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We Encourage You to Ask Questions

Leasing land for a renewable energy project is a commitment, and we want to be as transparent as possible to make sure this opportunity is the right fit for you and your family. Our team is ready to answer any and all questions you may have.

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General Renewables Questions

If I lease my property to you, do you have the right to do anything you want on my land?

Tenaska seeks to maintain good working relationships with landowners. This includes being respectful of their land and keeping them updated on what activities will be occurring. During the development phase of renewables projects, studies may be conducted on your land to help determine the suitability for placing facilities. We strive to notify landowners in advance of this type of work, either by letter, email or phone.

Once we have completed the leasing process, during the design phase of development, we will create a formal layout that shows where the access roads, transmission lines and other facilities are expected to be located. We will discuss this layout with landowners and consider their feedback as we continue to refine the layout. In reality, the layout could change up to and during construction, but we will keep landowners updated on changes that could impact them.

Will Tenaska ever sell my lease to another company?

Each lease is tied to a specific project. Tenaska may decide to sell a project to another company interested in developing or owning renewables projects. In fact, Tenaska has had good success in working with other companies to bring renewables projects to fruition. Rest assured, Tenaska seeks out like-minded companies that are committed to honest and ethical dealing and that place a priority on working with landowners and communities. In most cases, Tenaska remains involved with the project throughout the development process.

Does Tenaska have the right to condemnation or eminent domain?

No. Tenaska does not have the right to condemnation or eminent domain. Landowner participation in the project is voluntary.

How many jobs will this project create? Will you hire locally?

Construction will offer employment opportunities to qualified local laborers and skilled craft workers. When Tenaska develops a renewables project, we typically hire an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The EPC contractor performs design, completes engineering and manages construction of the plant. The EPC contractor also awards construction materials contracts and subcontracts for certain portions of the work. Our construction contractors have typically made an effort to hire workers from the local area, and Tenaska encourages this when possible. Some specialized work may require skills that are not available regionally.

How will construction impact local road use?

Prior to the start of construction, we will work with state and county agencies (as appropriate) to develop a detailed road use plan of the expected transportation routes, the number of trucks and maximum truck weights. The plan will also document the existing condition of the roadways and provide for any needed repairs related to our project.

What if you damage my property during construction?

We ask in advance for landowners to identify the location of drain tiles, irrigation pivots, terraces or underground equipment on their property. We strive to minimize any potential impact, but in the event there is damage, we will fix it and cover the cost.

Will the community have a say in these projects?

Yes, renewables projects are only possible when enough landowners want to lease or sell their land. In some cases, such as wind farms, there can be hundreds of landowners involved. Further, these projects must adhere to local zoning and use ordinances, which typically specify an approval process that incorporates public feedback.

If a property is sold to a new owner, will the new owner be required to be part of the project?

Yes, the lease agreement goes with the property and will be transferred to the new owner. The new owner will also be entitled to receive all payments due under the lease agreement for the duration that they own the property.

Wind Farm Questions

What makes a good location for a wind farm?

We develop wind farms where there is nearby access to the transmission system, wind that blows at the right speed for a prolonged amount of time, a large amount of land with interested owners and a community that is invested in its economic benefits.

Should I be concerned about shadow flicker?

Tenaska reviews the land before building a wind farm to ensure proper planning and siting. Special attention is paid to shadow flicker, which generally occurs near sunrise and sunset, lasting only a few minutes. It is based on the angle of the sun in relation to the turbine and the person observing the effect. If needed, slight adjustments can be made to comply with the industry standard of no more than 30 hours per year of modeled realistic shadow flicker at a receptor.

Will the wind turbines produce a lot of sound?

Wind turbines produce minimal sound that is often lost among natural background noises. Typically, two people can carry on a conversation at normal voice levels while standing directly below a turbine.

Does the presence of a wind farm impact property values?

The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory recently conducted a study to determine if wind farms impacted property values in urban and non-urban counties. Urban counties are defined as populations greater than or equal to 250,000 with non-urban areas defined as a population less than 250,000. There are a lot of market conditions and factors that influence home values: quality of local school, tax valuation, availability of homes, condition of home – just to name a few. It is hard to pinpoint just one factor that creates a change in home value. Generally, we find that a land agreement (option, lease, pore space agreement, etc.) adds value to a property since it provides an additional, typically passive, income stream.

This study found zero evidence of adverse impacts on long-term property values in rural areas, where the majority of wind projects are constructed. In fact, wind farms are drivers for economic development in host communities. They bring with them an increase in tax revenue, an addition of local construction jobs, increased income to local landowners through lease payments and the trickle-down impact on the local economy.

How will a wind turbine impact land use on my property?

Leasing your property for a wind project will have little impact on your land use. A small portion of land — approximately two-thirds of an acre per turbine — is needed for siting of wind turbines and access roads. The remainder of your land can continue to be used in its current state for farming, ranching, leasing, recreation or other purposes.

Does the sound from wind farms affect people’s health?

There is no authoritative evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents. First, wind turbines are generally quiet. When standing 1,000 feet away, the sound level of a wind turbine is similar to a refrigerator humming in the next room. Typically, two people can carry on a conversation at normal voice levels even while standing directly below a turbine.

That said, wind turbine sound may be one of the most easily misunderstood issues related to wind energy projects. Unfortunately, rumors persist about sound from wind turbines affecting human health. The reality is that a multitude of independent studies and government health organizations from around the world have found no link between human health and wind turbine sound.

How do wind turbines impact wildlife?

