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LETTER: Check out these numbers

To the Editor:

In the past, we projected that Beethoven Wind would provide $268,000 in new local tax revenue. 2016 was the first full year of production to compare to these projections. The county auditors just received their checks from Pierre and we got the numbers from them last week. The total new tax revenue was $268,164. So, we apologize for being a little off!

• Bon Homme County received $49,891 (8 turbines)

• Hutchinson County received $99,782 (16 turbines)

• Charles Mix County received $118,491 (19 turbines)

According to SD State law, the counties send half of these funds to the school districts and 15 percent to any organized townships where turbines are located (there are no organized townships in Bon Homme County, so the county keeps those funds):

• $24,946 stayed at Bon Homme County (8 of 43 turbines)

• $41,472 stayed at Charles Mix County (19 of 43 turbines)

• $34,924stayed at Hutchinson County (16 of 43 turbines)

• $127,846 was sent to Tripp-Delmont School District (41 of 43 turbines)

• $6,235 was sent to Wagner School District (2 of 43 turbines)

• $17,774 was sent to Choteau Creek Township (19 of 43 turbines)

• $14,967 was sent to Oak Hollow Township (16 of 43 turbines)

This is all new tax revenue for our local schools, counties and townships. The fact that the tax revenue so closely matches our predictions means that wind energy is reliable and predictable. These revenue numbers will vary slightly over time, but the checks will keep coming into the county treasurers' offices year after year.

After Prevailing Winds is built, you can multiply the Grand Total above by 3.5, although the distribution will depend on where the turbines are located.

That's $938,000 per year into our three counties from the first five years of operations of Prevailing Winds along with Beethoven Wind. Soon we'll be able to harvest more of our winds and add to what we have already received, and I hope that includes adding the Avon School to this list.

Erik Johnson