Wind Energy Developing Rural America
More opportunities, more jobs, higher revenue – these are just a few of the many benefits the wind energy industry is bringing to US states that are operating wind energy production. The growth has been very significant and unexpected, and some just couldn’t believe it is happening.
Studies conducted in 2017 places Texas at the top spot in the production of wind energy. It has the capacity to produce 20MW of power. Iowa and Oklahoma come in second and third, respectively, with close to 7,000 MW.
Rural Development and Benefits from Wind Energy
Rural areas in these states have seen the biggest increase in jobs and revenue. Experts say rural areas are the site of 99 percent of wind energy plants. Wind energy production has been set up in rural areas where wind can be best harnessed, and are directed to power grids for distribution to households and businesses.
More Job Opportunities
Wind energy is now a multi-billion industry in the rural areas, and has provided jobs to around 23,000 Texans and around 10,000 Iowans. This number is still growing year after year.
Colleges have also paved the way for new educational opportunities for studies in turbine technology with the increasing demand for turbine technicians.
Revenue from Farm Leases
Property leases to landowners where the wind energy facilities operate are estimated at $20 to $30 million.
Farmers now have regular and stable income from the leases. It becomes their fallback when crops end up being destroyed by bad weather, or when prices of crops fall due to various causes.
Farmers say the industry is very much welcome because it brings them huge financial benefits, aside from the fact that it does not affect their crop production or cattle raising.
Farmers say they earn an average of $20,000 annually from the lease, and even wished their farms are filled with wind turbines so they could earn more.
It has also saved a lot of families from parting with their acres of farmland that they have almost given up due to huge financial expenses for maintenance.
Better School Facilities
Iowa’s local tax revenue has hugely increased to $58 million a year.
The high government revenue has driven improvements in school facilities. Government schools now have the capacity to buy educational needs like computers, laboratory equipment, and more.
They now have the capability to build more facilities that benefit students, like athletic fields or Olympic-sized pools. New schools are also being built to provide better education to citizens – a feat that seemed impossible prior to wind energy production.
Benefits on Local Tax
Probably one of the best benefits from the wind energy industry is exemption from local taxes. A good example of this is in Sheldon, New York whose citizens are no longer paying local taxes for about eight years now because revenue from the wind industry operation covers the cost of government operations. It is also providing more benefits to citizens like better roads due to budgets available for road repairs.