Wind energy developers are entering into agreements with local farmers in Texas for their wind projects.
Alan Schaffner, who is a farmer in Petrolia, Texas said he wasn’t bullied or taken advantage of and told the Times Record News: “I’m just trying to take care of my family. It’s hard to squeeze a living out of this farm and ranch… I looked at it as a blessing.”
Farming is one of the toughest industries to be in, some aspects are out of the control of farmers, like the weather or supply prices. Many farmers are turning to alternative ways to generate income, like leasing their unused land for wind turbine developers.
Thanks to wind energy, over $220 million goes to rural landowners and famers in the US alone. The wind industry has long been praised for helping to supplement farmers’ incomes, especially in times of low crops yields or droughts when regular farming activities do not generate the income they were meant to.
Steve McMahon, VP of Sales and Marketing at Orenda, has an article published in Farmers Guardian where he gives solid advice to farmers interested in wind energy projects.
Here are Steve’s top tips, when considering embarking on a wind energy project:
- Firstly, be clear as to the motivation for the project – whether this is purely an investment, part of a programme to reduce carbon footprint, for long-term electricity supply pricing or a mix of all the above – this will help drive the size of the wind turbine and the financial returns one requires
- Get a good handle on what the wind resource is on your farm, and a macro picture can be established fairly easily using a database. Micro-siting is critical to ensure the turbine has an unrestricted access to the prevailing wind and without obstacles close to the turbine likely to cause material levels of turbulence
- Find a good installing dealer to work with as a partner. There are many, so get references from them and talk directly to their previous customers
- Finally, be patient – installing a wind turbine is a major project and will take significant time from start to finish, but done properly is well worth the wait
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