Wind & Solar Energy

Initial Site Assessment, Budget Estimates, Lease Negotiations, Community Outreach

Wind and solar energy companies face some daunting challenges when seeking surface sites to install a wind farm or solar array, especially in areas saturated with current or past oil and gas drilling and development activities.  Even if a site meets selection criteria and the surface owner is willing to lease, the company may run into other encumbrances on the property which affect project feasibility, timeline and budget. These encumbrances could include active oil and gas leases, oil and gas production, pipeline and other easements. In states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico and a few others, subsurface mineral rights have been severed from surface ownership for many decades. In most of these states, the mineral estate is dominant to the surface estate. When land is encumbered by an active oil and gas lease or held by production and therefore subject to further development, it’s important to determine if the other mineral and leasehold interest owners are willing to cooperate or waive some of their rights to accommodate wind or solar equipment.

TWW landmen assist alternative energy companies with site assessment and budget estimates, before the company spends money on costly abstracts of title from local title companies. Our landmen:

    • Contact subsurface leasehold and mineral owners to assess their willingness to cooperate
    • Conduct cursory research in the area to determine the availability and quality of online courthouse/abstract plant records which in turn affects the time involved and cost of researching all encumbrances
    • Conduct cursory title research to determine how fractured the mineral and surface ownership may be
    • Compile a preliminary list of interested parties
    • Contact the surface owners to determine if there are any unrecorded surface leases such as for hunting, farming or grazing livestock

Taking these steps before ordering an expensive abstract of title helps companies determine budget estimates and manage their projects in a more reasonable and realistic manner.

After the site is selected, TWW landmen are available to:

    • Negotiate surface leases
    • Negotiate waivers between competing interest owners
    • Conduct title curative
    • Provide GIS/custom mapping
    • Aid in community outreach and establishing invaluable relations between the company and the community leaders
    • Assist with permitting and surveying consultation