I just received a notice that three of my leases (160 acres) are within the boundary of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in proposed for Carbon County, Wyoming and is due to start construction in 2014. One lease in particular could be affected directly by this project.
After talking to the Power Company of Wyoming (the developer), the State of Wyoming, the Wyoming OGCC, and an oil and gas attorney in Wyoming I am still confused as to what I should watch for. According to the notice none of my leases will have a wind turbine put on them but one section proposed for a turbine is next to mine. The attorney was the most help but the other agencies could not give me a definitive answer on what to expect.
Has anyone gotten this same notice or had this same experience with a non O/G company planning to develop on top of a lease? What kind of compensation, if any, should I expect to receive by just being within the boundary? Maybe they will need to build an access road thru my lease to get to the next section? I am told that my sub-surface rights override other rights as long as I was there first and I am.
Is this a good or bad thing for a sub-surface lease holder?
Any ideas on this would be much appreciated.
Well, I saw Mr. Pickens on television last week, and he said that we would have to see $6 natural gas before the windfarm would be economically feasible.
At one time, he was going to build the world's largest windfarm in the Texas Panhandle. His contract was well thought out and addressed the issue of oil and gas production.
After he canceled the project, we got offers from a couple of other developers. We sat down and read the contracts, and there were so many holes and problem issues that we decided to opt out of the project.
Windfarms pay royalties just like mineral interest, but they are different in that if you get a unit placed on your property you get paid. If not, you don't get paid. There is no pooling.
These projects will not stand on their own merits. They require subsidies to survive. Given the uncertain nature of the political situation, I would opt out. Later, if the project actually materializes, then perhaps you can be infilled.
If you only own the mineral and not the surface property, I don't see how a windfarm could affect you.
Robert V. Gill
I was told by everybody including the attorney that sub-surface mineral rights are the primary mineral rights over surface rights so with that I am came away thinking that even if they did something on the surface I am also impacted...positively or negatively. I never considered the pooling angle of this. It's something I'll have to get back on the phone and ask about.
Thanks for the reply!