O’Brien County, Iowa — O’Brien County has the largest number of wind turbines of any county in the state of Iowa, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has released information showing Iowa ranks second in the nation for the amount of money paid to landowners for the placement of wind turbines.
AWEA’s Manager of Industry Data and Analysis , John Hensley, helped work up the numbers.
Iowa is one of six states with more than 10 million dollars in payment, with Texas ranked number one, followed by Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kansas. AWEA figures show Iowa produced 31 percent of its electricity from wind last year. Hensley says the payments are kept confidential, but they have a good estimate of how much is being paid.
He says the revenue is important as about 70 percent of rural wind farms in the U-S are located in low-income counties.
Hensley says the payments are vital to many land owners.
AWEA will release more information on the impact of wind farms in its upcoming annual report — including job numbers, state-by-state comparisons, and the overall picture of the wind industry.