Solar Leases require the landlord/property owner to consent to various types of “future easements” as part of the leasing process. Examples of the easements include the following:
- Access Easement;
- Utilities Easement; and
- Solar Easement
The Solar Company will require the landlord/property owner to grant the Solar Company/tenant an easement for vehicular and pedestrian ingress and egress to and from their Solar Facilities on the landlord/property owner’s property. Access Easements typically include rights to travel on and over adjoining lands that the landlord/property owner owns but may not be part of the overall project. The landlord/property owner should seek to limit Access Easements and designate as precisely as possible where any Access Easement can be located. For example, a landlord/property owner may wish to designate a certain, specific area or general area on their property where the company may access their Solar Facilities. It is important to limit the size and location of any Access Easement to eliminate unpleasant surprises in the future. The landlord/property owner should also seek future consent on the location of any Access Easement, even if such consent cannot be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed. All easements should be limited as much as possible.
The Solar Company will require an easement for planning, designing, constructing, installing, operating, and maintaining their electric wiring, distribution lines, and transmission lines across the landlord’s/property owner’s property and possibly into neighboring property owned by the landlord/property owner buy not included in the project area. A Utilities Easement is required by the Solar Company to allow the company to transmit the energy from the Solar Project to the ultimate electricity tie-in location.
As with all easements, the landlord/property owner should attempt to limit the size and scope of thew easement and seek to define the location of the easement. And as always, the Solar Company/tenant should seek approval of future easement locations, even if this location approval is conditioned on not being unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed in the future.
Solar Companies will require that the landlord/property owner grant the company the exclusive right to capture sunlight or solar insulation. Solar Easements typically require that the landlord/property owner not install any structures that would obstruct or impair sunlight or solar insulation to the solar project. Items that could occlude sunlight or solar insulation include trees, vegetation, or buildings. The Solar Company typically requires that it has full discretion to determine whether any such obstruction will impede their access to sunlight. Landlords/property owners must consider Solar Easement restrictions when negotiating a Solar Lease.