Solar Leasing: A Guide for the Pacific Northwest - American Farmland Trust

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Solar Leasing: A Guide for the Pacific Northwest

Resources for Agricultural Landowners in the Pacific Northwest

Solar development is on the rise in the PNW, as Washington and Oregon take steps to reach ambitious clean energy goals. Agricultural land is often seen as a prime location for solar development, as it is typically undeveloped, flat, treeless, and close to transmission infrastructure. While solar leases can be a new source of income for agricultural landowners, they can also carry significant risks and last upwards of 30 years. Our guidebook provides agricultural landowners with the tools and skills to make informed decisions, and to better anticipate production losses and avoid costly legal conflicts.

Solar Leasing: A Guidebook for Agricultural Landowners

Solar Leasing: A Guide for Agricultural Landowners in the Pacific Northwest was written in collaboration with Farm Commons, a nonprofit specializing in legal advice for farmers and ranchers. Divided into three sections, the guide walks landowners through the process of I) Gathering Information, II) Making a Decision, and III) Negotiating the Solar Lease. Additional support for the guide specific to agrivoltaics was provided by Oregon State University’s Nexus of Energy, Water and Agriculture Laboratory.

Solar Leasing Workshop Recording

AFT’s Pacific Northwest team offers a series of workshop recordings to walk attendees through the guidebook, highlighting key areas and offering an interactive Q&A. The workshops are geared toward agricultural landowners in the Pacific Northwest, but all are welcome to watch as the information is pertinent to farmers and ranchers across the United States.

Agriculture Dispute Resolution Support

There are conflict resolution resources to support landowners who may have hit an impasse with a solar developer, neighbor, or other person.  If the solar project is on agricultural land in Oregon, any disputes such as these would qualify for 6 Rivers Dispute Resolutions Center’s Oregon Certified Agricultural Mediation Program, which provides 4 hours of free mediation services for disputes involving agriculture.

In Idaho or Washington, the Fulcrum Dispute Resolution Center notes that their mediation services can be utilized at any point of their lease from beginning to end. Pleas reach out to these organizations directly if you need dispute resolution support.

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