Leasing Land for Solar Projects

Shining a Light on Agricultural Solar Energy Development Webinar Series 

Webinar overview

Solar energy developers are contacting farm owners to secure land for solar energy projects. In an effort to help farmers understand the renewable energy landscape, nuances of solar project leases, zoning considerations, and accompanying tax implications, MSU Extension, Michigan Farm Bureau, and the Michigan Energy Office held a series of meetings for farmers at various locations across the state. Farmers who participated in the programs left with valuable, practical knowledge to help them determine if a solar lease agreement is a sound decision for themselves and their community. MSU Extension staff with agriculture, lease agreements, tax, and zoning expertise provided the educational content. Two webinars were offered in addition to the statewide meetings. The content for each webinar is identical to what was presented at a meeting. Both webinars were recorded and can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

The first webinar addresses the following topics: 

  • Context for solar energy development on Michigan farmland.
  • Community vision for solar energy.
  • Zoning approaches.
  • Siting considerations for utility-scale solar.
  • Integrating solar with existing ag systems. 

The second webinar addresses these topics:

  • Understanding solar energy lease agreements.
  • Taxation guidance including impact of PA 116.

Handouts distributed at every meeting can be found here.

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