Eau Claire Wind
Across the nation, a shift is underway. More and more communities are waking up to realize that they have the power to create jobs, spur sustained economic development, save consumers money, and help create a healthier environment.
At the same time, they are learning that they can fund top public priorities – including schools, first responders, libraries, important infrastructure and much more – all without raising taxes.
How? Wind energy.
Here in the Midwest – in fact, right on Wisconsin’s doorstep – states are embracing this technology and reaping the rewards. Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota all rank among the top ten states in the nation for wind energy. In the process, these states have created thousands of new jobs and seen billions of dollars in private capital invested. New businesses up and down the supply chain have expanded or opened their doors in these states.
And, rather than remain at the mercy of harsh weather or downturns in the economy, family farmers and other landowners in these states have earned a steady, reliable source of income by leasing small parts of their land to host turbines.
Wisconsin, and specifically Eau Claire County, can catch up with its neighbors in important effort to build a clean energy economy.
We can do it. Wisconsin has enough wind blowing across our land to power our state four times over.
We must do it. Today, Wisconsin relies upon old, dirty sources of fuel. Coal-fired power plants account for nearly half (49 percent) of the state’s net generation. That puts pollution in our air and in our lungs, putting our families’ health at risk and making our land less productive.
Now, the opportunity to change all that is coming right here, to Eau Claire County. One of the world’s most successful renewable energy companies, RWE Renewables has identified that our area has all the items needs to host a utility-scale, wind-energy project. With it comes a long list of benefits:
- A once-in-a-generation investment in our community of more than $200 million.
- More than $26 million in new revenues for the county and Townships over the life of the project.
- 150+ construction jobs.
- More than $1 million in dependable easement payments each and every year for 30 years to Eau Claire family farmers and landowners – all while using just 1% of their land.
The facts are clear: we can improve our environment and Eau Claire’s economic climate for generations to come.
But, only if we seize this opportunity.
Economic Benefits of Eau Claire Wind
Total investment for Eau Claire County.
More than $26 million in additional tax revenue for county and townships 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 potential budget shortfalls.
More than $30 million paid for labor and construction companies, and a commitment to hire and spend locally when possible.
More than $1 million in dependable, yearly payments to Eau Claire family farmers to help overcome unpredictable or unfortunate weather, volatile crop and dairy prices, surprise changes in trade relations, or economy-wide upsets.
150+ temporary construction jobs; 8-12 long-term, good-paying local jobs; and a commitment to hire locally wherever possible.
Many miles of local road upgrades at no cost to taxpayers.
Power for 60K Homes
Expected Construction Jobs:
- The turbines would share agricultural land with mostly corn and soybeans, with some dairy pastures. The project site encompasses approximately 20,000 acres in Lincoln and Washington Townships. Including access roads, each turbine takes up a maximum of 1/2 acre – enabling farmers, ranchers, and landowners to continue their current land use on more than 99% of the land in the project.
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.”