Healthy Economies & Healthy Communities

Local Economic Benefits

Solar farms bring new revenue to local economies, paying property taxes to local taxing jurisdictions and providing long-term, predictable revenue to local communities. Revenues from solar facilities will be used to support schools and a wide array of county services, including police and fire protection, senior services, and road improvements.

Emerald Green Solar is projected to bring the following economic opportunities to Howard County:

  • $30 million in local tax revenue over the life of the project
  • $19.8 million to Eastern Howard School Corp.
  • 300 - 350 jobs created during construction

Farmland Preservation

While utility-scale solar energy facilities require several hundreds of acres of land, they do not permanently alter soils or agricultural potential, so the land use will remain viable when and if solar facilities are ultimately removed. In the meantime, solar farms generate a constant flow of revenue for landowners, acting as a reliable, drought-resistant “crop” for local farmers. Access to such a consistent revenue stream can help farmers stay in business, supporting the preservation of their farms and way of life.

Participating landowners will be enjoying lease payments for farming the sun and offering additional agricultural benefits with payments that are several times more than renting out their crop-land or even farming it on their own — all while improving their water table, nourishing the soil and bringing pollinators to help with their own crop production.  

Solar panels help ensure that agricultural land will not be lost to more permanent alternate uses, such as residential development, which poses a far greater threat to farmland than solar energy does in many parts of the country. According to the 2017 USDA Census, the total agricultural land in Howard County is 145,720 acres.* At 1,300 acres, Emerald Green would sit on just 0.89% of available ag land.

Health & the Environment

Emerald Green landowners want the right to provide cleaner more fertile soil by rotating crops with solar while planting ground cover grasses that also improve the water table and introducing pollinators to help their neighbors as well as their own crops. Solar helps produce more agricultural benefits with the land, not less.  

Solar farms help displace dirtier sources of electric generation and don’t create any additional pollution; improving the air we breathe while not consuming water. Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy has overwhelming positive net benefits for air quality, water resources, climate change, and human health. Solar energy generation produces no carbon pollution, releases no heavy metals or acid gases, and emits no small particles that can cause respiratory problems.