Windfarms

A Windfarm is an electricity generation plant comprising a series of 'windmill' towers supporting turbines driven by large revolving 'propeller' blades powered by the wind. The power authority will lease the sites of the towers (and associated easements) from the proprietors of the affected land. Due to the size and number of towers required to generate sufficient electricity, a windfarm usually extends over many adjoining properties (e.g. along several kilometres of ridge line) each of which require a separate lease.

To ensure that the windmill always faces into the wind the turbine and attached propeller blades can be rotated in any direction. Consequently, a circular site affected by a restriction on the use of land usually surrounds each tower. Easements for access and services are also required.

Lease of a windfarm site will be treated as a lease of premises. Regardless of whether the lease will be for more or less than 25 years, the description in the lease must refer to 'Lease of premises of Windmill Tower(s) No(s) ...... shown in DP .......', together with any easements .....

As the plan defines 'premises' (being the windmill towers) it will not constitute a 'current plan' within the meaning of s.7A Conveyancing Act 1919 and therefore will not require subdivision consent under s.23G Conveyancing Act 1919. Each tower site will not be numbered as a lot but will be shown as 'Windmill No. .....' or 'Tower No ....'. Easements that benefit a lease affecting land not owned by the lessor (eg extensive rights of access through adjoining properties) may also be shown 'proposed' on the deposited plans and can be created by the lodgment of a 'Transfer Granting Easement' dealing. The terms of the easement may include a sunset clause indicating that the easement will extend only for the term of the lease.

Rights may also be created in the lease to ensure the 'free passage of air' and may extend over the entirety of the remainder of the affected land.

Definition on the plan

The position of every windmill tower must be defined in a plan of survey lodged as a deposited plan and headed 'Plan for lease purposes of Windmill Generating Towers'. The deposited plan locates each tower on a centreline traverse connected at each end to the parcel boundaries. The site of each tower must be defined by a suitable mark, peg or GNSS Co-ordinates.

The plan should also show the sites of any rights associated with the lease (eg easements for access and services). The easements should be shown as 'proposed' on the face of the plan and will be created as rights as part of the terms of the lease. The sites of the easements may be defined as a set width on either side of the centreline traverse or by full survey of all boundaries.

If the towers have not yet been constructed at the date of survey the position of each future tower along the 'centreline' must be suitably marked. Any subsequent variation(s) in tower position will necessitate the preparation of a Variation of Lease dealing and an appropriate new plan.

Example of a windfarm

DP1187531Pthumb

Click on plan image to enlarge