Lincoln County Sees 49% Increase in 2018 Wind Energy Production Tax Revenue
ST. PAUL, MINN. (April 9, 2019) – The Minnesota Department of Revenue Property Tax Division compiled the amount of wind energy production tax revenue that is paid to counties earlier this month. Lincoln County will receive more than $1.6 million in 2019 for 2018 production, reflecting a 49 percent increase over last year. This increase is due to the 200 megawatt Red Pine project that came online in 2017 and had a full year of operation in 2018.
Statewide, Lincoln County now ranks third in the state for the amount of wind energy production tax revenue, behind Mower County and Jackson County, respectively. Since 2004, Lincoln County has received $12.9 million in production tax revenue from wind projects. “Nearly 30 percent of the counties in Minnesota receive wind energy production tax revenue,” said Clean Grid Alliance Executive Director Beth Soholt. “It really makes a difference in these small towns.”
Nationally, wind farms pay more than $1 billion annually to rural communities according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) 2018 Annual Market Report. This massive financial investment reflects a combination of $761 million per year paid by wind farms in state and local taxes that may be used to help support schools systems, fix roads, invest in emergency services, and even hold down property taxes. Another $289 million annually is paid in wind farm land lease payments, which provides a valuable cash-crop for farmers and ranchers.
In Minnesota, more than $12 million in wind energy production tax revenue is going to counties that host wind farms this year. In addition, another $10 - $15 million was paid in land lease payments to landowners last year, according to AWEA. “Lincoln County is just one of hundreds of rural communities around the country that is benefiting from the development and growth of our renewable energy sector. Wind energy is a low-cost, clean, and reliable form of renewable energy that makes sense for Minnesota,” said Soholt.
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About Clean Grid Alliance (CGA): Clean Grid Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind, solar, and storage developers, environmental organizations, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind, solar, and storage industries.