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Renewables power economic opportunity

By Staff | Aug 21, 2021

Laurie Odden, Executive Director, Rugby Chamber of Commerce; Kelvey Vander Hart, Strategic Elements

It is no secret that North Dakota is a rural state, which is a blessing for our 760,000 residents, and ensuring the economic success and sustainability of our state involves wind power generation. I have experienced firsthand the implications that come with being a rural state – unfortunately some businesses are deterred from locating or expanding here, which has limited economic growth.

The Rugby Wind Project has been a wonderful neighbor within our Piece County. Since its creation, the project has generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 45,000 North Dakotan homes while also creating more than 125 local jobs. Affordable power and additional good-paying, stable jobs within our county are essential benefits, though those are only a few out of the many ways the project has powered our economy and supported our residents.

Rugby Wind provides nearly $1.5 million in annual land lease payments to participating landowners. The project leases from 49 different landowners, and in our county, those payments provide a drought and floodproof source of income. The project also generates upward of $1 million annually in tax revenue, which in turn funds our schools, emergency services, and other local projects.

The Rugby Wind project has been an essential part of our community for many years and has provided job creation, clean and cost-effective power, and local investment. I encourage North Dakotans to recognize the benefits that wind energy brings to local communities and encourage its growth here in our state.

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