Leon Zoglman, a 64-year old farmer, agreed to host 12 giant wind turbines on his land. In return, Zoglman said BP will pay him more than $20,000 so it could place a transmission cord across a mile and a half of his property. It will also dole out another $3,000 a year for the use of roughly 1,200 acres of his land for 10 years or until the turbines begin producing energy -- whichever comes sooner.
But the real money should come once production starts, which BP expects will happen by the end of this year. Zoglman said he will also receive production royalties -- although he has no idea what kind of payments to expect. He's heard that he could get more than $700 a month per turbine, depending on how much wind is produced. If that were the case, Zoglman could bring in more than $100,000 a year in extra income.
When asked what royalty rates landowners could expect from wind turbines, BP said it does not disclose the terms of its leases with landowners.
Zoglman said the money he has already received has helped him pay off some of his farm loans. Should he get decent production royalties, it would give him a nice cushion in case his farming income doesn't cut it.
"That will be guaranteed income, because the wind is always gonna blow," he said. "Whereas with farming it's a big gamble whether you get a crop and how much you get."