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The driving legal document for solar projects that are being undertaken on farmland or commercial rooftops are the solar option and lease agreements. These legal contracts, though seemingly sharing some similarities with commercial lease agreements in the traditional commercial real estate sector are in fact extremely different. For although both contracts use similar terms, the net effect of these two contracts could not be more different. For whereas a traditional commercial lease agreement for real estate is specifically designed to protect and advance the business and legal interests of the landlord (the property owner) to the detriment of the tenant), solar option + lease agreements are specifically designed to protect and advance the business and legal interests of the tenant (the energy company) to the detriment of the landlord (the landowner, whether the commercial property owner or farmer that owns the farm).

This reversal in power roles in a solar option + lease agreement poses a significant problem for the landowner, as they tend not to understand the totality of the implications of not operating from a position of strength and control. For the solar energy companies are not entirely forthcoming as to the implications of their contracts and how the legal language works to the landowners disadvantage. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer representing your farm or commercial building in its negotiations with the solar energy company, such that you not only better understand the implications of the solar option and lease agreement, the effective lease rent and where possible negotiate a superior option + lease agreement from the perspective of the landowner / farmer.

For legal services pertaining to the review and negotiation of an option and lease agreement for your farmland [or commercial building] with a solar energy operator in the province of Alberta, contact solar energy lawyer Christopher R. Neufeld at or by telephone at 403-400-4092.


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Solar Energy Lawyer Christopher Neufeld is a corporate commercial lawyer admitted to practice law in Alberta and Ontario (Canada) and New York (U.S.A.).  Christopher's legal practice focuses primarily on business law, in particular corporate commercial transactions, with a keen focus on solar energy and the business opportunities arising therefrom.  The law firm of Neufeld Legal Professional Corporation has offices located in Toronto (1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801, Toronto, Ontario); Burlington (719 Catalina Crescent, Burlington, Ontario); and  Calgary (144 - 4th Avenue SW, Suite 1600, Calgary, Alberta), with the capacity to serve the solar energy industry's legal needs throughout Ontario and Alberta. More at © 2016.

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