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Solar and Wind Easements & Local Option Rights Laws

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Local Government
Nonprofit
Residential
Schools
State Government
Federal Government
Savings Category 
Solar - Passive
Solar Water Heat
Solar Space Heat
Solar Thermal Electric
Solar Thermal Process Heat
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Wind (Small)
Program Info
Sector Name 
State
State 
Minnesota
Program Type 
Solar/Wind Access Policy
Summary 
Minnesota law provides for the creation of solar and wind easements for solar and wind-energy systems. As in many other states, these easements are voluntary contracts. However, unlike similar provisions in other states, Minnesota law specifically provides for wind easements in addition to solar easements. For tax purposes, an easement imposed on a property may decrease the property value, but an easement which benefits a property may not add value to that property.

Minnesota law also allows local zoning boards to restrict development for the purpose of protecting access to sunlight. In addition, zoning bodies may create variances in zoning rules in situations where practical difficulties, such as lack of access to sunlight for solar-energy devices, impinge on a particular property.

Cities can create regulations on the construction and siting of small wind energy conversion systems, but not outwardly ban them.