Leasing the sun—the landowner’s perspective

Leasing the sun—the landowner’s perspective

What are the key issues for landowners when considering using their land for solar generation? Sonya Bedford, partner and head of the renewable energy team at Stephens Scown Solicitors, explains what landowners need to know before they tie themselves to a solar deal.

What are the key things a landowner should consider if they are approached by a developer to lease land for the purpose of solar energy generation?

The landowner needs to consider the implications of what will be a long-term commitment of over 20 years. Their decision needs to sit alongside their long-term plans for the whole business, and in this context family members need to be involved in the decision-making process. There could be taxation implications, so it is vital that the landowner speaks with their financial advisors and/or accountants before committing their land and business to the generation of solar energy.

What is the typical structure and content of such a lease?

The lease is a business lease drawn up under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, with no security of tenure, and it will typically run for a 20–30 year term. Alienation is extremely important, as are restrictions on adjoining developments. It will also cover indemnities from both parties and the initial rent free period during the construction phase.

How does the lease affect the landowner’s rights to access the land?

The landowner will not have a right to acces

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