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Economic Impacts of Wind Power in Kittitas County: Final Report


Estimates the effect of the increase in jobs and local spending on property values, economic impacts, and tax revenues.

  • Surveyed tax assessors in other counties.
  • Reviewed available literature on property value effects.
  • Used input-output model with data from two companies proposing wind projects in Kittitas County.


  • Views of wind turbines will not negatively impact property values.
  • Wind plant construction will have significant economic benefits.
  • Wind plant operation will provide additional annual economic benefits.
  • Property tax revenues will increase.
  • Tax revenues to Kittitas County Government will increase.

Citation: Economic Impacts of Wind Power in Kittitas County: Final Report (PDF 331 KB) or (PDF 326 KB) Download Adobe Acrobat
Author(s): ECONorthwest
Report Date: Nov. 2002

Project Size: 390 MW potential
Number of Turbines: 260
Location: Kittitas County , WA
Geographic Scope: Kittitas County, WA
Turbine Ownership: Zilkha Renewable Energy (110 turbines) and enXco (150 turbines)
Type of Study: Pre-project
Timeframe of Data: n/a

Model: Input-Output and IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for PLANning)

Data Sources: Surveyed tax assessors in other counties and reviewed available literature to determine potential effects of wind farms on property values; estimated local economic impacts using an input-output model based on construction and operations data obtained from the two companies proposing projects in Kittitas Co.; estimated tax revenues using input-output model results based on tax rate and spending information obtained from Kittitas Co.

Assumptions: Assumed tax rates remained constant when estimating tax revenue; assumed value of each turbine as $765,000; property tax rate used is 1.35%; construction period predicted to last approximately one year.

Special Considerations: Did not consider the increases in costs or the provision of county services that the wind power plant might require; local/state taxes collected by State and distributed to County.

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct 95.2 22 117.2
Indirect 30.3 3.1 33.4
Induced 60 28.2 88.2
Total 185.5 53.3 238.8
Jobs/MW 0.48 0.14 0.61


Income Construction Operations Total
Direct $9,835,000 $3,200,000/year $13,035,000
Indirect $1,113,000 $129,000/year $1,242,000
Induced $1,509,000 $938,000/year $2,447,000
Total $12,457,000 $4,267,000/year $16,724,000


Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Local/State     $17,244
Property $2,683,125 $201,971 $2,885,096
Sales     $7,103
Total     $2,909,443

Developer Incentives:

Lease Payments: 30% of the turbines will be built on land managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, for which a rental fee will be paid to the State, then returned to schools throughout the State. Annual rental rate: $4,500/turbine. Total amount: $351,000/year

Other Remuneration: $2,927 in all other taxes not mentioned above; $2,094 licenses and permits; $8,509 charges for services; $2,138 fines and forfeits.

Conclusion: The survey of tax assessors and literature shows that views of wind turbines will not negatively impact property values.