Clean Energy

Clean energy offers a significant opportunity to diversify the rural economy while generating cheap, renewable power for rural homes and businesses.

Wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects help revitalize rural communities by taking advantage of their rich energy resources. New tax revenue from these projects help shore up local infrastructure, like schools and emergency services, while reducing the local tax burden on rural people. Meanwhile, farmers and landowners receive land-lease payments from project developers in an unpredictable farm economy. In addition, new jobs are created by the increased demand for local manufacturing and project operators.

To maximize the impact of clean energy development, a critical need arises for new and upgraded transmission capacity to carry renewable energy generated across wide geographic areas to consumers. Investing in transmission infrastructure creates new access to clean energy and allows rural economies in the Midwest and Great Plains to unlock their clean energy potential.

We aim to assist landowners and other rural stakeholders to ensure that clean energy transmission is built in an equitable, sustainable way—a way that works best for rural citizens and their communities.

Click here to view our wind energy story map, and watch the video below to see how the small town of Petersburg, Nebraska, realized its clean energy potential. Check out our clean energy transmission database, which provides project details on proposed or newly developed transmission projects in the Midwest and Great Plains.
 


 

Clean Energy Notes

 

Native Vegetation and Solar Project

Across the U.S., the solar industry is booming. Solar project sites often occupy several acres of land and are projected to cover 3 million acres by 2030. To produce 10 percent of Iowa’s electricity from solar energy, 13,440 acres would need to be occupied by solar arrays—offering an opportunity for project owners to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship.

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Rural energy program benefits South Dakota businesses

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $380,000 to assist South Dakota businesses in reducing their energy costs and improving energy efficiency. The funding comes from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loans to rural businesses, ag producers, and farmers. REAP funds must be used for the installation of renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.