LETTER: Wind farms bring a higher quality of life
To the Editor Wind farms don't ruin our quality of life, despite what Gregg Hubner says in his June 18 letter. In fact, they've made it a lot better for communities across South Dakota. The lease payments many landowners receive for hosting wind ...
To the Editor
Wind farms don't ruin our quality of life, despite what Gregg Hubner says in his June 18 letter. In fact, they've made it a lot better for communities across South Dakota.
The lease payments many landowners receive for hosting wind turbines give their families stability. Rain or shine, high commodity prices or not, they're a steady source of income, a new cash crop farmers and ranchers can count on. I suspect a lot of other South Dakotans feel that way.
Every year, South Dakota landowners receive up to $5 million in lease payments for having wind farms on their property. For many families, that makes the difference between continuing operations or having to sell off land to make ends meet. Wind farms also bring well-paying jobs to our rural townships, meaning young people don't have to leave home to find a good career but can keep their families in the community and their kids in the local school system. Up to 2,000 people in our state work in wind power and peripheral occupations supporting the industry, and that number will grow as wind energy in South Dakota continues to grow.
Wind energy also strengthens our communities, bringing much-needed financial resources that help ensure many of our local services can continue. It's no secret that many rural communities have schools that were about to close before a wind farm arrived, which expanded the tax base and helped the doors stay open. By 2030, wind power could increase annual property taxes by nearly $19 million every year. Our towns need this money to fix roads, improve health care facilities and provide a robust education to our children. More financial stability, better schools and thousands of good jobs - that sounds like a high quality of life to me.