National Clean Energy Week: What wind power means to rural America
Groups from across the power spectrum are celebrating National Clean Energy Week starting today, which comes on the heels of last month’s American Wind Week. So it’s a great time to circle back and remember some of the moving stories to come out of our August wind power celebration.
Most notable was a recent Wall Street Journal profile of Benton County, Indiana (pop. 8,500). Benton County is home to half of Indiana’s installed wind capacity, and wind development has drawn about $2 billion of investment into the area. As the Journal reported, this has brought enormous benefits to Benton County residents:
“Wind developers have made $17 million in payments to the county and have spent $33 million on roads, a boon for an economically struggling community that about a decade earlier considered hosting a waste dump to generate jobs and government revenue.
“Benton County didn’t see the recession until 2011,” said county commission president Bryan Berry, who has three turbines on his farmland. “The wind industry helped keep things open.”
So in honor of National Clean Energy Week, we’re excited to release a new video of American Wind Week’s capstone event, the Fowler Wind Fair. The town of Fowler (pop. 2,200) is the epicenter of Benton County’s wind development, and locals came together to celebrate what wind has meant to their town: