Our team is working to develop an understanding of the current legal landscape, economic, and community factors relating to utility-scale solar development. We will share research-based information and training on legal issues, community and environmental concerns, and train stakeholders, farmers, landowners, Extension, state officials, and legal professionals on best practices for utility-scale solar development.
Rural communities and landowners are increasingly faced with questions about land leasing for renewable energy production. Long-term implications can exist for landowners and communities if the agreements are not well understood from the start.
Communities need to be aware of the ways energy leases signed by local landowners with solar firms are likely to have significant impacts beyond their immediate administrative, permitting, and taxation interests, with potential impact on regional farming, agricultural service, and other agricultural supply chain businesses, as well as on the advent of new business and employment opportunities in the solar industry.
There is potential for solar projects to generate needed additional revenue for farm and ranch families through increasing landowners buying power from new income, and to create additional employment opportunities in rural communities for landowners from jobs affiliated with solar energy development.