The Spatial Relationship between Agriculture and Wind Energy

Research poster
Joshua Fergen
Jeffrey Jacquet
School of Environment and Natural Resources

Wind energy development in the United States occurs primarily on private land in agriculturally-intensive areas, yet relationships between the wind and agricultural sectors are not well understood. In this study, we combine wind turbine location data with agricultural production regions and the U.S. Census of Agriculture to examine spatial patterns and relationships between wind turbine densities and agricultural characteristics. We find that turbine count and spatial clustering of wind turbines at the county level is largely associated with measures of large-scale agricultural operations in the United States, including number of acres rented, production expenses, and farm tenureship at the county level, with some regional variation.