Landowner Resources

Apex Clean Energy is an American company harvesting the wind and the sun with the help of farmers, landowners, and communities across the country.

$329 million

in landowner lease payments since 2009

2.2 million

average U.S. homes powered by Apex projects

1 million

acres under lease—larger than the state of Rhode Island

29

Apex-originated facilities now operating

400 professionals

at our headquarters and across the country

Why work with Apex?

Why work with Apex?

We are a values-driven company.

Apex lives by its five core values of Safety, Professionalism, Integrity, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability, and we integrate this commitment into everything we do. Whether through our deep relationships with project communities, our innovative conservation grant program, or our ability to adapt our projects to complement the community’s vision, we ground our work in staying true to these core principles. We are built to ensure that our community partners feel involved and informed throughout the leasing, permitting, construction, and operation of their projects, and we place great value in going above and beyond what is required to make sure we are meeting community needs at all times.

We work with you.

Apex has the most dedicated and well-resourced public engagement team in the clean energy industry. This means we have the time and the people to build relationships with landowners, local officials, and community members that are personal and responsive—not just transactional. It also means we invest in community needs, whether through our community grant program, which has funded more than $2.7 million in community-driven projects across the country; unique local investments like community broadband; or a novel community benefits agreement.

We are constantly looking for ways to ensure that the projects we build create value for the entire community. With this in mind, we’ve implemented innovative lease structures, customized profit-sharing opportunities, and community-driven design processes throughout our portfolio. Our core value of entrepreneurship keeps us nimble and creative, and we are driven to think creatively about how our projects can support the communities that host them.

We’re in it for the long haul.

Apex has the capability to develop, construct, own, and operate our clean energy projects, so in most cases, our company will be with you throughout the entire project life cycle. We build long-term relationships knowing that the time and energy we invest today will continue to pay dividends throughout our decades of partnership.

We know clean energy.

Apex’s growing staff of energy professionals possesses expertise in everything from geographic information systems and land administration to environmental permitting and transmission planning and policy. You can feel confident that the people working on your project are deeply invested in ensuring it meets the highest standards of quality and excellence. Furthermore, this allows us to fully integrate our expert workforce, leading to more creative problem solving, deeper levels of understanding, and the ability to be highly responsive to changing needs on the ground.

We don’t quit when things get tough.

Thanks to our highly integrated expert team, Apex has demonstrated a unique ability to find success in some of the most challenging environments in America. Some of our competitors say we’re “scrappy,” but we say we know what it takes to build renewable energy projects under difficult circumstances. It takes creativity, commitment, values, and grit. It takes deep, trusting partnerships, a track record of honesty and integrity, and the will to never give up. Any infrastructure builder will tell you it is getting harder and harder every day to get projects done. We are up to the challenge and our portfolio proves it.

Meet Our Partners

No project is possible without the support of the landowners and communities that host renewable energy facilities. Hear firsthand from those who have been through the process.

Hoopeston, Illinois

“We’re capitalizing on a natural resource. I can diversify my acreage, and the landowners that live locally spend their dollars back in the community.”

Pete Hatfield, Farmer
Project: Hoopeston Wind

Everly, Iowa

“It’s an economic development boom, both for the town and the county. It’s great for the community. … You have an opportunity here, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t let it slip away. It’s too good not to take advantage of.”

Bud Meyer, Resident and Former Mayor

“Now our little town is exciting.”

Arlene Meyer, Resident

Project: Upland Prairie

 

Kay County, Oklahoma

“With the wind, it’s a steady flow of money coming in, and that’s what we liked about it.”

Doug Merz, Farmer
Project: Kay Wind

Water Valley, Texas

“The best part is the revenue that it’s going to bring into our school district. We’re a pretty small school and a lot of our facilities are outdated. We just recently passed a $60 million bond at the Water Valley Independent School District so that we can start renovating some of the outdated facilities. It’s going to help our kids a lot. That’s a direct result from the wind farm.”