Research shows that wind projects rank near the bottom of the list of developments that negatively impact wildlife and the environment. Tenaska works to reduce impacts on wildlife by performing various engineering and environmental studies on land to carefully plan turbine placement. These studies analyze migration patterns, local geology, soil characteristics, wetlands and wildlife habitats to ensure turbine placement is as safe, minimally invasive and efficient as possible. Special attention is paid to sensitive species, such as eagles and bats.

What happens to the wind turbines at the end of my contract?

Before a project is built, developers create a plan for removing equipment and restoring landowners’ property to its previous condition when the project is no longer operational. This process is called decommissioning. Many local municipalities and state governments require decommissioning plans as a permitting condition.

After the contract period ends, all turbines and access roads are removed, and any damages are repaired so that the land may be used for other purposes. From construction of the wind farm to its decommissioning, all costs are completely covered.

Solar Farm Questions

What makes a good location for a solar farm?

We develop solar farms where there is nearby access to the transmission system, a sufficient amount of sun exposure, a large amount of land with interested owners and a community that is invested in its economic benefits.

What does a solar farm include?

Most of a solar farm consists of solar panels mounted on racking structures, collectively called the solar panel array, in addition to an operations and maintenance building, inverters, perimeter fencing, a transformer and electrical lines.

Do solar farms create health risks?

There are no proven health risks from solar farms. In fact, solar farms are known for having a positive benefit on air quality. Solar farms generate clean, renewable power with zero air emissions and often replace older and less efficient fossil fuel-based sources of power with significant air emissions. Solar panels are commonly installed on homes, schools and parking lots and in close proximity to major airports.

Does the presence of a solar farm impact property values?

There are a number of factors that influence property values and the housing market, and no credible studies have shown an association between the presence of an operating solar farm and negative long-term impact on the value of adjacent properties. Various reviews of solar farms and neighboring property values and home sales have confirmed there is no long-term impact.

Do solar farms cause glare?

For optimal power generation, solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight, not reflect it. Glint/glare studies can be performed to assess potential impact. Airports commonly install solar arrays for power generation without experiencing glare issues.

Do solar panels produce sound?

Solar panels do not produce sound, but the inverters that change the current of electricity from DC to AC do produce a slight hum that is not audible past the property boundaries. Solar projects are considered quiet neighbors.

How do solar panels impact wildlife?

We have environmental experts who conduct an environmental analysis to understand any impacts on wildlife. Solar projects have been known to provide habitats for birds and pollinators with project landscaping and ground cover. Local and state jurisdictions often require studies to be performed to assess the impact to certain species of wildlife, such as rare, threatened or endangered species studies. Other impacts are assessed in a site-specific environmental site assessment.

What happens to the solar panels at the end of my contract?

Before a project is built, developers create a plan for removing equipment and restoring landowners’ property to its previous condition when the project is no longer operational. This process is called decommissioning. Many local municipalities and state governments require decommissioning plans as a permitting condition.

After the contract period ends, all solar panels and related equipment are removed, and any damages are repaired so that the land may be used for other purposes. From construction of the solar farm to its decommissioning, all costs are completely covered.

Battery Storage Questions

What is a battery energy storage system (BESS)?

Utility-scale, battery energy storage systems are large banks of batteries connected to the electric grid. Battery energy storage systems add greater reliability and resilience to the electrical grid. During times of peak energy generation, such as when power from solar or wind is in abundance, batteries can be charged to capture excess generation. Batteries can then discharge this stored generation into the grid during times of peak energy demand.

How do battery energy storage systems work?

A battery energy storage system (BESS) facility is designed to store power from the power grid (charge) when there is an excess of power being produced and release power back to the power grid (discharge) when there is a shortage of power being produced.

What are the benefits of hosting this BESS in our community?

Battery energy storage systems provide many benefits to the community:

  • Improved electric reliability for local homes and businesses with no pollution.
  • Added tax revenue for local government and new construction jobs with no increase in traffic or new demand for public services.
  • Improved public health by reducing air pollution, which benefits all customers but especially highly impacted communities and populations that are disproportionately affected by air pollution.

How does a BESS help our electric grid become more stable and modern?

Battery energy storage systems help our grid in many ways:

  • Help utilities manage the cost of electricity by storing excess energy until it is needed and delivering power more quickly and efficiently than traditional generators.
  • Ensure that the grid can quickly meet rapid spikes in demand, reducing the chances of blackouts or brownouts.
  • Reduce the reliance on expensive, inefficient fossil-fueled peaking plants to meet increases in demand for power.

What type of sound is emitted during the charging and discharging of the batteries?

Battery storage facilities are quiet when operating. There are little to no moving parts, and the equipment is housed in a custom- built enclosure that muffles sound.

Are there any radiation or fire-related safety risks associated with the technology?

Battery storage devices do not generate radiation and involve little to no fire risk when properly designed, installed, tested and operated. The battery storage systems contain protection and control features, including a battery management system that shuts down when operational environments are anything less than optimal. There are multiple redundancies built in, and the project team works closely with the local fire marshal and permitting authorities to ensure all safety precautions are taken.

What is the lifetime of the project?

Battery energy storage projects last 15-20 years depending on the project’s operations.

Will the project increase traffic, lighting, smells or air pollution?

After construction, battery energy storage systems create little to no additional traffic and use minimal lighting. During operation, BESS do not emit any toxic odors or air pollution. In fact, installing BESS as part of your community’s electric grid can improve air quality and reduce the need for fossil-fueled sources of electricity generation.

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Everyone’s land is unique, which is why we want you to connect with a Tenaska representative to discuss the process, ask questions and learn about benefits specific to you and your land. Start by filling out this form.

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