“Why are your leases only up to 45 years?"
This is a question we get all the time from potential landowners, and one that has multiple and varying answers.
We’ll highlight several of the reasons why our standard leases typically go up to 45 years.
Solar panels are, in general, made to withstand high and direct heat from the sun, to varying degrees based on the type. There are several different types of panels that developers (like us) will choose based on the location of their projects as the local climate affects project longevity and other aspects such as construction timelines.
No matter the type, all solar panels will have a limited lifespan where they will naturally degrade and not be as efficient for producing electricity and will need to be replaced. This is one reason why our leases typically are at a maximum for 45 years. We do offer an option of increasing the lease in five year increments after the 45 years, but that is dependent on a case-by-case basis.
With the solar industry booming in the past few years there are many efforts to make the technology of solar panels be much more efficient than its predecessor. In fact, the solar panels that are used today are about 20% more efficient than they were just five years ago. Much of this has to do with the ongoing research and development being done by companies within the industry.
Needs of the Landowner
Many of our current landowners are in the 50+ age group. The main reason many of them state for becoming a solar site host with us is to earn enough income to keep the land within the family. Plus, unlike other community solar developers, our landowners still own 100% of the land. This means that at the end of the lease we return the area back to how we found it and the landowners can then do what they want with it.
In the case that the site is part of generational land, we understand that the next generation of owners might not want to extend the lease and want to use the land for other reasons. This is a big part of why we keep the lease terms to a maximum of 45 years. We want to ensure that solar remains an option for landowners long into the future.
Interested in becoming a landowner with us? Hop over to our Property Owners page and read through our basic requirements. If you meet them, apply to have your land assessed!