Tim Teagarden, Rancher
Project: Aviator Wind

 

New York, Nebraska, Michigan, and more

Hear from officials, in their own words, from seven towns across the country as they highlight how the hard work of considering and ultimately approving the development of a wind farm is yielding the benefits promised from day one.

Local Elected Officials
Projects: Various

A Standard Project Timeline

Skip to after timeline

Development (2+ years)

 

The future site of Apex’s 80 MW Dragonfly Solar project.

 

 

 

Construction (9 to 12 months)

 

 

 

 

 

Operations (25 to 30 years)

 

Skip to before timeline

Clean Energy FAQs

We’re sure you have questions about whether clean energy is right for you and your community. Apex is committed to open, honest, and transparent communication with our partners, so let us know if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

How does leasing work?

Apex leases are designed to protect the rights of the private property owner while ensuring that the company has the legal right to build energy facilities on the property. The Apex lease outlines corporate commitments to the landowner, including payment and notification terms. The lease also outlines a landowner’s commitments to Apex, including an agreement to protect the wind resource and an acknowledgment that the landowner cannot sign a lease with another wind or solar energy company for the same parcel. We encourage landowners to read the lease document carefully and to seek legal counsel as part of their review.

Are landowner agreements confidential?

In order to make land leases legally binding, proof that the land has been leased must be filed with the local county clerk. Once filed, this information may be available to the public. However, in most cases, the terms of the lease agreements are proprietary and should remain confidential.

Will anything be placed on my property without my permission?

Project components will only be sited on private properties whose owners sign a lease agreement. All agreements are fully voluntary between landowners and the project.

Do renewable energy facilities affect property values?

Renewable energy facilities drive economic development by generating taxes and other revenues for local communities. These funds generally flow to counties and local governments, local schools, emergency services, health care services, and public safety facilities. It is well known that quality school districts and local services boost property values, and it therefore follows that wind and solar farms can positively affect nearby property values over time.

A major study released in 2013 on wind farms and property values by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states. The study concluded that there was no evidence of adverse impacts to nearby home property values from wind energy facilities.

In addition, a 2015 report from the University of North Carolina examined the economic impact of more than 100 solar projects in over 50 counties, finding that solar facilities have increased the tax revenue from agricultural property by between 1,000% and 10,000%.

Will wind farm sound affect the local community?

Modern wind turbines do produce some audible and inaudible sound, but this sound is emitted at levels so low that it should not impact nearby residents in any way. The sound produced by properly functioning turbines comes from the motion of their blades cutting through the air, not the mechanical components of the turbine generator box. Evidence demonstrates that when turbines are sited according to Apex’s internal standards, the audible sound they generate is no louder than a refrigerator, and the low-frequency sound, sometimes called “infrasound,” they produce is similar in intensity to that generated by waves crashing on the beach. Ample scientific evidence confirms that none of this sound is dangerous. In fact, despite decades of study, there is no evidence to show that turbines have any adverse impacts on health at all.

What is shadow flicker?

“Shadow flicker” refers to the shadows cast by wind turbine blades as they rotate in front of the sun, similar to the shadow cast by a tree blowing in the wind. Very few homes in a project will experience shadowing; for those that do, shadowing can only occur during certain, specific times of year and for no more than a few minutes per day, on average. During cloudy days, shadow flicker does not occur. If this level of shadowing is still problematic for an individual residence, the project will work with that resident to minimize or eliminate the shadowing effects.

While some worry that even minimal flicker can cause seizures in photosensitive individuals, Epilepsy Foundation research shows that the rate at which wind turbine shadows “flicker” is far below that associated with seizures.

Are wind farms harmful to birds?

It is possible to design wind energy facilities that minimize avian impacts, and Apex works hard to do so through responsible siting. Our team of in-house and consulting wildlife biologists thoroughly study every Apex project before construction to ensure that migration routes and sensitive habitat is avoided. We work in close consultation with federal and state environmental agencies and use appropriate conservation measures to ensure that our wind projects have no significant effects on bird or bat populations.

Despite claims to the contrary, wind energy projects are far from the most dangerous human-caused threat to birds. Buildings, cars, power lines, and radio and cell phone towers cause far more losses than wind turbines. Housecats kill 2.4 billion birds a year alone.

