As more states, companies and neighborhoods adopt green energy alternatives like solar power, it is important for any commercial property owner to consider how to protect their investment.
It takes time and money to design, apply for municipal permits and properly install a solar system. However, it can be a great boon to a business as it helps offset electricity costs — if it has access to adequate sunlight. Easements are a way of protecting that sunlight access.
What are solar easements?
An easement is a right to use or cross another’s property. This might be a utility’s wires or pipes. It may also be a driveway on one property to access another. Solar easements are the rights to sunshine over the day so that solar panels can generate their expected output. If something blocks the sunlight, there is a lesser return on investment.
What goes into a solar easement?
These are voluntary agreements between real estate owners. As the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency describes, solar easements in Utah have a few required details including:
- A description of the property and surrounding, affected properties
- A description of the solar skyspace the solar panels need access to
- Provisions for compensation if one party clutters up the airspace for the solar system
When drafting these easements, it is important to have all the information up-to-date and enforceable. When a company invests in green energy, it may be worth investing in clear solar easement agreements that help protect a solar system’s access to sunlight.