Dear editor,

Across the country people have been moving from rural communities toward urban centers for the amenities and career opportunities those areas possess. Solar and wind energy are some of the industries creating new opportunities in rural Wisconsin, strengthening our local economies, and providing an economic boost to the region.

In Wisconsin, owners of solar and wind farms greater than 50MW pay annually into a utility aid fund that is shared with the local governments where the solar farm is located. Under the revenue sharing formula currently in place, a qualifying solar farm will contribute $2,333 per (MW) per year to the county and $1,667 per MW to the township (s) hosting the project, for a total of $4,000 per MW per year.

For example, a 100 MW solar or wind farm would provide approximately $233,000 annually to the host county and approximately $167,000 annually to the host township. Over the first 25 years of such a project’s operating life, over $10 million would be provided to the local governments where the project is located.

Communities in Wisconsin have begun to realize the economic benefits from wind and solar energy, and we must continue to build upon this success across the state.

Matt Johnson of Albany, Wisconsin

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.