What protections exist to ensure that wind and solar farms are not abandoned by their owners?

The largest expense associated with a renewable energy facility is its construction. Once a facility is operating, it becomes a profit generator, because it makes far more money selling the electricity it generates than it costs to maintain. Because operating wind and solar farms provide this benefit to their owners, they represent valuable assets. If something were to happen to prevent a project owner from maintaining ownership, there would always be a group of new owners eager to purchase the asset. Because of their inherent value, we can be confident that operating facilities will not be abandoned.

However, as added protection for local communities, most wind and solar farms do enter decommissioning agreements with their landowners and/or local county governments. Though these agreements vary in specifics, they lay out terms for exactly how a facility will be deconstructed and removed from the site at the end of its serviceable life (about 30 years.) They often specify the depth to which components will be removed from the ground, how the land will be restored for agricultural production, and how the community will be protected from any costs associated with this remediation. In many cases, the facility owner is required to secure a bond to guarantee that the funds to decommission the project are available if and when such action is required.

Can solar farms create stormwater or drainage issues?

Properly designed solar projects will maintain, and in some cases can even reduce and improve existing agricultural runoff thanks to permanent groundcover with deeper root systems that increase water retention and organic matter content in previously farmed soils.

Stormwater and runoff management is regulated at the federal, state, and local level. Each state has different methods for regulating how construction and infrastructure projects are permitted with regards to stormwater, but most states do require some form of stormwater management permit through which they assess anticipated impacts to runoff and/or erosion and evaluate proposed mitigation strategies. These laws exist to ensure that no sediment or excess volume is allowed to flow into nearby waterways due to the new facility, and that no excess water is allowed to flow onto neighboring properties.

Apex Clean Energy complies with all federal, state, and local laws, including those related to stormwater and runoff management. Before a project enters construction, a licensed, third-party, civil engineer is hired to complete a full analysis of the project’s anticipated impacts to water flow. The analysis includes consideration of the hydrology and topography of the project site and the specifics of the project’s design and proposes a set of best practice management techniques to ensure runoff from the project does not impact neighbors, existing infrastructure, or waterways. Construction of these projects does not begin until the required stormwater permits have been approved. These permits require the project to prevent any erosion and runoff throughout its life.

Are solar farms harmful to wildlife?

Studies show that in addition to helping displace harmful emissions produced by fossil fuel generation, photovoltaic solar energy facilities can improve biodiversity and benefit wildlife by improving habitat in their immediate vicinity. With proper planning, solar farms can improve the environment and enhance local ecological services by naturalizing areas around solar facilities, improving wildlife habitat, increasing pollination, improving water cycling, increasing erosion control, and even helping threatened species. Solar farms can also help create new habitat, providing pollinator-friendly ecosystems and high-quality hunting and foraging habitat for birds.

Although solar panels may modify wildlife habitat in the project’s immediate footprint, evidence suggests that these changes are balanced by other habitat-based benefits, and there is currently no evidence to support a conclusion that solar farms have an adverse impact on wildlife’s use of the land surrounding the project.

What happens to solar panels at the end of their life?

At the end of a solar facility’s useful life, estimated to be about 30 years on average, panels can be removed and recycled. Recycling programs are being developed that are expected to recover about 90% of the materials used in the panels, much of which is glass. In fact, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that the value of recovered materials could exceed $15 billion by 2050 and that the material recovered could be used to remanufacture two billion solar panels. The solar industry is actively developing new systems and protocols in anticipation of the future retirement of solar panels. These efforts include establishing uniform, cost-effective recycling practices (e.g., identifying vendors and service providers, aggregating end-of-life solar components, and streamlining and improving recycling processes).

More Resources

Fact Sheets

Interactives

Take a virtual tour of the Apex-developed Isabella Wind farm in Michigan. This unique comparative simulation shows the project as it was constructed and an alternative layout of how the project might have looked if designed using larger, higher-capacity wind turbines being produced today.

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