Opinions on the benefits as well as the downfalls of wind development vary greatly depending on which side of the argument you are on. But the facts as to who benefits from a wind project being built are hard to dispute.
#1 - Wind Developer
Obviously the wind developer is here to make money. The wind projects are a private project, no eminent domain is being used in this development. This project is between the developer and the lease owners, operating under guidelines set forth by Ohio legislators. The wind developer is here to make money.
#2 - Lease Holders
Those who have chosen to lease out a part of their land to the wind developer are set to make $8,000 - $10,000 per year, per turbine, for twenty years. Some lease owners have 10, 11, or even 13 leases. $10,000 x 13 = $130,000 x 20 years = $2.6 million dollars! While we may not agree with the project, it is hard to blame a person for taking advantage of the leases.
A wind turbine lease also can increase farm land property values while driving down non-participating land values.
#3 - Taxing Authorities
There are many different scenarios that can play out on how taxes will be paid to the local taxing authorities. There is the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program, the Alternative Energy Zones, and so on. The county commissioners are the ones who ultimately set the framework on how taxes will be levied, collected, and spent.
#4 - Contractors
The construction phase of the turbines will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the local economies, even if it is a temporary one. Construction crews will eat locally, buy fuel, supplies, tools and etc… Local subcontractors may be hired for some of the work. Each wind turbine takes tons (literally) of concrete, stone, and rebar to build. This does not include all of the material and labor needed to build the access roads and then rebuild the local roads after the construction phase has destroyed them.