Fort Collins, CO asked in Energy, Oil and Gas for Colorado

Q: How do I find a lawyer to represent a land owner selling or leasing to a utility grade solar company?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: You may find attorneys advertising this particular expertise. Otherwise, you should look for real estate attorneys in your area. You could be proactive by finding the attorney now, or you can wait until you believe you have an offer/proposal from the solar company to then take with you to an attorney for review and advice. By getting an attorney involved early, you may be able to prevent yourself from tentatively committing to what you think is just the "business deal" or the letter of intent when in fact there are significant issues that you may have done well to include at that early stage of the negotiations (and that the solar company may be less likely to accept as a revision to a proposed contract after a letter of intent has already been signed).

Just a few of the things to consider: are you getting a guaranteed based payment? are you simply getting a royalty of profits? do you get guaranteed base payments even if they don't follow through with their development/project? or are you just giving them on option to use your land in which case you would start getting paid only once they are producing energy? From your question, you may still be unsure whether you want to sell or lease. Are you selling for an upfront payment and a participation/royalty interest? Do you retain a right of first refusal/offer to buy the property back in the event they don't follow through with the project? To what extent will they indemnify and defend you? To what extent are they responsible to return the property to its current state if/when the solar project is later shut down (especially if they are just leasing)?

A real estate attorney in Fort Collins or Denver could be a good fit for you as early in the negotiations as you are able to afford their help.

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