Monday, January 17, 2011

Keeping Farmers on the Land with Wind Energy

Kate Mason's Video Collection

Climate deniers hate wind power. The giant turbines have become welcome additions to the landscape in rural areas around the country, and the world, and they provide irrefutable evidence that renewable energy is here, it’s real, and it works. Wind has been a leading source of new electrical capacity in the US for several years now.

What’s important for rural communities is the additional income wind brings to areas that are dependent on fickle economics of farming. Chad Martin, a renewable energy specialist with Purdue University Extension, calls wind a “once in a generation” opportunity for farmers.

“The base lease payment per turbine has definitely increased,” Martin maintains, “For national average figures, we’re talking $3,000 to $5,000 per year per megawatt of production. And some people are getting up into the $10,000 range per year per turbine.”

That’s revenue that will help communities keep services, while keeping taxes down, and allow farmers to keep their land in the family.

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