The American wind belt overlays some of our nation’s most productive rural farmland, and as we develop our wind projects, we often have the privilege to partner with some of the hardworking men and women who cultivate this land.
For one of our recent Wind Stories, we had the pleasure to spend some time with Ovi Atkinson and his family in Rio Hondo, Texas, home of the 165 MW Cameron Wind facility.
As a cotton farmer in south Texas, Ovi knows how vulnerable his family is to changes in commodity prices, drought years, pests, and other potential agricultural disturbances. As a participant in the Cameron Wind farm, Ovi also knows that the economic security provided by the wind turbines on his property will help his children stay on their land and keep their farming traditions alive.
“My father farmed cotton, and my grandfather, and maybe his father before him, and we still do it,” Ovi explains. “Our commodity prices, they’re not good. We make money to pay our bills, but we hardly make ends meet on the farm. The wind turbines are working and producing easy revenue for us that we won’t get from the farm, but we get it from the wind. We’ll never leave the land or the farm or the kids. It all comes down to the love that we have for each other, for the land, and for the area where we live.”
Cameron Wind, developed by Apex and owned by IKEA, generates enough energy to power about 59,000 homes. Operating since 2015, Cameron Wind is providing millions of dollars in economic benefits to the Rio Hondo community, local landowners, and Cameron County.
Watch Ovi’s Wind Story here.