Wind energy may be the fastest-growing source of the electricity in the United States, but it tells a different, more personal story when it comes to the lives of the farmers and landowners it supports. The primary benefit of a wind farm is the wind lease payment – a steady income between $5,000 and $8,000 per year, per turbine – which quickly adds up. Most wind farms contain between 2 and 20 individual turbines, and larger plots of land can support even more.

 At the same time, the land itself is largely free for other uses. Turbines don’t affect livestock ranchers or crop farmers – wind development is vertical development. The actual electrical infrastructure occupies around 3% of the available surface area.

"The primary benefit of a wind farm is the wind lease payment"

The Cress Family Joins the Renewable Energy Movement

Consider the case of Gordon and Lorna, landowners who have established a sizable extra income from using wind lease payments. They have harnessed the demand for wind power to create a secure, secondary income. At the same time, they’re excited to be part of a movement that is transitioning away from expensive, environmentally hazardous coal and hydrocarbon products. They feel that this improves their community, and provides a healthy environment for future generations to come.

 “Of course, the financial gain uses an incentive, but we were also glad to be a part of the growing renewable energy movement.” – Gordon and Lorna

 For Gordon and Lorna Cress, being a part of the movement towards a cleaner, more energy-efficient future is as attractive as the profits they receive every year from their wind energy development partners.

“You can fight the future but you won’t win in the long run. Energy production is changing rapidly and I’d rather be a part of the future than fighting for the past.” 

Joel Generates Passive Income

In Joel’s case, wind power represents the future. The rural landowner noticed that nearby landowners had installed solar panels and wind turbines. With his own land sitting vacant and unused for years, he became interested in the ability to turn his land into a source of income.

 “I have been using the land recreationally since I was a pre-teenager, almost 50 years! …In our particular area, there are wind farms and solar panel fields covering several thousand acres each, I knew that there was going to be either wind or solar fields near my property and I wanted to be a part of the future” – Joel

 Wind lease payments are an ideal income source for owners of unused land. The less desirable a plot of land is for traditional development, the more attractive it becomes to wind energy developers – as long as the land offers a great amount of wind that can be produced into clean energy.

 “You can fight the future but you won’t win in the long run. Energy production is changing rapidly and I’d rather be a part of the future than fighting for the past.” – Joel

Barry is Helping the Environment

Even partially developed land can be leased effectively. Take Barry, for instance, who owns a large patch of rural land. He only needs to dedicate a small portion of his terrain to generating wind power, as for the rest of his land he can use it for recreational and agricultural purposes. This creates a secure additional income while helping the environment – in his own words:

 ” [The windmills offer] great income, they help the environment, they’re great for the planet and help me lower my utility bills at the same time!” – Barry

Generating Power on Rural Land

Importantly, wind turbines can generate power even on land currently in use. Those with vacant desert land can rely on wind turbines to generate passive income without affecting agriculture.