Lawyer urging caution with wind leases
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Petrolia lawyer Wallace Lang questioned the amount of money wind energy companies are offering farmers who lease them land to build turbines on. Lang told more than 200 people gathered Thursday evening at Lambton Centennial School near Petrolia that the wind leases he has read typically offer landowners $15,000 a year, per turbine.
He was invited to speak by Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), a citizens group that formed earlier this year to oppose plans by several companies to build wind farms in Enniskillen Township. “You really have to wonder if it’s a good bargain or not,” Lang said about the amount of money wind companies are offering landowners.“It seems to be kind of chump change, really.”
The agreements can run for decades and may include inflation clauses but the lease payments are taxable, he said. Lang told the crowd he believes more realistic compensation for landowners would be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 a year for each turbine. He urged landowners to be cautious, saying wind companies are sophisticated organizations that know how to market the documents they use to sign up landowners. While they’re called option agreements, “it’s a final document,” Lang said. “Make sure you want to do it, before you sign it.” Read article