Wind power is the fastest growing energy source in the world with annual growth of approximately one third in the past decade. While many people will benefit indirectly from the clean air and economic growth brought about by wind power development, landowners may benefit directly.
Wind power can offer an attractive opportunity for landowners, presenting a steady revenue stream without impacting traditional farming, ranching and other surface usage. Large wind turbines typically use less than half an acre of land, including access roads, so land usage is maximized. Some of the greatest wind power resources in the United States are found in Texas with the Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas producing 781.5 MW of power, and the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center spread across 47,000 acres of land in Taylor and Nolan County, Texas and generating a total of 735 MW of power being the largest onshore wind farms in the world. Wind generators require wind speed of 10 mph or greater. An ideal location would have a near constant flow of non-turbulent wind throughout the year, with a minimum likelihood of sudden powerful bursts of wind. An important factor of turbine seating is access to local demand or transmission capacity. There must be power transmission lines on or adjacent to the property. Sites are screened on the basis of a wind atlas and validated with wind measurements. Specific data for wind speed and direction is used to determine potential for wind farming.
Landowners may lease their land to wind developers for either a set rental per turbine or for a small percentage of gross annual revenue from the project. Although leasing arrangements vary widely, the U. S. Government Accountability Office reported in 2004 that an owner who leases land to a wind project developer can generally obtain royalties of $3,000 to $5,000 per turbine per year in lease payments. These figures are rising as larger wind turbines are being produced and installed. Use the US L&M, LLC network to let the markets know that you want your land involved in new energy opportunities.