Farmers and small business owners across the U.S. are beginning to discover that clean, renewable energy is a new cash crop with a very bright future.
Need a little proof? Take a look at “Farm Energy Success Stories,” a compilation of recent experiences published by the Environmental Law & Policy Center. There, you can read about an Illinois dairy farm that generates electricity from manure and a Montana brewery that runs on solar power.
So what makes farming and energy so well aligned? Farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses hold the key to providing more energy independence and a cleaner environment. Tracts of land can be used to support wind farms, often with little disruption to the farmer’s primary business. Dairies or poultry farms can utilize processes that both reduce animal waste and produce energy. And all of these efforts mean less carbon in the air and more energy independence. Because of the importance of these goals, grants and tax incentives are often available for energy farmers, as are programs that permit electricity to be sold back to the utility.
An energy development project, however, requires careful cultivation. There are always questions before the process begins, and answers are often difficult to find. Energy-Farmer.org was started by attorneys (friendly attorneys!) who have a history of helping landowners and small businesses get an energy project planted and growing. Have a question about an option agreement that a wind developer has proposed? We’ve advised on dozens of them. Wondering how to best negotiate with wind developers? We successfully conducted the first competitive bidding and “cooperative bargaining” process east of the Mississippi. Wondering how to get interconnected with the local utility? We’ve been there and done that. Looking for help outisde renewable energy? We’re experienced in Oil & Gas Leasing, too.
We hope that this site answers some of your questions. Please stop back often, because we’ll continue to build our library of information. In the meantime, we’re sure that you will have specific questions that deserve specific answers. We’d enjoy talking with you — just fill out the “Need Help?” box on our home page for a complimentary consultation. It may be your first step to discovering a new cash crop – clean, renewable energy!