North Dakota's solar easement law is similar to those established by many other states. The law allows a property owner to obtain a solar easement from another property owner for the purpose of ensuring adequate exposure of a solar energy system to sunlight. A solar easement must include:
The vertical and horizontal angles, expressed in degrees, at which the solar easement extends over the real property subject to the solar easement;
Any terms, conditions, or both under which the solar easement is granted or will be terminated; and
Any provisions for compensation of the owner of the property benefiting from the solar easement in the event of interference with the enjoyment of the solar easement or compensation of the owner of the property subject to the solar easement for maintaining the solar easement.
Solar easements must be created in writing and are subject to the same conveyancing and instrument recording requirements as other easements.
North Dakota allows property owners to grant an easement that ensures adequate exposure of a wind energy system to wind. The easement runs with the land benefited and burdened, and terminates upon the conditions stated in the easement. Easements are presumed to be abandoned if construction or operation has not begun within 36 months. The statute includes a process and timeline for termination of the easement in this event.
The statutes authorizing the creation of wind easements include several provisions to protect property owners. For example, a wind easement may not make the property owner liable for any property tax associated with the wind energy system or other equipment related to wind energy generation. In addition, the owner of the wind energy system must carry general liability insurance for damage or injury arising from the construction or operation of the wind energy facility project site.
North Dakota also provides guidelines for wind option agreements (contracts in which the owner of a property gives another the right to produce energy from wind power on that property at a fixed price within a time period of up to five years) and wind leases.