Assessing the Economic Development Impacts of Wind Power: Final Report
- 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.
- 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: 30 MW
Number of Turbines: 40
Location: Culberson County , TX
Geographic Scope: Culberson County, TX
Turbine Ownership: National Wind Power Partners
Type of Study: Post-project
Timeframe of Data:
Assumptions: Community services in place adequate to meet the needs arising from the project because of its relatively small impact. Texas does not assess income tax, but it does assess franchise and sale taxes on businesses. Additional taxes assessed: school taxes of $239,000 in 2000, Groundwater taxes of $6,962 in 1999 and $5,324 in 2000.
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).
Developer Incentives: Federal production tax credit.
Lease Payments: $60,000/year
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.