Over the last couple of years, the horizon of Benton County has been drastically changed. Visitors and residents now see hundreds of wind turbines amongst the seas of corn and soybean fields. Benton County is home to the first wind farms in Indiana and the largest concentration of wind turbines in the World…nearly 500 so far!
Wind power, electricity generated by capturing the wind's energy with modern wind turbines, is one of the lowest-cost, renewable electricity alternatives currently available. Wind power is a clean, domestic electricity resource that has seen a tremendous amount of growth and technology improvement over the past several years.
Utility-scale wind farms can provide rural areas with significant investment and offer farmers new sources of revenue by opening their land to new energy development, while at the same time allowing present farming activities to continue virtually unchanged.
Here in Benton County, the three current projects have had a significant impact on our local economy. Individual land owners will benefit for years from the annual lease payments they receive for their ground where the turbines are placed. The County as a whole has gained from the significant tax abatement payments and future tax revenue that the projects will provide.
As wind power technology improves, wholesale markets increase and green energy becomes more valuable, Indiana can maximize its wind resources by selling wind power into markets with higher electricity costs. This would allow wind producers to find the best markets without jeopardizing Indiana's low electricity rates.