Turning wind into broadband in Lincoln County – got Lincoln County from ranked 65 to 2

KSTP is following renewable energy and snuck into the story was a highlight on how Lincoln County used the proceeds from wind taxes…

The wind farms also create a significant windfall. The counties and townships generate revenue through the Wind Energy Production Tax. The funding is tied to the power generated by the wind towers.

While the revenue is not guaranteed year to year, data shows Lincoln County’s share has steadily increased over the past 10 years, hitting an all-time high in 2021 at nearly $3.5 million.

VanDeVere said the money is most often used to offset property taxes, but in 2020, Lincoln County invested in a massive expansion of broadband service in the county.

“Every rural house, every hog confinement, every dairy setup. Anybody that wanted it, they would hook it up,” VanDeVere said. The investment meant 99% of the county had access to high-speed internet in the middle of the pandemic.

The frustrating news, and real point of the story, is that apparently there’s now too much energy going through the lines (imagine that with broadband!) and some of it is getting lost because there’s not one to send it and no way to save it.

Lincoln County (Oct 2022) did go from 80 percent of the county had access to broadband at speeds of 100/20 to 99.99 in the last year, which meant they went from rank of 65 to 2 in the last county profile check in.


This entry was posted in Funding, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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