Solar farms: land lease prices
My first question, is why are they not offering to buy? Given the large investment being made in equipment, and the length of the proposed lease, why wouldn't they just offer to buy it outright? With a 20 year window, it would make more sense to me to offer a buy-out instead of a 20 year lease. The little I know about these larger solar fields, the land purchase would be less than the equipment investment.
A lot of other good questions brought up too. Future uses? Infrastructure left behind? Access and trespassing (by you)?
We don't have enough info to throw out a solid number, too many variables. Ag land in some areas is over $300/acre/year. It depends on your particular situation.
If your interested, perhaps getting in as an investor/partner would be good. You can negotiate a base price (minimum match for AG lease and property tax change) and get in on a profit sharing? Perhaps you could get something based on production... so much per kWh?
If it was me, I'd be hesitant. Too many questions.
The other way to approach the problem is to figure how much THEY are making off your land.
A 20 year commitment is a very long time. That's worth quite a bit a money just for the length of the lease.
Then there is another big issue. What will be the condition of the land after 20 years? Theoretically it should be ready for farm crops again. What will they be putting on this land other than solar panels? Will they be laying any concrete or constructing any buildings? Will they be installing a road to access the site? All of this stuff could cost some big bucks to be removed if they do not renew the lease after 20 years. The lease should state they are responsible for this.
Farm land rental rates are probably less than $150/acre/year. $10,000/year puts the 20 acres at $500/acre/year so it's a big step up. Of course taxes are paid on the rent and on the land, so you are getting less than 10 grand. I wouldn't commit to a lease that long for under 10k/year. Maybe you can squeeze them for more.