Fuel for Thought

Clean energy provides electricity, income, and tax revenue to families and communities across America. Hear their clean energy stories.


Monica’s Story

Monica Bass has called Currituck County, North Carolina home for nearly 20 years. She and her husband Josh are raising their two young sons in this rural corner of the state.

Their town of Moyock is just 30 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia – an area that has seen a large influx of new development and residents over the past few years.

Solar farms provide farmers in Currituck County with a viable alternative – instead of selling their land for development, they can lease it to produce clean power. This generates consistent income for the landowners and increased tax revenue for the local community.

Monica has seen firsthand the impact that unfettered development can have on a town and the stresses it can place on local resources. Like many of her neighbors, she doesn’t want to see that happen in Moyock. Their family cherishes the small size and rural character of their tight-knit town and Monica believes solar farms are an innovative way for their county to help farmers retain their property while preventing suburban sprawl from overtaking their community.

Ray’s Story

When Ray and his wife moved from Southern Indiana to rural Iowa in the late 1970’s, they were looking for a parcel of land where they could farm and sustain their family. Farming is hard work and in order for Ray to continue to grow his operation, he’s had to stay on top of technology and embrace new ways of doing things.

Ray is a national leader on farming policy and a conservative political activist who cares deeply about conservation of the land and supporting the infrastructure and human needs in and around his community.

Ray believes that every farmer should make their own educated decision about how to best manage their land and in determining whether leasing property for clean energy projects is right for them.

In Adams County, Iowa, 1.7 of the 4.9 million dollars the county receives in tax revenues comes from the 90 turbines currently in operation. These tax revenues will grow considerably as more projects are finished construction including the turbines that will be operational on his property.

After a decade of consideration, Ray and his family recently signed a lease with Invenergy that will make a portion of his family farm available to wind turbines.

Ray wants more rural communities throughout America to benefit from lower taxes, better services for residents and to ensure that farmers can be excellent stewards of the land they care so deeply for.

Byron’s Story

Byron Kominek is a steward of his family’s land and is dedicated to teaching his community as well as lawmakers from around the country about the benefits of solar.

In 2016, Byron moved home to his family’s 24-acre farm in Longmont, Colorado where he wanted to find new ways to sustain their land.

The farm had been growing and selling hay for about 50 years, but it was no longer paying the bills. Byron looked at new land management options and decided to investigate building a solar array on the property.

Byron also learned about agrivoltaics – the process of growing crops under solar panels – and thought it may be a viable model for his family to pursue.

Over the past seven years, Byron has built a solar farm on four acres of land and those panels alone provide power to over 300 homes per year. He also partners with a number of research universities to study the impact of solar on crops and has started a non-profit organization to educate people on the benefits of agrivoltaics.

Today, Byron’s farm is named after his Grandfather, Jack Stingerie, and he works hard to honor the family’s tradition of hard work and ingenuity in all that he does. Byron’s work ensures that their legacy – and his family’s livelihood – thrives in ways his Grandfather never could have imagined just two generations ago.

Clean energy is sustaining livelihoods for U.S. families and communities.

Clean Power At a Glance

The number of U.S. farms producing renewable energy has doubled in 5 years

growth in clean power tax revenues in just 5 years

of US electricity is provided by wind, solar and storage

Ray Gaessar

Ray Gaessar

Farmer & Landowner in Corning, IA

“We have a responsibility to care not only for our families, but for our communities.”

Screenshot of Ray Gaessar of Corning, Iowa from ACP's Fuel for Thought Campaign.