Kneehill County is arming ratepayers with information after approving fact sheets for landowners and neighbours of landowners considering leasing land for renewable energy developments during the regular Tuesday, March 14 council meeting.
Administration were directed in January to develop an information fact sheet based on current Alberta legislation for landowners, and adjacent landowners, contemplating a potential lease.
“One document was just too much for those two topics (landowner and adjacent landowners), and the potential impact was significantly different,” explained director of Community Services Kevin Gannon during the meeting. “The potential impact was significantly different, and due course of action felt it required different due diligence.”
A draft of the fact sheet was presented during the February 21 Committee of the Whole meeting, where administration received further direction for the final draft.
The landowner information sheet outlines some of the considerations which should be kept in mind during discussions with potential developers-the duration of the lease contract, potential landowner liability for end-of-life obligations and reclamation. It also includes potential concerns a renewable energy lease could have for adjacent landowners to the project such as construction traffic and noise.
Council recommended making some final amendments to include information regarding pest and weed control.
Adjacent landowners are also being provided with information, such as contacting the Alberta Utility Commission (AUC) during the approval process with concerns regarding a proposed development, and the limitations of the County once the AUC has approved a development.
Both documents recommend landowners and adjacent landowners engage with legal professionals as legislation is subject to change.