Effective July 1, 2011, wind and solar project developers in the state of Kansas are subject to a number of new requirements.  These new requirements were proposed in Kansas Senate Bill 227, which was introduced by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Senator Carolyn McGinn.  The Bill passed through Committee and the Kansas House and Senate in a mere three weeks, and was signed by Governor Brownback on April 13, 2011.

The new requirements fall into the following categorie:

Severance of Wind and Solar Rights: The statute states that no person other than the surface owner of a tract of land shall have the right to use the land for the production of wind or solar generated energy unless granted such right by the lawful owner of the surface estate by lease or easement for a definite period.  This new law is in-line with a national trend against severance of wind and solar rights, and effectively prohibits a landowner from selling the wind or solar rights to a project developer while retaining the ownership of the underlying property.

This is not a retroactive requirement. Those  agreements signed prior to July 1, 2011 are still valid. Wind and solar are increasingly becoming hot topics when discussing land and ranch sales in Kansas. Many surface owners would love to sell their surface rights, but retain wind and solar as a everlasting income potential that won't directly affect the surface owner- at least not right away. However, you and I can see the infinite danger associated with a wind or solar lease coming into play on a beautiful piece of Kansas irrigated land. Determining the damages and fees to a surface owner is hard to do fairly. Unlike oil and gas which after the initial drilling and delivery systems are in place, leave very little on the surfac; wind and solar have the potential for greatly changing the landscape and a farmers ability to farm. I'm not going to sway hard to one side or the other, but for now lets just say that the State of Kansas have taken the possible complexities of severed wind and solar rights and greatly simplified them. For better or worse.

Posted by Super Admin on


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