Rural Iowa sees economic benefits of wind farms

An Iowa wind farm (Brian Hoffman / Flickr)
A wind farm along Interstate-35 in Iowa. (Brian Hoffman / Flickr)
Nick Fetty | March 25, 2016

Iowa is one of six states where farmers and rural landowners receive $10 million each year for wind energy projects, according to data released this week by the American Wind Energy Association.

The data also show that nationwide U.S. wind farms pay $222 million dollars each year to farming families and other rural landowners.  More than $156 million – or roughly 70 percent – of those funds go to landowners in counties where income levels are below the national average.

The report also finds that wind energy generation saves about 226 gallons of water for each American annually. The release of the report coincided with World Water Day which occurred on March 22.

Last year Iowa produced 31 percent of its electricity from wind power, marking the first time in the country’s history that a state has generated more than 30 percent of its electricity from wind. The Hawkeye State ranks first nationally for percentage of electricity generated by wind power and ranks third – behind Texas and California – for overall amount of wind energy produced.

Along with Iowa, California, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas were the other states that receive about $10 million each year for wind projects.

This recent set of data is part of the 2015 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report which will be released in its entirety on April 12. The full report will provide a comprehensive update on the state of the U.S. wind market, job numbers, state-by-state comparisons, and more.

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