By Art Cullen, Published by The Guardian and Republished by Yahoo! News
The Midwest would welcome a New Deal, and this is where it must start. The Great Plains from Iowa down through Kansas and Texas lead the world in wind energy production. Yet the wind energy production tax credit is set to wane and expire over the next five years. Those wind turbine royalties are increasingly important in western Kansas where you can barely raise a corn crop even with irrigation because of soil degradation and warmer nights wrought by climate change. Wind energy technicians who keep the blades whirring are paid good union wages and are welcome residents in tiny Iowa villages. They could ply their trade in West Virginia as well. Read the entire article here.
Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Iowa and won the 2017 Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. Cullen is the author of the book, Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper (Viking 2018).
Spring Deadline for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Applications: Includes information on incentives for solar and small wind.
The spring deadline to apply for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants is April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year round. REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses in reducing energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.
A 25-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed in 2015 powers the Hammond family farm operations west of Benedict, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Matt Ryerson / Lincoln Journal Star
Rick Hammond’s array cost $84,864 in 2015, but a combination of a USDA grant and federal tax credits brought the cost to him down to $19,100. Source: Farms flexing solar power, Lincoln Journal Star. Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears
Additional Recommended Reading
More Farm Energy Resources
- On-Farm Solar Energy Development: Resources created by Ohio State University Extension, Nebraska Extension, and Michigan State University Extension
- USDA’s National Agricultural Library: Solar Resources
- USDA’s National Agricultural Library: Wind Energy