Clean Energy News

Transmission line development: the benefits, effects, and how to prepare yourself

Three development projects in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota show how states manage revenues and tax assessments from transmission lines in different ways.

Center for Rural Affairs policy associate, Katie Rock, and policy associate, Lu Nelsen, recently discussed these examples on the Rural Matters podcast with host John White. They also gave tips on how best to communicate with developers, as well as advice for community members on how they can educate themselves about development projects.

Iowans respond to clean energy growth

During the past two decades, Iowa’s wind energy industry has created 8,000 to 9,000 jobs, spurred billions of dollars in investment, and provided Iowa landowners with $20 to $25 million in annual land lease payments. With nearly 7,000 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity, the state generates more than 37 percent of its power from wind.

Similarly, the Iowa solar industry has begun to follow an impressive growth curve. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates Iowa will install approximately 225 MW of solar during the next five years.

Recommendations for crafting wind ordinances

Wind turbines are multiplying across the U.S., and most are installed in rural areas overlooking crops, cattle, timber, and lakes. Rural communities receive several benefits from the development of wind energy, but the growth of the industry has also presented a challenge in the form of local regulations that may be insufficient or out-of-date.

We suggest residents and local officials take the following steps when drafting new zoning regulations or ordinances.

PACE lending: What is it?

Clean energy from wind and solar continues to grow our economy nationwide, mainly due to decreasing costs making renewables more competitive than non-renewables.

However, another force is at play. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lending provides financing for property owners to make efficiency and clean energy upgrades. Financing is administered through energy districts, typically at the county or municipal level, and is added to their property tax bills during the useful life of the installation upgrades.

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