Residents of Oregon's Sherman County used to hate on the strong winds endemic to the area. But now they pull in $590 per year, per household, just for tolerating the wind and the many wind turbines marring their viewshed. It’s like the oil payout for living in Alaska, only it’s not blood money from cannibalizing Nature!

Individual farmers are profiting off of turbines on their property (one family earns about $5,550 per turbine per year), as are individual business owners. The local government is also pulling in more tax dollars and is using that windfall both to improve services (like schools and libraries) and to compensate county citizens who don't benefit directly from the wind industry but who have to deal with some of the negative externalities.

Basically, every household earns about $1.60 each day for looking at wind turbines, which aren't even that ugly! Seems like a pretty good deal.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.