Know Before You Build

Guide to Renewable Energy for Landowners

Renewable energy projects are becoming more ubiquitous across the United States as a way to generate income and provide clean energy across the power grid. In recent years, many farmers and landowners have begun looking more seriously at alternative sources of income and energy generation for their operations. Renewable energy projects have become options that can have valuable and lasting impact for these needs. 

Common renewable energy projects are wind turbines and solar arrays. Wind turbines are large towers that produce electricity when their propellor-like blades turn a rotor spinning an energy generator. Solar panels generate energy through the photovoltaic effect where photons from the sun hit the array and that photon is converted into electrical energy. While the idea of beginning a project is appealing, the decision to partner with a developer or begin a renewable project on your own farm can be a daunting task. There is a lot of planning and research that goes into designing these projects to be as efficient as possible. When comparing a landowner installing a smaller project on their farm to a commercial utility-scale project there are a lot of differences. While both parties must work within a legal framework, the restrictions on landowners are much more lenient than those imposed on utility-scale projects. Typically for landowner projects, their energy source will connect with an electric meter on their property. For larger utility-scale projects it would run directly into the power grid. 

The following set of tips and suggestions provide a brief guide to the steps to starting a landowner or utility-scale renewable energy project. In order to better understand and share the process of installing a renewable energy project, the IN-ACRE team also traveled to three Indiana farms that have successfully implemented renewable energy projects.


Farmer Stories: Written Testimonials

Farmer Stories: Video Interviews

Downloads

By Hannah Latty and Carson Swofford

Special thanks to Indiana Land and Liberty Coalition and Hoosier for Renewables for providing us with valuable information used in this project.