negotiate on their behalf.  
    • Title and Division Issues: Solar and Wind contracts require extensive use of surface areas, and conflict can arise between surface owners and mineral owners. Our representation includes thorough consideration and inclusion of lease provisions that seek to avoid such disputes. Our dedicated team ensures clients have the understanding necessary to make thoughtful and fully considered long-term decisions.  

    How We Can Help 

    Mazurek, Belden & Burke attorneys work with both landowners and renewable energy companies through all phases of a project. From negotiating, drafting, and reviewing wind and solar leases, to creating access and development agreements with mineral owners, we will be there to help make your wind or solar project a success. 

    Our Renewable Energy Services for Solar & Wind Leasing: 

    • Lease Review, Negotiation and Preparation
    • Preparation of Surface and Mineral Title Reports
    • Resolution of Title Issues
    • Negotiation and Preparation of:
      • Access and Development Agreements
      • Accommodation Agreements
      • Easement and Right-of-Way Agreements
      • Land Use Agreements
    • Assistance with Transmission and Regulatory Issues

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