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Renewable Energy Projects: Considerations for landowners

Renewable Energy Projects: Considerations for landowners

Rebecca Jeffriess

With the Australian government striving to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, landowners have seen a significant increase in renewable energy companies approaching them to explore the opportunity for creating a source of renewable energy on their properties.

Given the competitive nature of this activity, quite often the first step for the energy company is to sign up landowners to a non-disclosure agreement including exclusivity and a locked in number of years for their exploration and feasibility studies to take place.

What to look out for as a landowner when approached by a renewable energy company
  1. Take your time to consider how the project will impact the agricultural productivity of your property.  This is important throughout all of the phases such as feasibility, construction and ongoing energy generation.  What will this do to your profitability and cashflow?
  2. Seek advice before signing any documentation, even if the initial figures seem low. There are complex taxation treatments for different types of agreements which can be negotiated by having quality legal and taxation advisers on board.
  3. Research the company who is engaging with you. Do they have other projects?  Have they acted in good faith with other property owners?  Do they have an active project site you can visit to gauge how the project will practically work?
  4. Other than the land use, are there other potential impacts to your property? Will the developer require water and gravel that is needed for your agricultural activities?
  5. How does the community feel about renewable energy? Are there impacts to neighbouring properties or townships which may damage relationships? 
How can Moore Australia help
Our business advisors can provide you with a holistic perspective on renewable energy projects, assist you with navigating discussions, reviewing and documenting your operational considerations and providing advice on tax considerations for growth sustainability.