Following December's announcement by SaskPower of a significant expansion in wind, solar and hydro capacity by 2030, developers of these renewable resources are now active across Saskatchewan although mainly in the southern half where both the wind and solar resource is superior.
Some, and hopefully the majority, of those developers are decent folk while others not so much. Before you sign any land deals with either group here are some things you need to know.
1. This is about your community and not just about you. Unless you own a VERY large block of land, the project which you are being presented with will almost certainly involve many more landowners than you. At the outset you might therefore give consideration to forming a 'negotiation group'. This will ensure that broader community concerns are given due consideration and it will also ensure that you significantly strengthen your negotiating position.
2. All contracts are negotiable until signed. You will almost certainly be told that the contract offered is 'standard' and that 'no-one else has any concerns'. However the reality is there's always room for improvement and everything is negotiable until it's signed.
Seek legal advice!
Beyond these two basic pieces of advice; at a minimum you should take a few minutes to read the following three publications.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture. May 2011
'3 Dozen Suggestions on Wind Power Leases for Farmers'
North Dakota State University. February 2009
'Wind Turbine Lease Considerations for Landowners'
Corn + Soybean Digest. March 2012
'Five Questions to Ask Before Signing a Wind-Energy Lease'