Solar and Wind Easements & Local Option Rights Laws

Program Solar and Wind Easements & Local Option Rights Laws
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.

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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