America’s energy independence and future are right in front of us. In fact, they’re blowing in the wind.
Across the Midwest and America, wind is generating low-cost, pollution-free energy. Wind creates economic opportunity for rural communities and reducing taxes on hardworking farmers and families. Wind helps fund schools and provide landowners with steady, reliable income. And wind is one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity today, helping customers save on their utility bills.
We know there are folks on both sides of this topic. Some don’t want to look at wind turbines, are worried about perceived health impacts, or are concerned about what this change would mean for their community.
Others look at wind energy in Clinton County differently. They see a big ($250 million) economic development opportunity that will create jobs, provide the largest single source of tax revenue for the county (over $1 million per year for 30 years), rebuild roads, help fund schools and first responders, and help Clinton County play a leading role in the American energy future. All this with just 35-52 turbines spread across the 39,000+ acre project footprint.
Clinton Wind Open House Sparks Strong Turnout; E.ON Leaders, Variety of Experts Inform 250-Plus Residents
Over 250 Clinton County residents attended the E.ON Clinton Wind Open House in Frankfort on Thursday evening, September 12, to collect insights from experts who covered a range of topics related to wind energy.
The outpouring of interest reflects strong curiosity about and public support for bringing wind energy to the area. The event at the Edward Jones Community Building on the Clinton County Fairgrounds, was an opportunity for residents to learn generally about wind energy and specifically about E.ON’s proposed wind energy project for Clinton County.
“We’re looking for a signal that the county is open for business,” Eason stated. “We’d love to know what the commissioners would like from us to be able to lift the moratorium and give this project a chance.”
Since February 2017, Clinton County has had a moratorium on wind farms. Eason emphasized at the open house the firm’s desire to have “a clear path forward” to receiving approval for the project. None of Clinton County’s three commissioners was in attendance.
E.ON is proposing 35 to 52 turbines spread across a 39,000-acre (60-square-mile) area in the northeastern part of the county, four miles from Frankfort. The private land that has been identified to host the turbines covers less than 15% of the county. Over a 30-year span, the project would generate $30 million in tax revenue to local governments (about half going to area schools) and $25 million in dependable lease payments to local farmers and landowners.
The funds would also help the county head off a potential budget deficit, as outlined in an independent economic report recently ordered by the Clinton County Commission and Council. Conducted by third-party accounting firm Baker Tilly, the report found that the county’s assessed value is decreasing, expenses are increasing, and that without raising taxes or some other plan to address its financial difficulties, the county could face a $1.1 million general fund deficit in 2023.
The evening began with a dinner catered by Shoup’s Country Foods. Four drawings throughout the event resulted in four people randomly selected to receive $50 Amazon gift cards. In addition, E.ON staff and experts engaged in individual conversations with attendees for nearly an hour and a half after the main presentations concluded.
Economic Benefits of Clinton Wind
Total investment in Clinton County.
More than $30 million in tax revenue for Clinton County over 30 years to support essential services like local first responders, schools, and more.
Additional county income can help reduce tax burden on residents and avoid tax increases to cover county’s projected shortfall.
More than $25 million paid for labor and construction companies, and a commitment to hire and spend locally when possible.
More than $25 million in stable, yearly lease payments to Clinton County family farmers, ranchers, and landowners over 30 years, all while using just 1% of their land.
200+ temporary construction jobs; 10 long-term, good-paying local jobs; and a commitment to hire locally.
Several miles of local road upgrades at no cost to taxpayers.
Power for 50K Homes
Distance from any home:
Over ¼ mile
- Each turbine would take up less than half an acre – enabling farmers, ranchers, and landowners to continue their current land use on more than 99% of the land in the project.
- The turbines would share agricultural land with mostly corn and soybeans, and some pasture / livestock.
- E.ON will restore any disrupted land to its original state after construction is completed.
According to the Energy and Policy Institute, “Studies find properties that host wind farms are worth more after turbines are installed. Nearby properties are unaffected…Ten major studies in three countries of 1.3 million property transactions over 18 years of data have found no connection between wind farms and property values. Yet the fear of property value loss persists and is exploited by anti-wind campaigning groups in their attempts to turn local populaces against wind developments.”