The Mower County (MN) Board of Commissioners recently voted to dedicate revenue from local wind farms to road repairs and maintenance. The payment, likely $330,000 to $500,000 each year for a 10-year period, will contribute significantly toward fixing important infrastructure in the county.
Renewable energy generation continues to grow as an industry. New infrastructure has made it possible for projects to be built across the Midwest, bringing with them a range of benefits, some obvious, others less so.
At the Center for Rural Affairs, we often talk about the benefits wind energy development can bring to small towns, ranging from direct payments to landowners with turbines to a manufacturing boost in providing parts and materials for projects. Another, less tangible benefit, is new tax revenue for schools, counties, and small towns.
For states rich with wind energy potential, new wind development can provide opportunities not only to landowners, but rural communities hosting them as well. Tax revenue from these projects helps fund services like schools and emergency services, and even contributes to infrastructure improvements like fixing local roads.
Mower County’s experience is not very different from other rural places across the nation. County boards work to improve and maintain roads and other infrastructure. 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, visit: www.cfra.org/clean-energy
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