Understanding “Subsidies” & Wind Energy

Did you know that ALL forms of electricity generation are “incentivized” in some way by the federal government?

Our current tax code subsidizes all forms of energy generation technology, conventional and alternative.

The wind energy industry benefits from a Production Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC is designed to provide a tax credit based on the quantity of electricity generated by wind energy technology. Importantly, the tax credit is not granted if a wind project fails to produce energy.

In 2016, legislation was passed to phase out the PTC in the coming years.

The PTC has been successful in helping create jobs. The wind energy industry has created more than 100,000 jobs throughout the United States, including over 8,300 industry jobs right here in Illinois. And, job growth is expected to continue even after the PTC program has been phased out.

Property Values & Wind Turbines

Have you wondered about how wind farms affect property values for adjacent homes? Here’s the truth: Here in DeWitt County and domestically, a wealth of research has been done on the impact of local wind development on property values.

Here are three examples:

  • MaRous & Company, a real estate appraiser and consulting firm from Park Ridge, Illinois, with 30 years of experience conducting market impact studies, analyzed the impact Alta Farms will have on the value of surrounding residential properties. They concluded the Project will not have a negative impact on rural residential or agricultural property values in the surrounding area. In fact, for agricultural properties that host wind turbines, the additional income from the wind lease may increase the value and marketability of those properties.
  • The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) examined the sale of more than 50,000 homes spanning 27 counties in 9 states. These homes were within 10 miles of 67 different wind facilities, with 1,198 home sales within one mile of a turbine (331 of which were within a half mile). Through statistical analyses, neither the view of the wind facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities were found to have any consistent, measurable, or statistically significant effect on home sales prices.
  • An Economic Impact Analysis conducted on Alta Farms by Dr. David Loomis, Professor of Economics at Illinois State University, concluded, “Wind projects enhance the equalized assessed value of property within the county. Typically, wind developers pay taxes based on that improved value unless preempted by law or mutual agreement. Wind farms strengthen the local tax base helping to improve count services, schools, police and fire departments and infrastructure improvements, such as public roads.”

The clear consensus is that no significant impact exists to property values based on the proximity of homes to wind facilities.

Wind Energy & Weather Radar

Don’t be fooled by myths about wind energy and weather radar. Research shows that fears about wind turbines interfering with weather radar are misunderstood.

Did you know…

  • The National Weather Service has indicated that Alta Farms Wind Project will have low (almost zero) operational impact on Lincoln, Illinois weather radar.
  • Alta Farms has voluntarily committed in the Special Use Permit to shut down the wind turbines for the duration of all severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in DeWitt County.
  • The National Weather Service is the expert in weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protections of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.