Community solar projects can be developed on a wide range of sites, including municipal or private property. Along with agreements on the sale, transmission and purchase of electricity from the solar panels, developing community solar projects requires agreements on use of land or other property for power generation. This section provides guidance on issues and model agreements for site leases, easements and licenses.
On December 10, 2018, Urbana's City Council voted in favor of "A Resolution Approving an Option to Lease and a Ground Lease of Urbana Landfill Complex". Attached to the Resolution are an Option to Lease Agreement covering 41 acres in a closed landfill, a Form of Solar Facility Ground Lease, and a Form of Memorandum of Option to Lease.
The Solar Foundation – 2012
This document examines essential components for leasing municipal or private property for developing a solar power project.
Solar Energy Industries Association – 2016
Describes top questions for diligence on a solar developer that proposed to lease land, and key points that agreements between landowners and solar developers should address.
IREC – 2015
In addition to community solar projects serving multiple subscribers, other solar projects serve a single large electricity user. A municipal government may purchase all of the energy produced by the solar project. A retail solar power purchase agreement is a long-term contract to purchase power from a third-party owner and operator of a solar energy generation system. In this report, the model agreements are drafted for a municipal government to purchase all of the energy produced by the solar project.
Although a community solar project is different and involves multiple subscribers, this document provides several model agreements that can be used by a local government interested in pursuing a community solar project on municipally-owned land, including:
The report also provides a Model Power Purchase Agreement.
Revisions to these model site easement, lease and license agreements may be necessary for a community solar project. For example, the model site easement, lease and license agreements all contain language referring to an underlying power purchase agreement. In the context of a community solar project, this language would have to be removed, and other terms may have to be added.