WIND FARM OBJECTORS CLAIM LANDOWNERS WILL HAVE TO PAY TO TAKE DOWN OLD TURBINES

first_imgLandowners across Donegal who lease land to wind farm companies may be liable for the future costs of decommissioning the giant turbines, it has been claimed.The claim was made by the Glenties Wind Farm Information group who say they have received legal advice on the matter.The group, who are leading on oral hearing into the 25 turbine wind farm at Straboy next Tuesday, issued a statement to Donegal Daily last night. The group claims “It is a common practice that the applicant companies, once they have obtained the relative planning permissions and grid connection for wind farms then proceed to sell on this permission encompassing the lease agreements with local landowners for the location of the wind farms.“While this in itself is totally legal and above board it can have future implications for the landlords agreement with the leasee and can result in the landowner being held responsible in the future for the cost of the removal of structures associated with the wind farm from their lands.”The group says wind farms are often leased from landowners by the developers for periods of 20-30 years with landowners getting various lump sum payments as well as a yearly rent of €15,000 or more per turbine.The statement from GWFIG said “A landowner with four turbines on his or her land could earn more than €2 million over the lifetime of such a lease. “What happens when the wind farm reaches the end of its life?“Leases typically have clauses where the developer promises to remove and decommission the turbines and make good any damage to the land.”The windfarm group says problems can arise where the developer company goes bust and cannot decommission the wind farm or simply abandons the wind farm.It says that it would seem likely that the landowners would have to pay for the decommissioning.“Otherwise, the developer company may sell its interest in the wind farm to another company who might seek to avoid the responsibility of decommissioning. “Donegal County Council granted planning permission to Straboy Wind Energy Ltd with a planning condition that the developer would give security to the Council to secure the satisfactory reinstatement of the site.“But the Department of the Environment (Heritage and Local Government) in their Guidelines for wind energy, advise that the use of long-term bonds to secure reinstatement of wind farm sites “puts an unreasonable burden on developers” and is “difficult to enforce”.It adds that if the developer company sell its interest in the wind farm to another company, that company may wish to say it is not responsible for any security to decommission the site.“In these circumstances, it would seem likely that the landowners would have to pay for the decommissioning.” American analysts have put forward decommissioning costs of the order of €70,000 ($100,000) per turbine.WIND FARM OBJECTORS CLAIM LANDOWNERS WILL HAVE TO PAY TO TAKE DOWN OLD TURBINES was last modified: October 11th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GLENTIES WIND FARM INFORMATION GROUPLANDOWNERSOLDpayTURBINESlast_img

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