WindTV is a new showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week.
The latest episode tells of how land lease payments from wind turbines have given a fresh and much-needed revenue stream for the Maryhill Museum of Art, which is located along the Columbia River in Washington. (At www.awea.org/windtv, see "Wind farm helps the Maryhill Museum.") Several turbines that are part of Cannon Power’s Windy Flats wind farm are located on Maryhill Museum land. It is typical for wind power companies to provide lease payments to landowners such as family farmers and ranchers—and now, museums—in rural communities.
"If we did not have that money coming in at this time, we would have been forced to make cuts—and maybe even severe cuts," Colleen Schafroth, Maryhill’s executive director, explains in the video.
But thanks to the new-found wind power revenue, Maryhill not only avoided having to make difficult cuts, it was able to build a new museum wing that provides a multitude of educational opportunities for the community. In addition to the lease payments, Cannon Power voluntarily made two pledges of $500,000 for the new museum wing.
"Clean, affordable wind power is bringing new sources of revenue to communities across America," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "Thanks to American wind power, revenue is streaming to local communities—to farmers and ranchers and local treasures like the Maryhill Museum of Art. It’s surprising, therefore, that long-term, stable policy has yet to be put in place for wind power. Imagine what wind power could do for even more communities across our great nation with such policies as an extension of the federal Production Tax Credit established."
Or, as Maryhill’s Schafroth eloquently states in the video, "It’s an investment in the land. It’s an investment in the institution. It’s an investment in the people of this area." To learn more about the story of wind power and the Maryhill Museum of Art, go to WindTV.