This paper presents an agent-based model to investigate interactions between wind farm developers and landowners. Wind farms require hundreds of square miles of land for development and developers typically interact with landowners to lease land for construction and operations. Landowners sign land lease contracts without knowing the turbine layout, which affects aesthetics of property as well as value of the lease contract. Having a turbine placed on one’s land is much more lucrative than not, but landowners have to sign over the use of their land without knowing if they will receive this financial benefit or not. The timing of this process, typically referred to as “Landowner Acquisition,” introduces high uncertainty for both stakeholders and represents a major pain point of the industry — a source stated up to 50% of wind projects fail due to landowner acquisition issues. We present an agent-based model that models the land lease contract period with unique decision-making characteristics for a set of landowners and a wind farm developer. Citizen participation is an integral part of community acceptance of wind farms, thus we use principles from past studies to quantify three actions a developer can take to influence landowner decisions: (1) community engagement meetings; (2) preliminary environmental studies; and (3) sharing the wind turbine layout with the landowner. The results show how landowner acceptance rates can potentially change over time based on what actions the developer takes. Overall, developers can use this model to better understand interactions with landowners and determine what actions may help positively influence landowner acceptance rates.

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