A farmers organization in the United States will launch a program to promote wind energy on family farms.
WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-05-23 <SolarAccess.com> The American Corn Growers Association will tailor the national program for small and mid-sized farms, which it perceives to be in the best position to benefit from the growth in the wind energy industry. The ‘Wealth From the Wind’ program will exploit avenues for agriculture producers and rural communities to obtain benefits from using the renewable energy. “Through the process of farmers leasing their land to power generators for the placement of wind turbines, formation of farmer-owned wind generating cooperatives and net metering for individual farmers, wind energy holds the potential for increased income potential from wind energy generation,” explains the association’s CEO Larry Mitchell. The program “will educate rural Americans about wind power and look towards the feasibility of using wind to diversify the agricultural economy and making farm land more productive.” The program was developed by ACGF with an initial grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The association will work with Windustry, a Minnesota organization that promotes opportunities in wind energy. “Wind power has the ability to generate much of the electrical power needs of the lower 48 states if fully utilized,” adds Mitchell. “The states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas hold the most potential to benefit. It is the goal of the Wealth From the Wind Program to turn potential into a reality.” The program will gauge farmer interest and acceptance through national surveys, and will provide educational materials on the benefits of wind power and the feasibility of forming wind cooperatives. It will host workshops around the country to promote wind energy and will work with a wide range of farm and commodity associations to promote wind turbines as a new form of additional farm income. It will also try to remove obstacles to greater wind utilization and to educate Congress and the federal Administration on the need for substantial governmental incentives to promote wind power generation. “Working in co-operation with the American Corn Growers Foundation and Windustry, Wealth From the Wind will help the agricultural community reap the rewards that wind power generation can provide,” concludes Mitchell. The program will increase knowledge of family farms on the contribution of wind power to reduce GHG emissions and lower dependence on foreign energy imports.