Wind Energy Payments Contribute to Local Roads

In Mower County, Minn., money received from local wind farms will be devoted to roads. The county board recently voted on the decision, responding to calls from local residents for more money in the roads fund.

These payments are likely to be $330,000 to $500,000 each year for a 10-year period. The funds will be geared toward road repairs and maintenance. While these funds may not be a silver bullet, they will contribute significantly toward fixing important infrastructure in the county.

It’s no secret that renewable energy generation continues to grow as an industry. New infrastructure has made it possible for projects to be built in places across the Midwest. These projects bring with them a range of benefits, some obvious while others may be less noticeable.

We often talk about the benefits that wind energy development can bring to small towns and rural communities. These can range from direct payments to landowners that host turbines to a boost to manufacturing to provide parts and materials for projects. But one we mention that may seem a little less tangible is new tax revenue that wind projects can bring to rural communities.

For states that are rich with wind energy potential, new wind development can provide opportunities not only to local landowners, but the rural communities that host them as well. The tax revenue from these projects helps fund services like schools and emergency services, and even contributes to infrastructure improvements like fixing local roads.

The experience of Mower is not very different from those of other rural communities across the nation. County boards attempt to address local issues like road maintenance and improvements, and determine how they will obtain the funds needed for this work.

Wind energy is just one of many new developments that can provide counties with the important resources they need, while also providing other benefits to landowners and nearby communities.

To learn more about the benefits of wind energy to rural areas, please click here.