Farms with Windmills
The Growth of Windmills in Illinois
Windmills are rapidly filling the skyline in many small Illinois communities. Sterling Land Company finds itself in the position of selling farmland that might include the lease rights on land that these Windmills reside upon. As the push for more green energy continues, farmers are tempted to lease away land for the foreseeable future to cash in on the trend. It is universally agreed upon that windmills are not an attractive addition to a community. Any 150 foot tall steel structure with huge blades humming in the breeze doesn’t exactly fit with the serenity of the country lifestyle.Regardless of personal opinions on the issue of wind power, one might ask, “Do windmills make sense?” From a monetary standpoint to a landowner that is interested in increasing profit from the land, the answer is currently, “Yes”. Given that there has not been an appreciable decline in land values when windmills are present, it appears that in the short term, they help the productivity of the land from a financial standpoint.
However, the long term costs associated with windmills have yet to be determined. Only through the use of generous federal incentives, and the requirement that electric companies purchase the energy at a fixed rate, are companies able to justify putting up windmills. Although there is the claim that wind is a free energy source, this is far from reality. The costs of putting up the windmills, servicing them and paying for the lease rights puts a huge dent in any potential benefit.
Since a single windmill cost around 3 millions dollars to construct, it is highly unlikely that any windmill will cover it’s construction costs through the energy it captures. This is especially true for windmills here in Illinois where a strong breeze is unreliable, leaving the blades of the turbines to remain stationary.
One day, there is the possibility that Illinois will be the windmill graveyard capital of the country. The cost to dismantle a windmill is high, so there are examples where unproductive ones are left standing. While the financial benefit to a landowner may make sense today, there is the real possibility that long term costs will force companies to abandon the technology.
Sterling Land Company agents are not experts on windmills or energy. The decision to allow companies to erect windmills on farmland is one that is made for personal reasons. While we acknowledge the technology may have promise, it currently is not an energy effective method of replacing fossil fuels.
Contact Sterling Land Company today for a list of available farms for sale with or without windmills on site.
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