solar farm; rows of solar panels on a hill side
Image by Michael Mees

Solar Leases and Farms

Solar Leases and Farms

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) has set the goal that 70 percent of the state's electricity must come from renewable sources by 2030. Currently solar accounts for one percent, wind energy for three percent, and hydroelectric produces 23 percent of New York’s power. In order for the state to meet the current goal, solar energy production, along with other renewable energy sources, must increase substantially.

Good farmland and good solar land have a lot in common. Many farmers in our region have been approached by solar developers interested in leasing land. There are real benefits to consider, not the least is a guaranteed long-term passive income source that can help smooth out the feast and famine cycle that is farm income. On Tuesday, October 26th, Cornell University held a statewide workshop delving into some of the issues that may come up for landowners when navigating the solar leasing process.

Caroline Boutard-Hunt, agricultural educator at CCE Yates has written up an article on things landowners should consider when reading through and negotiating a solar lease, summarized from a presentation given by Scott Kurkoski at the Navigating Solar Lease Agreements and the Solar Development Process: A Program for NY Farmers and Rural Landowners conference.

Presentation links from the Navigating Solar Leases and the Solar Development Process Program:

Last updated November 15, 2021