Wind turbine lease/contract rights

Illinois currently has 800 wind turbines in the state. And over the next five to ten years, the state could see five times more wind power as more turbines are built.

That's why the Illinois Farm Bureau has been holding talks across the state to inform land owners of their rights when entering a lease with a wind energy company.

One of those presentations was held in Pike County Monday, February 22nd.

An attorney with the Illinois Farm Bureau says one of the things he points out to land owners, is that wind turbine leases are usually long term, sometimes up to 90 years.

"We always encourage people to understand how long the contract is going to last. Talk about it with their family, attorney, accountant, anyone involved in their farming operations we want them to talk to because this is going to impact not just them but their grand kids as well," said Illinois Farm Bureau Attorney Ryan Gammelgard.

"Another thing we always recommend they look at is what rights are they going to have under the contract. Are they still going to be able to do their normal day to day farming operations, or is their farming operation going to be subordinate to the wind energy company," said Gammelgard.

The attorney with the Illinois Farm Bureau says many times land owners just focus on how much they'll get paid to put a turbine on their property.

But they don't realize their farming operations will be affected.

For example you may not be able to use aerial sprayer on your farmland once a turbine is installed.

KHQA was also told lease agreements are very complex and can be up to 40 pages long.

So it's not something you should just sign.