Why solar land leasing?
Landowners and communities throughout North America are seeing first-hand how solar pays off. Allocating a portion of your land to lease for a solar farm opens up a diversified and dependable income stream. Responsibly designed solar can be a partner that supports the success of America’s farming communities for generations to come.
With thousands of acres under management, Lightsource bp is increasingly North America’s trusted partner for solar land leases that deliver secure, long-term income to landowners. Our approach to landowner partnerships stems from our deep knowledge of the rural economy. We sit down with you to understand your goals and requirements for your land and to explore whether ‘solar as a crop’ is right for you. And we consider closely the needs of the surrounding community and environment
Benefits of leasing land for responsible solar development
As a landowner and community member, by leasing some of your land for solar you can be proud you have enhanced the taxable value of the property on which the solar farm is built – meaning new revenues for local schools, counties, townships and cities. Lightsource bp will support your local community through the payment of these property and sales taxes through the life of the project.
Solar projects make quiet, non-intrusive neighbors. The solar farm will have similar characteristics to a field of corn in that it is only 4 to 10 feet high, with 10 feet being the peak height as the panels rotate during the day to follow the sun. Solar farms are enclosed by fencing and landscaping to minimize visual impacts and often add hundreds of trees to the neighborhood. As a good neighbor, solar farms don’t have wild parties or play polka music at 1am!
Creation of a solar farm is a long-term investment and Lightsource bp has a proven track record as a global leader in the development and operation of renewable energy. Lightsource bp is a 50:50 joint venture with bp, giving us the financial resources to live up to our promises. We are committed to the long-term operation of our projects. Lightsource bp maintains operational responsibilities of our facilities so you can always be assured of who will be there maintaining the site for the long-term future.
Our solar panels and equipment typically occupy only 30% of the leased land, leaving an array of opportunity for beneficial dual use. The design of the solar farm can incorporate grazing of small livestock like sheep, host pollinator gardens, and more. We pride ourselves on designing the solar installation to accommodate your farming priorities and practices, to ensure we are not limiting any adjacent agriculture.
Studies have examined property values in states across the United States and have found that large-scale solar arrays often have no measurable impact on the value of adjacent properties, and in some cases may even have positive effects. Proximity to solar farms also has not been found to deter the sales of surrounding agricultural or residential land. Solar farm development acts as a tool to preserve existing agricultural lands and allow the soils to rest and renew for future reintroduction into agricultural production. Once construction is completed, the majority of the solar project is allowed to go back to nature and seeded with a seed mix intended to enhance local biodiversity. Once the project is operational, physical disturbance of the land is minimal. Since the solar panels are mounted on posts, the growth of natural vegetation under the panels allows for a new ecosystem to develop including flora and fauna. The new permanent ecosystem allows for natural drainage and the interception of storm water.
Biodiversity and long-term land management plans
Once a solar farm is built, it becomes a nature haven that’s undisturbed for many years. We have seen plant and wildlife habitats increase at our solar farms, and we create environmental management plans for each of our solar farms with the goal of increasing local biodiversity. A customized long-term land maintenance plan will guarantee the highest productivity from the solar farm, and ensure it blends with the aesthetic character of your local community. At the end of the project the installation will be dismantled, removed and recycled without harming the land – we make sure that the land is returned to its original state, or better.
Farm rental income is considered a favorable revenue stream by banks and lenders, which has allowed our solar farm landowners to successfully secure further financing using the rental income. This also allows landowners to address and improve future financial planning for their business and family.
More resources for landowners
Coming on board
Terms of our lease are carefully crafted specifically for each landowner. If you’re interested in partnering on a solar project where you own the land, get in touch using the button below. Our team of solar experts will contact you to gather information and work with you to assess if a solar lease agreement is mutually beneficial. We look forward to working with you.
Hear from our landowners
Glenn and Catherine Dice: “We’ve been farming all our lives, owning 60 cows at one point and growing corn, wheat, alfalfa, and barley on what has become 700 acres in Franklin County, southwest of Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Now we’re leasing some of our land for solar farming and bringing a new kind of use for our land and producing another consumer product, solar energy.”
Linda and Stacy Musgrove: “It’s security for our children and grandchildren, who will all benefit. And we’re still going to be ranchers and have cattle in front of the solar, so it’s the best of both worlds.”
Gerald Cooper: “With ranching or farming, there’s no guarantee of income. You make your own check out of dirt. With solar, you’re guaranteed a check at the end of the year. I still enjoy farming, but solar has allowed me to enjoy it more because I don’t have the dread of the market dropping or of drought, which has been our biggest challenge.”
Joy Cooper: “Our dad was born on the land, which has been in our family for over 100 years. With solar, we’re able to keep the land in the family. The number one thing is that we will still have a connection to the land, and we’re comfortable that Lightsource bp will be good stewards.”
Empowering environmental sustainability
We increase environmental sustainability on our project sites through our Responsible Solar approach. Many of our solar farms are pollinator friendly, boost local biodiversity and have co-located agriculture.