Wind is the fastest growing source of electricity in the U.S. and 70 percent of windfarms are being built in low-income, rural areas.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance wind energy analyst Alex Morgan projects rural landowners could reap $900 million a year through leases to wind developers.
Wind projects are also a tax boost for low-income municipalities. A
nd there are other positive impacts for struggling communities, including lower electricity prices and higher property values.
President Trump may diss windfarms, but wind is the “newest cash crop” for family farmers struggling with debt and low agricultural commodity prices, Bloomberg reports.
Farmers lease their land to wind developers and collect rental income for the turbines. Each turbine fetches $7,000 to $10,000 per per year, as much as 15 to 20 percent of median household incomes in states like Oklahoma and Iowa.
Ed Woolsey, a fifth-generation Iowa farmer, said the wind turbines on his property let him retire from crop farming. “Now… I’m a wind farmer.”
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Photo credit: Zack Woolf