The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
A recent story in The New York Times describes a unique approach to working with wind farm developers. The item describes how ranchers in southeastern Wyoming have bundled their wind rights together into co-ops in order to bargain as a signle unit with potential developers. The co-op means all participants have equal footing in the negotiations and protects individuals from selling their wind rights at below market rates.
Eight wind co-ops have been formed and three more are in the formation process, the story, written by Felicity Barringer, indicates. It also states similar associations have been formed in Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.
The co-ops allow participation by landowners whose land may not be involved in the wind farm, but will be affected if a host of wind turbines are built nearby. This assures "that everybody will have some income whether they have a turbine placed on their property or not," a co-op leader is quoted as saying. While each association is unique, the story indicates that one of the co-ops will pay out 55% of total annual wind royalties to landowners who have turbines on their properties. The remiander will be distributed among all co-op members, both those with turbines and those without. Interesting.
Click here to see the story.
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