Minnesota Solar/Wind Easement Law & Local Law Options

Program Minnesota Solar/Wind Easement Law & Local Law Options
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Minnesota
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

Minnesota law provides for the creation of solar and wind easements for solar and wind-energy systems. As in many other states, these easements are voluntary contracts. However, unlike similar provisions in other states, Minnesota law specifically provides for wind easements in addition to solar easements. For tax purposes, an easement imposed on a property may decrease the property value, but an easement which benefits a property may not add value to that property.

Solar and Wind Easements must be created in writing and shall be filed, duly recorded, and indexed in the office of the recorder of the county in which the easement is granted. The easements shall run with the land and constitute a perpetual easement, except when pursuant to the termination by the included conditions. The created document must include a description of the involved properties, any terms or conditions under which the easement is granted or may be terminated and any provisions for compensation of the owner of the real property benefiting from the easement in the event of interference with the enjoyment of the easement, or compensation of the owner of the real property subject to the easement for maintaining the easement.

Minnesota law also allows local zoning boards to restrict development for the purpose of protecting access to sunlight. In addition, zoning bodies may create variances in zoning rules in situations where practical difficulties, such as lack of access to sunlight for solar-energy devices, impinge on a particular property.

Cities can create regulations on the construction and siting of small wind energy conversion systems, but not outwardly ban them.

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