Wind energy developed across the U.S. has brought significant opportunity to rural communities, with new projects generating clean energy, in addition to economic benefits for nearby towns and rural areas.
These benefits include offering an additional source of income for farm and ranch families through land-lease payments, creating new short-term jobs during the construction of a project, as well as long-term operations jobs, and adding another source of tax revenue for rural counties that allows them to fund local schools, emergency services, and even road repairs.
As more wind energy is developed in rural areas, local officials and developers should take the time to consider and address the concerns or questions of community members. Additionally, as officials consider updating zoning for wind development, they should seek to set standards that mitigate potential issues that may arise during the construction or operation of wind projects.
The Center for Rural Affairs recently developed fact sheets that cover common concerns often mentioned by stakeholders when new wind energy projects are proposed—noise, shadow flicker, icing, and lighting.
You can find the fact sheets here: