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Assessing the Economic Development Impacts of Wind Power: Final Report

Summary

  • Provides examples of thorough and consistent analysis and documentation of economic impacts from wind power development. Considers three separate case studies as examples, including Lake Benton I (Lincoln County, MN), Vansycle Ridge (Morrow and Umatilla Counties, OR), and Delaware Mountain (Culberson County, TX).
  • Analyzes the economic impact of each of the wind energy projects on employment, income, taxes, and provision of community services.
  • Findings:
    • The projects contributed to significant increases in employment, personal income, tax income, and landowner net revenues.
    • Tax effects, particularly property taxes, were important.
    • Non-market benefits may be important: wind power is a non-polluting, low impact, and non-extractive form of energy that provides large positive benefits to local economies but has a relatively light impact on communities and their infrastructure (schools, roads, and social services).
    • Wind energy development does not involve the "boom and bust" economic and social conditions associated with other energy development.
    • Considered possible negative impacts of wind energy development, such as bird kills, damages to roads, and impact on land values.

Citation: Assessing the Economic Development Impacts of Wind Power: Final Report (PDF 962 KB) Download Adobe Acrobat
Author(s): Northwest Economic Associates, for the National Wind Coordinating Committee
Report Date: Feb. 2003

Project Size: 24.9 MW
Number of Turbines: 38
Location: Morrow and Umatilla Counties , OR
Geographic Scope: Morrow and Umatilla Counties, OR
Turbine Ownership: FPL Energy
Type of Study: Post-project
Timeframe of Data:

Model: IMPLAN

Data Sources:

Assumptions: Community services in place adequate to meet the needs arising from the project because of its relatively small impact. Taxes fluctuated between $243,580 in 1999 and $229,680 in 2001. Landowner revenues based on $2,000 per turbine.

Special Considerations: Purpose of study is provide examples of thorough and consistent analysis and documentation of economic impacts from wind power development. Study provides three separate case studies as examples, including Lake Benton I (Lincoln County, MN), Vansycle Ridge (Morrow and Umatilla Counties, OR), and Delaware Mountain (Culberson County, TX).

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct      
Indirect      
Induced      
Total 4 6 10
Jobs/MW 0.16 0.24 0.4

 

Income Construction Operations Total
Direct      
Indirect      
Induced      
Total $105,000 $103,000 $208,000

 

Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Local/State      
Income      
Property      
Sales      
Total     $229,680 (in 2001)

Developer Incentives: Federal production tax credit.

Lease Payments: $76,000/year

Other Remuneration:

Conclusion: Wind power provided a modest to moderate source of new economic activity and new family wage jobs. Additionally, leasing of land has an important economic effect on local areas, assuming the revenue goes to local families. This economic development is more important to the counties in economic decline than it is to those with a stable economy.